Clarens to Fouriesburg Pierneef landscape

Table of Contents:

  • Summer Time, and the living is easy….;
  • Self – drive:  Clarens to Fouriesburg;
  • CVC Report-Back December 2013;
  • Clarens Skies –  The Emu;
  • Plant of the week:  Scabiosa columbaria;
  • Letters to the editor;
  • The Twitcher;
  • Other Community News;
  • This weekend – Weather;
  • This weekend – Music;
  • Coming Events;
  • Classifieds;
  • Not on the mailing list?



Summer Time, and the living is easy….

We couldn’t say it any better.  Beautiful days, long evenings, and a chance to recover from the holiday season.  Everywhere you look there’s a photo opportunity, and we had a tough time deciding which photos to feature in this week’s news.  The evening light under a stormy sky throws up the most amazing colours  –  reminiscent of a Pierneef palette.  No wonder so many artists come to live in Clarens.



The Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce:

Readers of The Clarens News and Eish! will be aware of efforts to initiate a Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce over recent months.  You will also be aware that a Constitution has been drafted and that many meetings have been held with business interests in Clarens and Kgubetswana to ensure the creation of an inclusive and representative body.  The Clarens News would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone involved in the process to date and notes that the current facilitators, Peter Badcock-Walters and Chris Pefanis, have decided to call a meeting of Greater Clarens businesses on Monday 27 January 2014, to adopt the draft Constitution and elect three members of the first board of the Chamber.

We note however that there are several issues of importance that must be recognised ahead of this meeting.  First, whilst businesses in Upper Clarens have already met in various forums to discuss this matter, those in Kgubetswana have yet to resolve the standing of their business association and its representation.  Equally, recent events in Clarens (such as the issuing of trading licences on the Square by the Dihlabeng Municipality) demand active management by a representative body competent to speak for the town’s business community.  For this reason, the facilitators have deemed it necessary to elect three of five board members immediately, in order to assume negotiations with the Municipality and other parties, but will reserve two seats for the Kgubetswana business community.  Representatives of the Kgubetswana business community will be invited to attend this meeting and agree to the election of two such representatives in due course.

Second, the draft Constitution of the Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce will be circulated with immediate effect to every business owner in Clarens, Kgubetswana and the wider geographic area surrounding Clarens.  This will include farmers, guest houses, restaurants and tourist operators in the area, to ensure the inclusion of everyone with an interest in the growth and development of this unique part of the Eastern Free State.  Circulation of this draft Constitution will be by means of a link to this copy of The Clarens News as well as Eish!, Clarens News Facebook page and/or printed copies delivered to those without electronic connections.  Businesses are asked to read this document and prepare to comment on it and/or support its adoption on 27 January.  If you regard yourself as a business owner and have not received a copy of this Constitution by Wednesday 23 January, please urgently contact either Peter Badcock-Walters ( or Chris Pefanis (  Alternatively, if you are aware of a business that has not been included in this mailing, please feel free to print out this information, the draft Constitution and the nomination form referred to below, and pass these along.

Third, a nomination form will be circulated to all the businesses described above and situated in this area by 23 January.  This form will allow you to nominate up to three members of the first board of the Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce, including an interim chairperson, to represent Upper Clarens.  Your nominees must be business persons resident in the Greater Clarens area and must be willing to serve as board members of the Chamber.  We note that neither Peter Badcock-Walters nor Chris Pefanis will be standing for office, as their role is simply to facilitate the creation of this Chamber.  Voting for these three seats will take place at the meeting of 27 January following discussion of these points.

Finally, the meeting will take place at the DRC Hall on the corner of Main Street and Van Reenen Street at 10h00 on Monday 27 January, 2014.  As a business owner, you are respectfully urged to attend and participate in the election of the first board of the Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce.  Your business future in Clarens may depend on your participation and involvement.

The Editor

Self – drive routes from Clarens :  Clarens to Fouriesburg

Self drive route Clarens to Fouriesburg rainbow over Maluti Mountains

Many would agree that the drive between Clarens and Fouriesburg is one of the prettiest in the entire Free State.  A straight drive on the excellent tarmac road takes under half an hour, but it is wise to set aside more time for this beautiful route in order to fully enjoy the impressive sweep of vistas the area affords.  The route runs through the heart of the Brandwater Basin, with the Rooiberg Range to the north, the Maluti Mountains to the south and the Witteberg Range in the far west.  It is a feast of distant mauve peaks, lush green valleys, golden sandstone precipices and, for much of the year, big blue skies.

Leave Clarens on the R711 south, which is clearly signposted as the road to Fouriesburg.  Soon after you leave the town, you will pass a pretty valley on the left, with a small tree-lined river meandering through it.  This is the Little Caledon River, which has its source far to the east in the watershed of the Golden Gate Highlands.  The sandstone cliffs that frame the valleys in the early part of this drive flaunt typical examples of rock overhangs sculptured by many thousands of years’ weathering.   For map and further details click here  


Clarens Village Conservancy Report-Back December 2013

To read all the latest news on what’s the Clarens Village Conservancy have been up to Click here
We at Clarens News are particularly excited to learn that there will soon be markers for a new trail (currently unnamed).  Your faithful editor will walk it as soon as possible – and report back. This is after all,  a great time of the year for hiking with so many wild flowers in full bloom after the recent good rains.


Clarens Skies –  The Emu

Genevieve Blignaut
Forming the head of one of our most popular constellations in the Southern Hemisphere, “The Emu”, lies the Coalsack. This nebula appears as a dust cloud near the Southern Cross, blocking out the sky almost completely.Nebula’s are formed by the dust and gasses from long-dead stars, but also signals rebirth as new stars are born from these same gasses. The dust particles gravitate with immense power towards each other, in order to create the required pressure for the birth of a star to commence. Nebula’s are extraordinary life-creating life forces and each react in a different manner to the light bodies that surround them. Some nebula’s, like the Coalsack, appear as dark patches against the sky, (absorbtion/dark nebula), others absorb heat from nearby stars and glow as effect (emission nebula) still others only reflect the light of the bodies that surround them (reflection nebula).   Read more

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week:  Scabiosa columbaria


Damien Coulson

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a not-so-familiar wild flower that is currently in full bloom…and has something to do with all the Meadow White butterflies Pontia helice helice we’ve been seeing lately.

Scabiosa columbaria (the Wild Scabious in English; Bitterbos in Afrikaans and tlhako-ea-pitsi in Sesotho), is a perennial that obtains an average height of 750 mm. It is usually found growing in grasslands and on basalt rock at altitudes of up to 3200 m A.S.L. This interesting wild flower is widespread all the way from the Western Cape through to Europe and Asia where it is believed to have originated from.

The leaves are arranged in a rosette formation arising from the base and are 40 – 180 long X 40 mm wide. The margins may be entire or deeply lobed. The flower heads are white – off-white/cream, 10 – 25 mm in diameter on a solid yet branched stem of 120 – 300 mm long. The flowers are actually white-pink, when viewed more closely and hermaphroditic. The calyx is easily recognisable with 5 purple-red lobes. S. columbaria flowers from end Oct – early Feb. After flowering, the seeds develop in interesting rounded bristle-heads, which gradually fall apart as the seeds ripen and are ready to be redistributed by the wind.

While photographing the small white flowers of S. columbaria, the author observed several small invertebrates, from beetles to wasps to bees to butterflies perching on the inflorescence. In fact several thousand of the Meadow White butterfly were observed in one location obtaining nectar exclusively from this flower despite many other flower spp.being present in relative abundance in the CNR.   Read more


Letters to the editor

On the 6 of January 2014 we were having lunch at the German restaurant on main street where my daughter choked on an olive.
I would like to send a big thank you to everyone that was involved, The Paballos Nursing, the man sitting behind us and the man on the street that helped with the Heimlich, the lady in the grocery shop, the waiter in the restaurant, the restaurant owner and all the people involved.
When we return to Clarens we will pass by to say hi to everyone and let you all meet our daughter Valentina.
I can promise to you all that we will teach our daughter to be kind and helpful as you all were to us that day.
Thank you again
Fausto and Anna Vietri
083 284 2563

The Twitcher


Imagine the Clarens Sector Police Forum.  Imagine them engaged in earnest discussion of matters politic, community policing and social responsibility.  Stern, upright men of letters; steely-eyed, gazing into the future with determination and honest vigour.  Imagine them ordering a round of Coke to parch their strained throats, hoarse from the stresses of their unselfish task.  Wednesday evening in the quiet village of Clarens.

Imagine this halcyon scene outside a place of social interaction.  Well, actually, the Grouse and Claret.  Imagine that – coincidentally – an irresponsible driver, somewhat detached from reality, was to circle the Clarens Square on two wheels, at rather high speed, before executing an intriguing manoeuvre in which he rotates his borrowed VW Golf on the proverbial ‘tickey’ and spins around the corner into Van Zyl Street.  All the while, and this is a completely non-judgemental statement, with his car radio straining the range of human hearing.

Imagine, if you can calculate the odds against this, that this young man loses control of his borrowed and uninsured vehicle, and accelerates across the lane and into a parked car approximately one-metre from the assembled ranks of the Clarens Sector Police Forum, now arrested (if you will pardon the expression) in mid-swig.  Imagine, if you can, the moment of complete silence that follows as several brains attempt to re-assemble the chain of events that has, quite fortuitously, unfolded before them.

Read more


Other Community News

Clarens Family Pharmacy:  Trading Hours from 19th January to NOTICE CHANGES in TRADING  3 February 2014



MONDAY 27/01/2014 : WILL CLOSE AT 15:00

WEDNESDAY 29/01/2014 : WILL CLOSE AT 15:00



This weekend – Weather


This weekend – Music

Friday 19th January 2014
Friends:  20h30:   Slipstream


Other Events

Farmers Market: Be sure to visit the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. This is the place to buy fresh local produce, home baked goodies, and lots lots more.


Coming Events

Have a look at the Clarens News website Coming Events page.

Of course we’re all gearing up for the Clarens Beerfest.  We’re informed that the tickets are selling like hot cakes (or is that cold beers.)  Be sure not to miss out by buying your tickets on-line from the Clarens Craft beerfest webpage.   
Accommodation in Clarens over that weekend has pretty much been booked, but there is still accommodation available nearby and a list is available on the Clarens Craft beerfest webpage. Should you have problems opening the page  –  click here 


Do you have a house you want to rent out?  Need a job? Want to try a totally different gastronomic experience.  Remember to check out the classifeds section.
Advertising on the classifieds section of Clarens News is free.  All you need to do is to email  your advert to:


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