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Craighall: Playground perfect

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Craighall, established by a Scotsman in 1902, offers large homes wedged between main routes. Close to Hyde Park, it is a safe, quiet and friendly neighbourhood.

Large residential stands wedged between William Nicol Drive and Jan Smuts Avenue, north of Hyde Park, are beautifully positioned and, thanks to two main arterial routes funnelling traffic either side of the neighbourhood, are also quiet.

Craighall was established and named in 1902 by William Rattray, a Scotsman and owner of a large farm, Klipfontein. He named the residential portion after his home town in Scotland. 

In those days it was an hour’s journey by carriage to the north of the busy, dusty streets of Johannesburg. His farm had fertile soil, and much of the original land is now popular Delta Park.

The central road, Waterfall, named after the small cascading waterfall on the Braamfontein Spruit, flows year-round and is spectacular during heavy rainfall.
Craighall was originally planned with stand sizes just under an acre (3 850m²), first known as the Craighall Acre. Many stands have since been subdivided, but homes remain spacious and continue to attract birdlife, just 10 minutes from Sandton.


Gillian Pires, area agent for Nan Roberts Estates, says Craighall has a good mix of freeholds, sectional titles and developments.

“I predict a challenging couple of years ahead. On the positive side, the interest rate has remained unchanged, but sellers may not realise prices, making it good for buyers.”

She says due to the size of the properties – around 2 000m² – a trend towards sub-division has put strain on area infrastructure.

“My favourite restaurant is Pronto at The Colony Shopping Centre. At Valley Centre there is Woolies, a hairdresser and printer. Planet Fitness and Pick n Pay are close by.

The Sunshine Centre on Waterfall Ave is an institution. The early cognitive development centre caters for up to 70 children with varying disabilities. It was founded more than 40 years ago and has given rise to two similar centres in Elsburg and Eldorado Park.

Many homes date back to the 1940s and 1950s. Picture: PGP
Dorris Nikani has been teaching at the cheerful home-turned pre-school for 12 years, and can’t wait to get to work each day. “I arrive early so we can set up for the children.”

Nikani assesses each child, assisted by an occupational therapist and physiotherapist. The children eventually move on to special needs schools.

School chef Helen Komape has lived at the school for 20 years and says neighbours are good to them. “If there is ever an issue, they help. It is a really good suburb and we feel safe living here,” she says.

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