NEW LIFE IN Nieuwe Street
Home South Africa|October/November 2021
A neglected house in the Karoo is now a Paarl family's home away from home - complete with a cosy stoep for get-togethers.
Marlene Malan

Over the past 22 years since they got married, Lizl and Jako Kruger's lives have taken interesting twists and turns: from Pretoria in the north to Paarl in the south, and now Prince Albert in the Central Karoo where the couple, their three sons, five dogs and canary love spending as much time as possible in their new holiday home.

After completing their university studies, the Krugers lived on a farm outside Swellendam for 10 years before moving to the "pearl of the Boland" in 2010, says Lizl. Both towns were confirmation for the family that the platteland was the place that energised them and gave them a sense of joy. And while Paarl is the town in which their kids are growing up, Prince Albert is the Krugers' go-to spot for relaxing and unwinding. The best thing about this beautiful, well-kept and popular town in the Swartberg mountains is that the boys can enjoy it with their parents, and help to plan the improvements with them.

Jako, who runs his own medical business, and Lizl, a stay-at-home mom, say they started thinking about a second property - a place to get away from it all - as they like to plan ahead. "We wanted a weekend and holiday home, but it had to be in a town where we could one day retire. We considered almost every town within an acceptable distance of Paarl, but it was Prince Albert that stole our hearts. Jako has fond memories of school holidays he spent on family farms in the Karoo and wanted to share that experience with the boys."

Loads of character

When Lizl and Jako saw this house in Nieuwe Street, however, it wasn't quite what they had in mind. In fact, it was the opposite of what they were looking for.

But number 20 Nieuwe Street took the entire family by surprise, with its beautiful trees and cosy stoep sealing the deal.

Jako says he had been monitoring the housing market for quite a while, and had even considered Merweville - about 80km from Prince Albert. "Then in June 2018, we came across this house. The estate agents were sceptical, doubting that it would be sold anytime soon. At that point we already had another house in mind - one that needed a lot less work, with more luxuries. Yet it just didn't have the character of this old house."

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