Clarens in Autumn

Table of Contents: Welcome to Clarens; Focus on Recycling:  Cleaning Up Clarens; Recycling: the why, what, how and where?; The Twitcher; Clarens Primary to be revamped; Clarens Village Conservancy; Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Female Entrepreneur Awards; Letter from the Clarens Ratepayers Association; A Dihlabeng Chicken Run; Dihlabeng Budget; Cluny Animal Trust Appeal; The MTN Mountain Bike Race: How you can make it work for you; Coming Events: 2 May, 2014:  Supper Theatre On the Square; Coming Events: 2 May, 2014: Artists Open Day at Sunnyside Guest Farm; Coming Events: 3-4 May: National MTB in Clarens; Coming Events: 31 May 2014:  Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day; More Coming Events; It’s super rugby time again; Conservation Sense

 Welcome to Clarens

Just a glance at the picture above and you know that this is Clarens.  And we at Clarens News are over-the-moon excited to launch our new website. As promised, our new website is now live. It’s a rather unusual website in that it has a dual purpose. The primary objective is to attract visitors to Clarens by telling them what a special town we have.   It is, however, also a website for the people who live in Clarens, and we hope that all the business owners and Clarens Organisations  will come to look at it as their website. In other words its a website for and about Clarens, and it’s there for both visitors and the people of Clarens to use, alongside these newsletters and the Clarens News facebook page. The website is an on-going project: we’re working on it all the time but there is still a lot of work to do – especially as far as listings are concerned, so please forgive us if we haven’t got your business listed yet. With your help – we’ll get there soon.  In the meantime, please enjoy all the information already on the website.  And should you wish to comment – please email us:

Focus on Recycling:  Cleaning Up Clarens

Clarens Recycling Centre Team

Clarens News managed to catch up with Evon Els and her helpers Mojalefa and Palo outside the Recycling Centre just after the beerfest.   Evon manages the Recycling centre, and together with Mojalefa and Palo,  goes to great lengths to collect recyclable materials from in and around Clarens.  It’s a big job – often smelly and dirty – and therefore, not for the feint hearted.

I asked Evon how she came to be so passionate about recycling, and she told me that it all started when she had an engineering business in Graaff Reinet.  She started to put aside all the scrap metal generated by her business, and next thing the community started bringing her tin cans and bottles, which she bought from them in an effort to alleviate the dire poverty in the area.  The effect verged on miraculous.  Not only was there money going into the community, but the whole town was cleaned up.  The effects of recycling are huge, and Evon is hoping that she can have the same effect on the Clarens community that she had in Graaff Reinet.

Materials are collected from the trailer parked outside the Bibliophile, restaurants, businesses, the transfer site,  schools, the Kgubetswana taverns and homes, and if you phone her, she’ll even come to your home to collect.  Read more

Recycling: the why, what, how and where?

Many of us have heard of recycling, but how many of us know the importance of recycling? I suppose that if asked, the majority of us would come up with a response like “because it’s good for the environment”, but there’s more to it than that… much much more. for the environment”, but there’s more to it than that… much much more. So why should we recycle? To start off with well … you guessed it – it’s good for the environment. The Earth only has finite resources and at some point these must run out – unless we start reusing that which we already have. But when we look deeper we will find that that it also aids socio-economic development. Recycling raises awareness which in turn prompts an alteration in behaviour which leads to action which results in positive change – streets are cleaner (reduce), attitudes are changed so that people now take pride in their surroundings and all the recycled materials can be used to make other new objects (reuse) and employment opportunities are created. Because pollution is reduced, quality of life improves – people are happier and more productive. This is particularly true of impoverished communities. This leads us on to what can be recycled? The following are just a few examples of what can be taken to recycling centres:    Read more

The Twitcher

One long weekend down, two to go.  Judging from the reaction of the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and guest houses, you could be forgiven for thinking we had won the lottery.  But if you happen to be a gallery or retail store owner, maybe not so much.  The point is that spending is selective in these stringent economic times:  Fill the tank with gas, fill the tummy with steak and craft beer and lay your tousled head upon a rented bed – and all is well with the world, apart from an upcoming election of course.  But whether or not you were on the receiving end of tourist largesse, it has to be said that Clarens at Easter was simply gorgeous: The trees are somewhere between butter and brown and the sunsets are an extreme exercise in sky theatre.  And if the Easter Bunny forgot about you, go buy your own little slice of chocolate heaven at your nearest village grocer; they need some business too!  Read more

Clarens Primary School to be revamped

Clarens Primary School

Clarens Primary, a school that was established almost a century ago will be celebrating their hundredth birthday  by receiving  a much needed revamp. The school is a non fee student school and depends largely on funding. Together with the dedicated teaching staff and helpers the school strives to bring out the best in learners by making use of what they have available.
Annetjie Coetzee - Clarens Primary School  Proud school principal Annetjie Coetzee has done her best to steer and direct the primary school through hard times. Last year (2013), after hearing about the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative(ASIDI), Annetjie  wrote to  this organisation on behalf of the school and the ASIDI, after inspecting the school, have now approved funding  (R15 million) for reconstruction. Read more

Clarens Village Conservancy

Clarens Village Conservancy - Spruit management The Clarens Village Conservancy rangers continue  their hard work.  Alien clearing from the Nature Reserve alone is a massive project necessitating much planning and physical effort, but given the systematic and scientific approach, there is hope that they will eventually overcome this massive problem,   Alien vegetation control is however one aspect of the work they do. Click here To read the Rangers April report , covering not only Alien Vegetation, but also Erosion Control, Environmental Education, and Trail Maintenance.  (You can also see previous reports on our Clarens Village Conservancy website page.) You  too can play your part, by becoming a member of the Conservancy, or by donating to the Conservancy in cash or kind.  (The Nature Reserve could for instance benefit from recyclable benches.) Click here for more information about The Clarens Village Conservancy.

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:

Delosperma sutherlandii D sutherlandii

Damien Coulson



Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we’re focusing on a striking member of the Mesembryanthemaceae (Vygie/Ice Plant) family. Delosperma sutherlandii (Sutherland Hardy Ice-plant in English), is a succulent herb growing to 120 mm high. The Latin Delos translates to “conspicuous”, whilst spermatranslates to “seed”, referring to the large capsule-shaped seeds produced by the plant. In grasslands between KZN and Mpum it grows at altitudes of up to 2100 m A.S.L. The seeds of D. sutherlandii require only a sufficient quantity of rainfall to open. One can “trick” the dry capsule into opening by sucking on it for a short while or dripping several water droplets on the capsule. The capsule opens before your eyes but will soon close as it quickly dries. Interesting to know that the vibrant looking flowers are among the largest of any Ice-plant. The photo below was taken on a section of the Kloof Mountain Trail during the spring of last year.   Read more

Female Entrepreneur Awards

Hi All.

The National Department of Agriculture,Forestry & Fisheries is running the competition for women in different sectors of agriculture.As the Provincial Department of Agriculture & Rural Development we have been tasked to invite all interested female Entrepreneurs to take part in this competition.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District is inviting all Female Entrepreneurs to take part and represent our wonderful district in the Province.If they win in the Province then they will represent Free State Province in the National Competition.

Here are the Categories of the competition:


Closing date for entering the competition is 14 May 2014.All interested farmers can contact Mr Tsepiso Mosia and get forms at his office in Dihlabeng Municipal office in Clarens. Good news is that Clarens is running for the hosting of the district event on 29 May 2014.Let us go for this challenge Clarens Farmers,remember Clarens is the unique town of WINNERS!!! Hope to hear from you soon.

Tsepiso Mosia Department of Agriculture & Rural Development FS Phone: 0710791332 E-mail:

Letter from the Clarens Ratepayers Association

Hi there I would like to advise you that Chris Salt, Treasurer and Vice Chair of the CRA has resigned. Chris has been with CRA for 6 years and before that he was Treasurer of the preceding association, RAG.  Thus he has been volunteering his services to the Clarens Community for many years and we would like to thank him for his dedication, expertise and support. We will be advising you soon of the date for the CRA AGM for which Chris will prepare the financials; the meeting will most probably be held in early June.  At the AGM we will be electing a new committee; please give some thought to volunteering as a committee member – we have three to four meetings per year. I am sure you will all join me in thanking Chris for his work for Clarens. Kind regards Pat Chairperson, CRA  (Phone: 058 256-1123  email:

Click here for more information about the Clarens Ratepayers Association

A Dihlabeng Chicken Run

Dihlabeng Chicken Run

Ben Horn

The Dihlabeng  church here in Clarens is about to take part in what they describe as a chicken run,  set to start in June this year is an agricultural  based community challenge.  This project will aim to serve three purposes: feeding those in need, educating young people, and empowering local men and women with the skills and resources to create a sustainable income. Project leader, Ben Horn, is currently doing a gap year in Clarens. (Next year he’ll be moving to Preston to start a church and study robotics at university.) Three years ago, after spending a month serving Dihlabeng Church in Clarens, and its local community, he decided he would return to do the same thing for his gap year. Ben is still at the coop building stage of his project, but is hoping soon to be in a position to house 20 laying hens producing between 15 and 20 eggs a day, which will go towards feeding those in need. The second way this project will serve the local community is by educating young people. This will be done in two ways: educating children through Dihlabeng Christian School, and getting young adults involved in the running of the project. Dihlabeng School shares grounds Dihlabeng Church, meaning that as the coops will be built at the church, they will also be on the school grounds.  Ben writes:  Through the project, we not only hope to educate children on how to properly look after hens, but also to provide a teaching aid that will help school staff teach the children about a range of agricultural and biological topics. Right from the day the project begins we hope to get young adults involved in every area of running the project, teaching them how to look after hens and a range of project management skills. Thirdly, we plan to do this by taking our model for looking after hens to families in the surrounding villages.

Dihlabeng Budget

Those of you who’ve read the twitcher in full, will have seen the comments on the Dihlanbeng Municipality Budget, which was presented to Clarens residents at the Martie Lotz Hall on Wednesday.  Your editor had planned to upload the budget onto the website – but has so-far failed to manage this. (A software glitch which we can’t seem to overcome at the moment.)   Should you wish to have a look at it, please email:, and we will email you a copy.

Cluny Animal Trust Appeal

Cluny Animal Trust Appeal

The MTN Mountain Bike Race: How you can make it work for you

Organisers of MTN Mountain Bike Race have approached the Chamber of Commerce offering exclusivity of the water points needed on the two race days to businesses in Clarens.  This means that Clarens businesses have the opportunity to nab the huge exposure available at these water points, back from Bethlehem businesses.   This year more than 2000 cyclists are participating who will all see your brand.  What is needed is a gazebo (preferably branded), your branding such as banners, t-shirts, etc., 3-4 people and spirit.  You need to set up by 6.30 each day , it will be out on a farm road and the length of time will depend on the race route but will be no longer than 3 hours.  You will be provided with water, drinks, apples, bananas, banana bread and jelly babies to be handed to the athletes.  You will need to brush up your motivational phrases, bring your own good cheer and strong voices, and anything else to make your brand stand out and have fun.

The race organisers need 4 water points.  Please respond to if you want to grab one. Who knows – yours might feature on SuperSport?

The organisers also asked the Chamber to appeal to guest house & B&B owners to:

1 – offer an accommodation discount to the cyclists. (They realise this year falls on a long weekend but next year’s race has been moved to the weekend after the May long weekend)

2 – offer a discount if the cyclists skip breakfast on account of being out in the route

3 – be accommodating in a late check out if you have no guests booking in on the Sunday to allow the cyclists to have a shower after the race.

Coming Events: 2 May, 2014: Supper Theatre On the Square:

Theatre in Clarens - Cat Simoni Phone Carol at Gosto’s for further details: 082 416 3687Click here to find out more about Cat Simoni

Coming Events: 2 May, 2014: Artists Open Day at Sunnyside Guest Farm

Artists Open Day at Sunnyside

Coming Events: 3-4 May National MTB in Clarens

MTN in ClarensClick here For further information

Coming Events: 31 May 2014 Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the development of an animal hospital in Fouriesburg and the surrounding areas.


Animals are mans best friend, they are always there when we’re lonely, they never give up on us and share our joy and sadness

Contact Details: Jan Sander (c) 0782462553, (f) 058 223 0727 email:

More Coming Events

Have a look at the website for the list of other coming events.

It’s super rugby time again

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs (and if you want to watch it on a big screen go to Artichoke).  The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game!

Conservation Sense:

A snippet of “conservation sense” as quoted from an old varsity buddy: “Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad”.

Thought it might make somebody’s evening. Any weight-watchers out there? Cheers, Damien