Klip Power Station
Vaal Triangle History
The official opening was only on Saturday, 29th August 1936, remarkably, the same day as the Vereeniging to Durban air race was held and Vereeniging’s Aerodrome was opened.
The hotel was a popular leisure destination in the years before and after the Second World War. From the 1960’s, the hotel’s popularity declined. A “highlight” of a rather dubious nature was the disasterous floods of early 1975, when most of the low-lying areas of Vereeniging were completely submerged, including most of the hotel grounds and the entire adjacent golf course. The Behr family owned the hotel from January 1970. It was in a very dilapidated state and a complete facelift followed with the hotel once again regaining its popularity. Mrs Cythia Behr was renowned for her strictness and spectacular buffets and soon people were coming from far and wide, a highlight being Sundays - dinner and movie evening which was always full. in the pre - television days Hotel guests were not plentiful and the hotel was never anywhere near 100% occupancy.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, casino fever hit South Africa, with Sun City starting what was to become a billion dollar industry all over Southern Africa. The Riviera was the perfect candidate for such a development, featuring spectacular views and scenery, plenty of space for development and the ideal location, less than an hour from Johannesburg.In August 1981, the news exploded through the Vaal Triangle that the Riviera Hotel and a few hectares of adjacent land had been sold and that a giant hotel complex costing more than R15 million would be developed on the site. The complex would be called Aqua City and would be a fun park for the whole family!
For the first time, state of the art conference facilities would also be added, as would 75 luxury chalets. Multi-level boathouses and a new luxury hotel built around the existing shell would also be erected. Other features would include tennis and squash courts, a health spa and chalet owners receiving membership at the adjacent Vereeniging Country Club. A unique water café would also cater to passing boats along the lines of a roadhouse, but on water!
View from the roof of the hotel in the early 1950's
The hotel as it was built in 1927 (photo taken 1967)