Julius Jeppe
Julius Jeppe

In 1900 the farm Waterkloof was owned by Carel Erasmus, Albert Broderick, GR Roets and another portion by his son. The ground was acquired by Sir Julius Jeppe’s company, the SA Townships and Mining and Finance Corporation Ltd and was managed by his Pretoria agent, Charles Bramley. The Company had the township laid out by surveyor HLM Leibrandt in 1903 and stands were sold the following year.

By 1913, 41 families were living in the township e.g. F.Crouch – mechanic in charge of transport, C Jeppe – advocate; CH Moore – golf professional; JW Osmers – Forrester. So remote was the area that the promoting company installed their own power generating plant [situated where Waterkloof Corner now stands] and provided a bus service to town. Sir Julius was instrumental in the establishment of the country club in 1910. He owned a ‘shooting lodge” on the site of the present Country Club buildings, and he used to bring shooting and fishing parties over from Johannesburg on weekends.


The retail trading rights currently applicable around the Long / Milner intersection are a result of the opening of a store to enable ‘hunters’ to re-supply without having to return to Pretoria proper.

Lawley Street commemorates Sir Arthur Lawley, Lt.- Governor of the Transvaal 1902-1906; Albert Street is close to Victoria Avenue – named after the Queen of England and honours the Prince Consort, her husband [by then long deceased]. Milner Street recalls the British statesman, governor and High Commissioner in SA. Bruinslich Park is named after Henri Bruins-Lich, a Horticulturist, who was born in Pretoria and was responsible for many of Pretoria’s parks.

Wilhelm de Zwaan designed the first homes in Waterkloof – in the area between the Pretoria Country Club, Main, Premier and Lawley Streets around 1904. Most of these houses still exist although many have undergone alteration which makes them less easy to identify. They had the following features in common – tin roofs with peaked wooden ventilation openings, shuttered wood-frame windows with small panes, and entrance stoeps. The larger houses in Albert Street having columned stoeps. The original houses were simple, and were built according to a fixed plan – three bedrooms, dining room, lounge, kitchen and an outside toilet..

This affluent residential suburb, some 10km south-east of the city centre, was only incorporated into ‘Greater Pretoria’ on July 1, 1964. Several ambassadorial residences are located in the suburb.

“FROM Lochhead’s Guide, Handbook and Directory of Pretoria we take the following description of the new suburb Waterkloof which was then (in 1912) in the process of being established by the Pretona Townships, Limited. The Township of Waterkloof, adjoining Pretoria is the highest most picturesque of the suburbs of the Capital of the Union, and is beautifully situated amongst the hills to the South-East: For the resident whose business hours are spent in the buildings of the City, as for the man of leisure, this Township will undoubtedly appeal in a very market degree as the place in which to reside………………

The proprietors, the Pretoria Townships, Limited, supply at Municipal rates, the purest water from the depth of 600 feet, brought to surface by means of a syphon, and upon which daylight falls for the first time as it leaves the consumer’s tap. From an up-to-date Power Station is generated the electric current which provides light for the Township, also at Municipal rates, while the sanitary service is taken in hand by the Suburban Health Committee.

Reference must be made to the approach to Waterkloof by means of a perfectly constructed avenue. This avenue is well lit by electric lamps at night, and forms a most picturesque feature in the connecting of the Township with the centre of Pretoria, to and from which a frequent and convenient service of motor omnibuses has been installed, with fares about half the rate of the Tram Service, special concession being made in regard to monthly tickets for residents and scholars.

Waterkloof attains perfection in the matter of its salubrious climate, which, while mild in Winter, is cool in Summer, and the clearness of its atmosphere enables an extensive, and never-to-be-forgotten view to be obtained from the summits of its beautifully wooded hills over 8,000 square miles of surrounding country.
which includes the mountain ranges of Heidelberg, beyond Johannesburg, the Magaliesberg, and the Middelburg Hills; while in the foreground looking across Sunnyside and Arcadia,may be seen the Union Buildings and Government House.

For those seeking pleasure and sport, too much cannot be said of the Country Club, situated on the South-Eastern portion of the Township, with its Club House, at the floor of which is the lake and beautiful stream of water, golf links, tennis courts , and all that can be desired for those in search of recreation, or a picturesque beauty spot in which to enjoy peace and quietness.

Purchasers of Waterkloof erven, which are sold in Freehold, have been secured, by the restrictions necessary for the welfare of the Township, which are places on the title, against unworthy or unsightly buildings being erected in the vicinity of their property as it is a condition that the houses must be substantially built, and no wood and iron residences are permitted, the plans of all buildings must first have the approval of the Board of Management,….. Already twenty houses have been built in the Township, while many more are about to be erected of the most attractive design and of the best finish. People of Pretoria are indeed singularly fortunate in having so lovely a suburb as Waterkloof in which to make their homes, endowned as it is with a perfect climate, magnificent scenery, and excellent soil – a Township in which every convenience and exceptional facilities are provided for those willing to take advantage of the many benefits extended in the spirit of enterprise which has prompted its establishment.

Furthermore the time table for the Waterkloof Motor Busses are given showing that on week days there were eight busses moving between Waterkloof and Church Square.” (Acknowledgement: University of Pretoria).

For further reading on our history you can download the article The Early Days of Waterkloof or a page from the newsletter “The Waterkloof News December 2013”