Historical Highlights of the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club


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Situated in Vereeniging next to the Vaal River, the historical highlights of the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club and its surrounds are endless. Here are only a few proud historical moments:

  • 1878: George William Stow discovers the first coal deposits on the bed of the Vaal River, which initiates Anglo American and New Vaal Colliery.
  • 1882: The first industry of the Vereeniging village is founded, building bricks from clay deposits near the coal mines.
  • 1892: The small village, Vereeniging, is established due to the focus on the coal finds and the newly formed mining company, Zuid-Afrikaansche en Oranje Vrystaatsche Mineralen en Mijnbou Vereeniging (later known as Vereeniging Estates Ltd.)
  • In this same year the first train from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg crossed the Vaal River after Sammy Marks persuaded Paul Kruger to connect the Cape with Transvaal via Vereeniging rather than Potchefstroom.
  • 1905: Leslie’s weir is built, which ensures reasonable and continuous water supply to Vereeniging.
  • 1913: Roy Lewis builds the Vereeniging Country Club in this year.
  • The first steel slab is also cast and rolled at the Union Steel Corporation of South Africa in this year. This starts Vereeniging off at becoming the hub of steel and engineering industries and later evolves to become DCD Mittal as we know it today.
  • 1936: Mr. Schlesinger, a movie maker from America, opens the doors of the ultra modern Riviera Hotel with en suite bathrooms for each room.
  • 1938: The construction of the Vaal Dam as one of Rand Water‘s initiatives to increase water supply to the Witwatersrand. The Vaal Dam is SA’s biggest by area and fourth largest by volume, and was completed where the Vaal and the Wilge Rivers meet.
  • 1949: The Treaty of Vereeniging is formally proclaimed.
  • 1970: The Riviera Hotel is taken over by the Behr Family and gains popularity from its spectacular buffets and Sunday dinner and movie evenings.
  • 2003: Mr. Mac van der Merwe buys the Riviera Hotel on auction.
  • 2004: The first 30 rooms of the fully refurbished Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club, which is bought on a 99 year lease, are officially reopened.

From then on the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has gone from strength to strength and in 2012 they proudly represent the Vaal on many levels, including golf, water sport, conferences and many other activities.

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2 responses to “Historical Highlights of the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club

  1. Pingback: Riviera on Vaal Hotel: 86 and standing tall | blogonvaal·

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