Property Flash


March 20 2024

As more people grow up in or move to South Africa for work, they are becoming ever more spoilt for choice in terms of being able to buy houses and apartments where they desire to live, meaning developers must up their game like never before.

Housing is a competitive space but among this buzz, one developer continues to differentiate itself. Since its birth in 1996: Balwin Properties has ensured each estate and mega development it brings to market is well-managed and comes with appealing features which speaks to its value. This group has built a trusted brand over the past nearly thirty years as it has established itself as the largest developer of sectional title apartments in the country.

Jamming a game

To remain relevant, Balwin innovates. The group listens to its customers and the offering for residents in its estates is continuously improving. This is why Balwin is embracing the fastest growing sport in South Africa: padel tennis, with six international standard courts already in operation.

“Balwin Padel is the latest exciting offering from us and is a part of Balwin Sport, which we launched in October 2023. It’s a new business that is an integral part of Balwin as it marks our commitment to one thing which so many South Africans adore: Sport. I enjoy being active and I’ve spent hours thinking about how all the different people staying in our apartments can also be active while being home. Our lifestyle centres include gyms and other exercise facilities, but we wanted to go beyond what our competition offers.

Returning a serve

“We said last year that Balwin Sport would, under its MD Ryan Kalk, invest in road running and title sponsor marathons across our country. Now, Balwin Padel is rolling out and managing top quality padel courts at various Balwin estates,” says Balwin group CEO Steve Brookes.

Balwin Sport is also hosting seven-a-side rugby tournaments, as well as cycling races, squash tournaments and five-a-side football events.

Balwin Padel will operate as a division of Balwin Sport which will help to give not only estate residents access to the growing sport but also underprivileged people who have not ever been able to set foot on a tennis court before let alone a padel court.

“Balwin is a South African business citizen, and we want to be a sporting champion for our country. With world-class facilities, events, and title sponsorships, we can make a real impact in promoting healthier lifestyles for all South Africans,” he says.

Top Skills


Padel is a mix between tennis and squash and is usually played in doubles on an enclosed court surrounded by walls of glass and metallic mash. The court is one third of the size of a tennis court. A player uses a smaller racket, fastened to their hand. Padel uses tennis scoring but in professional padel, there is a golden point to break deuce and the advantage concept is not used.

Basic rules include that in padel, for the ball to be considered good it must touch the ground before hitting the walls or fences. The only exception is with the serve. When serving, the ball can only hit the wall after bouncing once and never the mesh fence. It is considered a legal serve if it is played crossed and lands in the corresponding cross-quadrant. You must bounce the ball and serve below your waist, not over your head.

During a point, the ball may hit the walls and fences. The ball can bounce off any wall but may hit the court a maximum of once before being returned. Points can be scored when the ball bounces twice in the opponent’s field.

Currently, Balwin’s six courts are one at The Reid, one at The Huntsman, one at Fynbos, one at Ballito Hills and two at Thaba, with 4 courts under construction at Thaba. Balwin intends to have around 10 premium padel facilities including 40 courts. Balwin imports the materials and pieces of the court from Spain and elsewhere in Europe/Asia before assembling each court. The courts are placed in facilities designed by Balwin’s architecture partners. Each facility costs about R20m and will be rolled out over the next 18 to 24 months. Balwin will also work with architects to help design the padel facilities.

A large portion of Balwin estates will have padel courts or a padel facility but not all the estates will. The internal courts will be for residents and their guests, while the padel centres external to the estates will have access for the public and the estates’ residents on a membership basis. The games will be on a pay-to-play basis, with members and non-members rates. Depending on the area and time of day, the charge will be between R200 and R600 per hour. All the courts will be of an international standard, built to international specifications.


Padel is said to have been invented in Acapulco, Mexico, by Enrique Corcuera in 1969. Five years later, it was introduced to Spain by Prince Alfonso of Hohenhole who built two courts at a hotel in Marbella. Then an Argentine businessman Julio Mediteguy, a regular visitor to the hotel took the sport to his country. In 1991, the Spanish, Argentinean and Uruguayan padel associations met in La Moraleja, Madrid and formed The Federación Internacional de Pádel. After this it slowly spread around the world before experiencing a recent boom. Spain and Argentina are the nations with the highest number of padel players with 3.7-million and 2.1-million players, respectively. Today, some 25-million people play padel across 90 countries. The Padel World Championship has been held every two years since 1992 with the most recent event taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. There are efforts to bring padel to the Olympics in future.

Pros at play


Balwin Padel is serious about establishing a world-class level of padel in South Africa. It has employed Sebastian Brokmann as MD of Balwin Padel who has an assortment of strategies for the group and recently managed to recruit former world champion padel player Guillermo (Willy) Lahoz of Spain, to coach padel in South Africa. Lahoz has started hosting training schools and exhibition events in late 2023 and will continue through 2024.

Sebastian Brokmann

Balwin Padel’s main goal is to develop the sport in South Africa by promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to its clients and staff while promoting the Balwin brand in the sporting arena. Balwin Padel is managing the Balwin centres.

Balwin Padel has held two large tournaments so far: There was a R375 000 prize money tournament in November 2023 and a R60 000 prize money tournament in March 2024. Balwin Padel aims to host a tournament “every other month”. The group has ambitions to host a R1m padel tournament with the support of sponsors.

“I’m excited because I like to train people from when they are kids so that they can get to understand the game early. It puts a smile on my face when I see children do well at padel. Famous athletes like Nadal, Zidane and Messi all play padel. I’m sure South Africa has young people who can become champions,” says Lahoz.

“Hopefully some of our young Balwin Padel champions will become Balwin apartment buyers too,” says Brookes.

The next Balwin Padel facilities are likely to open at Balwin’s Munyaka Estate in Waterfall City, Gauteng, at Izinga Eco-Estate in uMhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Mooikloof in Pretoria, Gauteng. Also, keep your eyes out for the new e-commerce store: which is launching soon.

Willy Lahoz led the Spanish national team to victory at the world championships in 1998 and 2010. He was awarded a silver medal for sporting merit by the Royal Spanish Padel Federation.

This is a paid editorial for Balwin Properties

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