In this Issue

Important information for those planning to visit Lesotho;
SAPS Update on recent events in Clarens;
SANParks’ Kudu Green Schools at Golden Gate;
Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve;
Clarens Ratepayers Association;
Maluti Radio – Listen Live;
Winter fires = Winter Ash;
Proposed development of a Dinosaur Interpretation Centre;
Children in Need – You can Help;
Contact us.


Important information for those planning to visit Lesotho

As you can see from the photograph above, (sent in by Damien Coulson) Afriski has had quite a lot of snow, and the slopes are looking good.  BUT, if you’re planning to take the kids (anyone under the age of 18)  please be aware that their unabridged birth certificates are now a requirement  – even if they are travelling on their own passports!   News from Afriski and Maluti Tours is that this new law (brought in on the 1st June) has already led to massive cancellations – mainly on account of the fact that it takes so long to get the right paperwork.   Afriski is really worth a visit, but if you want to take the youngsters start getting the paperwork organized as soon as possible.
Click here for further information on visiting Lesotho as well as tours from Clarens to Lesotho
Click here for further information on driving to Afriski



The South African Post Office (Sapo) has been under intense scrutiny and pressure the last few months due to the 2014 postal strikes, delayed payment of suppliers, and rumours of bankruptcy.
In May the Sapo Administration presented before parliament the SA Post Office Corporate Strategic Plan 2015/2016 – 2017/2018 (Turnaround plan) which proposes a R7.4bn ‘financial improvement’ by 2017/2018 – allowing only three years for financial recovery and profit increase after incurring an approximate loss of  R1.6bn during the 2014 postal strike.  The Sapo Administrator stated in a press release (6 May 2015) that Sapo plan to reach their target by – amongst other strategies – reducing jobs and closing various post offices in South Africa.
The Clarens Post Office (CPO) is rumoured to be one of the many post offices that will close down in the attempt to rescue Sapo from collapse. The CPO’s rent, according to Bruce Marx, has fallen two months in arrears; it is uncertain whether they plan on settling their account – Bruce has not yet received confirmation on whether CPO will continue their lease or terminate.
At this point in time the fate of the CPO remains only hear-say; neither the Postmasters from Clarens, Bethlehem or Central- can confirm that Clarens will lose its post office. The contact persons from the Sapo media offices remain unreachable.
Read more:

Article and research:  Danielle Visser


SAPS Update on recent events in Clarens

After chatting to Lt Botha on the phone, I couldn’t help but feel reassured that Clarens is in safe hands and Clarens will continue to enjoy it’s reputation as a relatively crime-free zone.
We do, of course, have incidents but our SAPS, together with our local residents ensure that criminals and trouble-makers are soon apprehended and brought under control.   A good example of this is how they dealt with 3 armed robbers who decided to rob one of the shops in Kgubetswana on 15th June   With the help of Kgubetswana residents who refused to be intimidated, informed the SAPS and then worked closely with the SAPS, two of the robbers were arrested and taken into custody.  (Well done and a big thank you to all the Kgubetswana residents who play such a vital role in keeping Clarens safe.) The third one unfortunately managed to escape and it is believed he is now in Lesotho.  Lt Botha informed me that that the SAPS special unit in Bethlehem is carrying out further investigations as it is believed that there may be a link between these criminals and the recent car thefts in Clarens.   And – on the subject of the car thefts – Lt Botha has appealed to all residents to stay vigilant and to warn all Toyota visiting Clarens that they need to do everything possible to keep their vehicles safe.   The same applies to visitors to The Golden Gate as it seems that the car thieves have now turned their attention away from Clarens (for the time-being anyway) to The Golden Gate where 5 Toyatas were stolen last month.

Lt Botha has also given Clarens News permission to publish her cell phone number:   082 4197094.    All residents are invited to make a note of her number, and to report any incidents or concerns directly to her.

Remember that everyone is invited to meet Lt Botha Tuesday 9 July, at 16h00, at the NG Church Hall.  Now that she has settled in, Lt Botha is keen to meet the residents of Clarens and get to know those she serves.  You are encouraged to attend and bring along your friends and neighbours.   If you have concerns about safety, security or general issues in the village, this is your chance to share them with Lt Botha and your fellow citizens.


SANParks’ Kudu Green Schools at Golden Gate

This past Saturday saw approximately 60 students from 13 Gauteng based schools engage in SANParks’ Kudu Green Schools Initiative. Several additional organisations including The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) and Rand Water Foundation (RWF), were also invited to attend and share knowledge of an environmental nature with the students – for many of which was most likely a first-in-a-lifetime event.
The students selected for the 3-day programme (Friday 26th – Sunday 28th) based at Golden Gate’s Enviro-Centre, were chosen from a select few involved in environmental clubs and extramural activities within their respective schools. The intention was to impart to the students a sense of the environment and its relation with mankind; development and limited natural resources. This was developed to be both fun and informal as outings to the Basotho Cultural Village; outdoor hikes of Golden Gate; Abseiling and not to mention horse-rides, but also involved a more structured educational aspect in the form of enviro-games and activities.  Read more


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Article and photography by  Damien Coulson
Head ranger:  Clarens Village Nature Reserve



Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we’ll be looking at a member of the Ericaceae (Erica) family.

Erica cerinthoides L. var. cerinthoides (Red Hairy/Fire Heath in English, Rooihaartjie in Afrikaans and semomonyane in Sesotho) is more commonly associated with the Fynbos biome of the SW Cape where it occurs alongside other species of the Proteaceae and Restoniaceae; however the distribution of this particular species extends as far as Mpumalanga at altitudes of up to 2300 m A.S.L., and is the most widely distributed Erica in the country. This highly distinctive species of Erica grows to around 500mm but may occasionally form an elongated shrub of up to 900-1200mm.   Read more


Clarens Ratepayers Association

The Clarens Ratepayers Association held their AGM on 24th June, 2015.  The association is calling for volunteers from the Clarens community to serve on the Committee.  Both Pat and Ralph Raubenheimer as well as Rodney Wainwright and Santi Meintjies have stepped down and will no longer be serving on the committee. Since Clarens is a growing town and faces many challenges every Clarens resident needs to take this appeal seriously.   Click here to read the AGM Minutes and to find out more about the work of the CRA.


Maluti Radio – Listen Live

Click onto


Winter fires = Winter Ash

Now that the cold nights are upon us, I’m sure that many of us are staying warm by burning wood in our winter stoves or fireplaces.   (And even if you’re not doing it to stay warm, I can’t think of a more romantic way to spend a winter  evening – accompanied with a glass or two of red wine, of course.)   The only down side is that you are faced with ash to clean up the next morning.   So what should you be doing with this ash.   Well – you could make lye and return to doing your laundry the old fashioned way.

Seriously?   No – we’re not really suggesting that.   Here are a few (more sensible) suggestions:  Read more


Proposed development of a Dinosaur Interpretation Centre

Proposed development of a Dinosaur Interpretation Centre on the Remaining Extent and Portion 1 of the Farm Glen Reenen No. 1361 within Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Bethlehem, Free State Province.
Notice is hereby given, in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA) EIA Regulations of 2014, that SANParks (the
Proponent) is proposing the above mentioned Project. The intended development shall trigger the following listed activities: Activity 12 of Government Notice No. R983 of 4 December 2014 (Listing Notice 1) and Activity 14 of Government Notice No. R985 of 4 December 2014 (Listing Notice 3). The date of placement of this notice is  4 June 2015. Queries regarding this matter must be referred to: The Environmental Consultant, Enviroworks, Suite 116, Private Bag X01, Brandhof, 9324 or contact Adél Groenewald  at Tel: 051 436 0793, Fax: 051 436 0791 or Email:
Parties wishing to formally register as an I&AP are requested to forward their comments (and contact details) to Enviroworks within 30 days of placement of this advertisement, which is on or before 8 July 2015.


Children in Need – You can Help

The Charlotte Theron Kinderhuis / Charlotte Theron Orphanage in Bethlehem has not received their Government grant for the last two months. They are in a dire situation unable to feed and care for the children,  and are  appealing for assistance.

They house 120 orphans and children whose parent can no longer care for them. The children range from tiny babies to 16 year olds, from all the race groups in SA.

The appeal is for donations of either money or necessities such as bread, toiletries, toilet paper, etc. Farmers have donated meat, potatoes and maize.   If you have goods you would like to donate, they can collate a collection out of Clarens.
If you want more information you can call Margaret on 058 307 3708.

If you want to make a cash contribution, the banking details are C Theron Kinderhuis, ABSA 0770230101, branch code 632005.

Artist’s Café and Mona Liza’s Garment Gallery are hosting Andre Swiegers on the 4th of July 2015 @18h30 for 19h00  with the Charlotte Theron Kinderhuis as the beneficiary .
Tickets are R100 pp . 50 tickets available will enable us to give CTK a donation of R5000 . We would love to see this cause well supported by our locals.
Please come get your tickets at the Artist’s Café. Regards Karen and Phoebe



Click  onto the links to learn more.
For more upcoming events visit the Clarens News website:



4 July, 2015
Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge
Be Luney for Cluney
4th July, 2015
Andre Swiegers at Artists Cafe
in aid of Charlotte Theron Kinderhuis
4th July, 2015
Paul Roux Christmas in July
9th July, 2015
SAPS Station Commander to meet Clarens Residents
14-17 July, 2015
10th Clarens Quilt Festival
18th July, 2015Clive Scott at Rosendal
25th July, 2015Maloi Hess Blues in Rosendal





Restaurant, Guest House management for DecemberRemember to have a look at our Classifieds page on the website, especially if you’re looking for someone to house sit your guest house or restaurant, or space to rent.  There are also people wanting to make ontact with old friends.   (See…..We’re looking for…… on the classifieds page.)
Browse around – you’re bound to find something of interest.


Contact us