Multinational water innovation company Crystal Lagoons has signed its first contract in South Africa and will partner with listed Balwin Properties for the construction and operation of a beach amenity at Balwin’s R4.2 billion residential development in Pretoria East.Photo: Nicholas Rama
Pretoria - Listed Balwin Properties, one of the largest builders of sectional-title homes in South Africa, has entered into a partnership with multinational water innovation company Crystal Lagoons for the construction and operation of a “beach” amenity at its R4.2 billion residential estate in Pretoria.

The Blyde at Riverwalk Estate in Pretoria East, a residential estate that is to be developed by Balwin Properties, will showcase the technology of Crystal Lagoons, which is patented in 190 countries.

The estate will join more than 600 Crystal Lagoons projects in various stages of development and negotiation in more than 60 countries.

Steve Brookes, chief executive of Balwin Properties, said it expected the partnership with Crystal Lagoons to be the first of at least six lagoons in South Africa that were combined with the Balwin brand.

“By bringing the beach to Pretoria we are taking apartment living to the next level by making resort-lifestyle living a reality.

“This development will also have the signature lifestyle centre that has become synonymous with Balwin Properties, including a fully equipped gym, squash court, restaurant, concierge, laundromat, cinema room and function room, as well as state-of-the-art security.

“The promenade around the lagoon is perfect for sunset strolls, and it will connect the different amenities around the lagoon,” he said.

Construction at The Blyde, the first development in the River Walk estate on the Bronkhorstspruit Road, is expected to start in Balwin’s 2018 financial year once the various approvals for the development have been obtained.

The Blyde will comprise about 3200 apartments, with River Walk developed in phases.

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Alastair Sinclair, regional director for Africa at Crystal Lagoons, said the Crystal Lagoon at The Blyde would be 1.5hectares, which was equivalent to more than two rugby fields, and would be a key selling point of the development.

Sinclair said it would be the first lagoon to feature their “game-changing technology and unique concept in sub- Saharan Africa”.

He said Crystal Lagoons had revolutionised the global real estate market by bringing idyllic beach paradises to new locations, where residents could enjoy swimming, kayak- ing, paddle-boarding and sailing.

Sinclair said Crystal Lagoons’ partnership at The Blyde represented only the beginning of their expansion into sub-Saharan Africa.

“With 13 projects in various stages of design, construction and operation in Egypt, the addition of this lagoon to our growing portfolio serves to extend our footprint on the African continent and cement the region as one of importance to the global growth of our company,” he said.


Sinclair added that a Crystal Lagoon could be filled with fresh, brackish or even salt water, and used 2percent of the energy of standard pool filtration technologies and 100 times fewer additives.

He said the sustainability of these water amenities made them extremely attractive in the South African market, adding that a typical lagoon used 30 times less water than a standard golf course.

In many cases, only rainwater was needed to replenish the water, partly because of Crystal Lagoons’ patented anti-evaporation film that restricted the amount of water lost via evaporation, he said.