Cyril Ramaphosa had to play The Grinch on Monday, after he announced that beaches in the Eastern Cape, Garden Route and KZN must be shutdown. Although the latter will only close for a few days, other residents and tourists have had their plans to hit the seaside dashed. But they could always get a fix in Gauteng or North West instead.
Gauteng and North West technically have ‘beaches’.
We’re not yanking your chain here. You’d have to buy us dinner first…
But yes, there are a few locations in both provinces that provide locals with the chance to visit a landlocked oasis. We’ve covered the brave new builds extensively on here before, but with South Africans running out of beaches to visit in December, perhaps it’s time for the sea, sand, and sun-chasers to think outside of the box. Like this DA MP did…
The North West’s most famous beach remains open for the holiday season. 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/JecGhMyWYF
— Dean Macpherson MP 🇿🇦 (@DeanMacpherson) December 15, 2020
Of course, those planning a bit of fun in the sun this month must do so with extreme caution. All venues mentioned have significant COVID-19 protocols in place, and individuals are asked to act responsibly during their visits. Here are the three beaches you can find in both Gauteng and North West.
Where to find South Africa’s ‘landlocked beaches’
The Blyde, Pretoria
The Blyde is a residential complex, which features a restaurant, gym, spa, laundromat, and multi-purpose sports fields. Since 2018, it’s crystalline lagoon – the first of its kind in Southern Africa – has been a top draw for tenants and visitors.
The historical project, undertaken by Balwin Properties in association with Crystal Lagoons, was undertaken in 2016 and cost a total of R4.2 billion to construct. The first artificial beach in Gauteng totals 1.5 hectares in size – the equivalent of two rugby fields – and uses water-saving technology to minimise wastage.
The manmade oasis can also be filled with fresh, brackish, or even saltwater and uses 2% of the energy of standard pool filtration technologies, and 100 times fewer additives. You can enquire with the complex about visiting, or alternatively, you can buy one of the available flats or homes here to ensure you have access to the beach 24/7!
Valley of the Waves at Sun City, North West
It really is the jewel in our landlocked crown. Sun City has always been a holiday favourite for South Africans in the north-east of the country – and it even tempted the Guptas to splash the (taxpayer-nicked) cash for a wedding held in 2013.
This artificial paradise is classed as a ‘luxury beach’. Its temperate waters, spacious design, and coarse sands are a match for any ‘Blue Flag’ locations across Mzansi’s long-reaching coastline. The venue is great for families and offers those looking for a more peaceful time of things the chance to kick back and forget about their troubles.
However, there’s a little catch with this one… Sun City is not open to day visitors at the moment, due to the restrictions imposed on large gatherings. However, should you book in for a stay at this resort – or attend a golf visit or business conference – you will be allowed to use the facilities. Go on, get saving up…
Steyn City, Johannesburg
Luxury apartments, lush playing fields, and state-of-the-art facilities are already up and running at the sprawling complex, which is also home to another manmade beach. The Clearwater Lagoon is a 300-metre long facility that’s entirely chemical-free, and the final phase of its construction is still ongoing.
Steyn City is located between Lanseria and Fourways. As the “only beach in Johannesburg”, it offers a seaside experience on the doorstep for day-trippers who’d usually have to face gruelling long drives before getting anywhere near a coastline.
The beach is the icing on the cake of Douw Steyn’s “Vision 2020” plan. The group has ploughed another R5.5 billion into their manufactured city from next year, in a bid to get more South Africans to set up shop in the vibrant location.