Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Aliwal North Spa Complex
Aliwal North, Eastern Cape

Leonard M BENTEL: Architect

Date:1960 : 1978
Type:Swimming Baths


Click to view map

30°42'53.21" S 26°42'50.45" E

"Aliwal North has one of the country's most famous mineral springs, around which an attractive resort has been developed. The main spring delivers over 2 million litres of water per day at a temperature of 35 degrees Centigrade, while a second spring delivers over 1 million litres daily. Several large swimming-pools, one of which is enclosed, are fed by these springs and there are also private baths, a Turkish bath and a massage centre." - [Source: Guide Map for the Tourist Republic of South Africa - issued by the Dept. Of Tourism-1980]

Submitted by Dorothy Adendorff

2020: The complex has become completely run down and derelict although due to seepage of rain water the main pool looks almost perfect.


From the Maletswai: My Home Facebook post. Accessed 2022 05 19. Submitted by Annelise Lange.

A brief history of the Aliwal Spa Holiday Resort

Aliwal Spa was developed in the early 1960’s, it was and still is 100% owned by government (currently it is an asset of the Maletswai Local Municipality). Aliwal Spa used to be a major tourist attraction throughout South Africa. During the previous government it used to receive an annual incentives grant or subsidy from the national government and Cape Provincial Administration, despite the fact that it was not profitable. In 1994, these incentives fell-off and access to the facility was opened to all racial groups as this was not the case during the previous government.

The Maletswai Local Municipality noticed in 2000 that the facility has deteriorated and the existing infrastructure needs serious rehabilitation, it resolved to engage the district municipality (former Ukhahlamba now Joe Gqabi) for assistance.

The district municipality was identified by the national government as a rural node under the ISRDP and Maletswai (Aliwal North in particular) as a landing-strip – an area strategically placed and with an economic base and infrastructure that can propel economic growth and development in the district.

The district set aside R5-million for this initiative and this project was called – The Aliwal Spa Revitalisation Project and this project had the following milestones that were achieved:

  • Appointment of a Project Technical Adviser (Ashante Management Consultants)
  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Undertaking a feasibility study and development of a business plan
  • Development of a Design Framework
  • Property valuation
  • Engage provincial and national government and source grant funding
  • Engage with the National Treasury (PPP Unit)
  • Creation of a special purpose vehicle (Mthombo Sediba Development Agency)

Through the above interventions, to date the following have been achieved:

  • Project funding by the national department of tourism - (R5-million in 2006 and R20-million in 2010).
  • Project funding by the provincial government (DEDEAT) – (R2.5-million in 2007/08 and R4.9-million in 2011/12)
  • A further R20-million grant funding application is being considered.

It is the view of the local municipality, informed by the provincial and national government guidelines, that it is not the constitutional mandate of the municipality to operate a holiday resort. Annually, the Aliwal Spa drains +/- R2-million from the coffers of the municipality, money that can be well spent on key basic service deliverables, needed by our people.

In 2010, Maletswai Council resolved to part of the processes of establishing a district special purpose vehicle, after disestablishing Mthombo Sediba in 2009. This resolution paved the way for the creation of the Joe Gqabi Economic Development Agency (JoGEDA) and subsequent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and handing over of the Aliwal Spa Revitalisation Project, for further development, to JoGEDA.

JoGEDA is tasked with the following:

  • Promote, facilitate and manage private sector investment into the project
  • Facilitate value maximisation of the asset (the current value of the Spa is R47-million)
  • Solicit technical experts on transaction structuring relating to the asset

We are currently in the process of commercializing the Aliwal Spa, soliciting private partners to invest in the Aliwal Spa.