Rainbow over Clarens

After all the recent welcome rain – how could we not head this newsletter with a photograph of a rainbow.   It’s so nice to see smiles on the faces of our farming friends, and to see the dams filling.

Yes – the newsletters are back

We had so many requests for our newsletters that we decided to post them out again.Thank you to all our faithful Facebook followers for staying in touch via facebook. We will continue to post news – especially about Clarens weekend music events – on facebook, but since facebook is not really that suitable for our more in-depth articles, these will be published in our newsletters as well as on the relevant pages on our website: www.clarensnews.co.za.

Website News

The Clarens News website is getting better and better, and we’re slowly catching up with all the business listings. And GOOD NEWS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS, we have taken the decision to list all Clarens businesses for free.   So if you haven’t yet sent us all your details, please send them to editor@clarensnews.co.za.  We will get your business listed  as soon as possible.  (You may have to be a little patient, since doing the listings is a rather time consuming business.)   Clarens still does not have an official info centre (but we’re holding thumbs that the CTF may yet pull something out of the bag.)   In the meantime, Clarens News, will continue to strive to provide everything you need to know about Clarens.


Construction begins on delayed Stortemelk hydro plant near Clarens

Clarens News received the following google alert:

South African hydropower NuPlanet has broken ground on a new hydroelectric power generation plant on the Ash River. The plant, which will be built into the wall of the Botterkloof dam, is expected to cost R200m and be operational by the middle of 2016.The original plan, which was approved under phase 2 of the national Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement program (REIPPP) was due to come online this year, but was delayed by the REIPPP and a refinancing initiative, NuPower managing director Anton-Louis Olivier told htxt.africa.The existing dam will be unchanged, Olivier says, and the plant itself built on currently unused farmland.Stortemelk is a very small plant capable of producing just 4.1MW of energy at peak capacity – enough for a few thousand homes – and around 25GWh a year. It is being built with the backing of a local charity which will be returning profits from the plant back into other community project.NuPlanet already operates a similar hydroelectric installation at nearby Bethlehem.[Via – HydroWorld, Image – NuPlanet]

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Pachycarpus macrochilus 2
Head ranger Damien Coulson has added yet another plant to the list of Plants Found in the Claren Village Nature Reserve.   The latest addition is  Pachycarpus macrochilus (Large-lipped Pachycarpus in English & leshokhoa in Sesotho)  a perennial geophytic herb whose stems grow to 140-330mm tall.   Click here to read more about this interesting plant.


Click here To see all the plants that Damien has written about so far.




 November is Cherry Time

IMG_1358The Ficksburg Cherry Festival kicks off on  20th November,  and Ionia Farm has already started doing Cherry Tours.  For further details visit the Events page on our website.

But of course, there’s also a lot of other things happening in November.

This Weekend:  Welcome back Dan Patlansky

Dan Patlansky
This weekend we welcome Dan Patlansky and all the guitarists taking part in his guitar workshop.  Unfortunately, this event has been booked out months ago, but, as with previous Dan Patlansky workshops, Clarenites can get  to hear some of the guitarists on their last night here.   They will be playing at the backpackers on Sunday evening from about 7 pm onwards, and anyone wanting to braai something to celebrate the occassion will be happy to learn that there will be braai fires available for them to use.



This Weekend: Golden Gate Half Marathon (Saturday)

runnersSouth African National Parks (SANParks) together with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Setsing Super Spar will host the Working for Water QwaQwa Golden Gate Half marathon on Saturday 15th November 2014 at Basotho Cultural Village inside the Park. The marathon will end at Setsing Super Spar in QwaQwa.

The marathon, which aims to improve the wellbeing and heath of the surrounding communities, was initiated by Biodiversity Social Projects (BSP)’s Working for Water in the Park as part of SANParks vision of ‘Connecting to Society’. It is a follow up to the successful marathon held last year and this year promises to be even bigger.

Click here for further details


This Weekend:  Daniele Pascal at Bon Appetit (Sunday)

Daniele Pascal A treat for all music lovers – and especially for Francophiles.    Daniel – known as an ambassador of the French Chanson is renowned for her work on Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and the French Café Song genre.

Daniele will be performing at Bon Appetit on Sunday even1ng (6.30pm)  For bookings call 079 873 1318

Tickets are R230 per person, which includes a 2 course meal.

LADIES NIGHT at Artist’s Cafe  with Salon Norma Jean   (20th November)

Ladies Night 3


Salon Norma Jean have teamed up with Artist’s Cafe and are hosting a Ladies Night on the 20th November, to launch their exciting new range of Hannon products.

Booking is essential.

Click here for For further details


RICHARD RENNIE turns 82 on the 28th November

Richard Rennie 82

Richard continues to be an inspiration to all.    He will be celebrating his 82nd birthday on the 28th November, and everyone is invited to join him at the Richard Rennie Gallery from about  noon onwards. It promises to be a fun afternoon – extending into the evening.

Christmas Party – Phaphama Youth


Letter from Ntsebe Mofokeng:  Paphama Youth Development

It feels unbelievable that it is Christmas will be approaching us soon! As we get into the spirit of giving and sharing with our loved ones, we must reflect on how privileged we are to be surrounded by our precious family and friends, that we need to remind ourselves that there are little children who are affected by HIV do not have a Mom & a Dad to love & feel loved and this time of the year is a sad and desolate time for them. We cannot fill this void but we can ease their sadness by showering them with gifts and a fun filled day.
You can replace the brick that the little boy is pushing as a toy car and the little girl whose eyes are shining bright and made the doll out of ragged cloths.

We are asking, most sincerely, for you to consider making a contribution to this special day. We would like to ask for any gifts for children aged between 06 – 14 years in supporting our Christmas Party for 100 Orphaned and Vulnerable Children. We would also like to have the jumping castle sponsored. (Clarens News will be sponsoring the jumping castle.)We humbly request the company to purchase toys and refreshment for children. To most of these children it will be the first time receiving a gift and feel like they are cared for and belong somewhere.
The Christmas Party is planned as follows:
Date: 20 December 2012
Time: 12:00 – 16:00
Venue: Kgubetswana Community Hall in Clarens

Vision: Developing individuals, restoring relationships, motivated and revitalizing communities.

All the donations are needed and appreciated, regardless of the amount. Please think about this and how important the work of Phaphama Youth Development is, and consider about the positive impact it will make in the community we live in. Please, send the donation to Phaphama Youth Development at the below bank account. Your help will help us to expand and outreach every individual affected with the issue.

For more information or clarity you are welcome to contact Ntsebe Mofokeng @ 078 245 1709 during office hours.

Click here For more information on Paphama Youth Development.


Clarens Open – Time to book NOW

Clarens Open

Click here for further details










 Comedy Evening at Shumba Valley (6th December)

Comedy Evening


I’m told that Brian Taylor is really funny and will appeal to all those of us who belong to the slightly older generation that still have a sense of humour.

Click here for further details





Cluny Animal Trust – Fundraising

Cluny bookshelf

This is our latest fundraising effort, a tiny library/bookstore. We would like to put them at guest houses, guests can then read, buy or exchange the books by putting a donation in the tin. We will exchange the selection once a month. Please leave us a message in the comments if you are interested in getting involved! Share, Share, Share with everyone that might be interested!    Click here for more information on The Cluny Animal Trust.

And don’t forget to buy  your copy of the new Cluny Animal Trust Calendar, on sale at various outlets in Clarens.


 Classifieds – and all sorts of other information.

Remember to check out the Classifieds Page on the website.   AND  if you’re looking for a plumber, electrician, or any other services in Clarens please to to the Eat, Sleep and do more page