Tag Archives: Clarens Recycling Centre

21 November, 2014: So much happening


Not only do we have the Cherry Festival taking place in Ficksburg this weekend, and Tshepong are having their Christmas party this afternoon.

Tshepong Christmas party

And there are a lot of other events coming up in and around Clarens.   Have a look at the events page on the website.   With Christmas happening next month it seems that there’s already a lot of planning going on in Clarens to celebrate this special day.   But – why wait until Christmas – there’s a lot of fun to be had in Clarens before then.   Check the Clarens News facebook page on friday afternoon for news on the weekend’s music and weather.    Other events coming up soon include:

24th November:  70’s evening with Cat at Gosto’s Restaurant

28th November:  Richard Rennie’s 82nd Birthday

29th November:  Cherry Food Market at Cafe Moulin

29th November:  Anton Benzon & Dianne Erasmus at Robert Badenhorst Art Gallery

29th November:  Christmas time show at Martie Lotz  hall

30th November:  Cherry Food Market at Cafe Moulin

AND then there are some really exciting events coming up in December, but more about those in the next newsletter.  (You can, ofcourse, take a sneak preview by visiting the Events page on the website.)

Clarens open

Oh – yes, it’s the Clarens Open.   It’s only happening next month but you need to book now.   And just in case, you think you may not be up to it – have a look at the Richmond Golf Club rules below.   Reading through them not only says something about golfers, but it also makes playing the Clarens Golf Course sound really easy!   Click here for more about the event and how to book.

Golf Rules


CVC Report Back

Damien Coulson has sent us his report on Clarens Village Conservancy activities during October, 2014, inclulding alien clearing, environmental education,.   As always, it makes very interesting reading:   alien clearing; environmental education; trail maintenance, and the rangers patrols.   Ofcourse, all of this work needs to be funded, and so your membership is of vital importance.  If you’re not already a member, Click here, for your membership form.   It only costs R300 a year! (Remember too that donations are always welcome.)


CVC Spring editionAlien clearing

Click here to read the full report.


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Cotyledon orbiculata Damien1-100x100Article and photographs 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’re focusing on a member of the Crassulaceae (Crassula) family.

Cotyledon orbiculata (Pig’s Ear in English, Plakkies in Afrikaans & serelile in Sesotho) is a succulent shrublet whose stem may grow to 900mm tall. Many of you will have recognised this widespread plant which tends to grow on sandy or rocky soils. In the grassveld around Clarens you’ll generally find C. orbiculata at higher altitudes on the rocky sandstone mountain slopes (approximately 2000-3000m A.S.L.), occurring from the Western Cape through to Mpum.

Read more







Thank – you (from CCIA)Thank you.

For more information contact Evon at 073-708-7832 or Dons at 082-859-1505


News from The Recycling Centre

Clarens Recycling IMG_0062Evon reports that she is getting fantastic support from the people of Kgubetswana (including Zama Zama and Hunter’s Tavern) who are collecting and delivering materials to the recycling centre.   The children especially are getting involved.   (It seems that all the Environmental Education carried out by the CVC is having effect.)    Our ever-caring Evon encourages the children and puts aside glossy magazines for them to use in their various school projects.   (Incidentally, a cancer facility from Klerksdorp is now also collecting magazines from the recycling centre.)   A few minutes with Evon and you soon come to realise that one man’s waste is another man’s treasure.   Should you have items you’re not sure what to do with – drop them off at the Recycling Centre – Evon is sure to find a needy home for them.   And on that note, Evon would like to thank Jaap and Hilda Boonstra for dropping off a box of spectacles – which she is about to drop off at an eye clinic in Bethlehem where they will be put to good use.  Click here to find out more about the Clarens Recycling Centre, what it does, and how to get there.

Christmas is coming

Calling all Clarens Restaurants.   Please let us have your Christmas lunch menus:   We will upload them on our events page.   (Christmas Lunch is, after all, an event).

News from the Mountain Kingdom

Good news.   Maliba Lodge which suffered severe fire damage nearly two years ago has re-opened:    They sent us the following press-release:

Maliba Lodge Celebrates The Opening Of The New Main Lodge

After considerable perseverance over the past 15 months, Maliba Lodge takes great pride in announcing the completion, and opening of the newly constructed Main Lodge. Enriched with Local architectural design elements, this new building showcases a Reception area, family Restaurant, relaxation and bar area, breath-taking viewing deck and an exclusive private lounge and restaurant for 5 Star Mountain Lodge guests, an exciting enhancement from the previous building design.

Visitors to this brilliant new Lodge will be welcomed with unique furniture and creative designs and artwork representing local Basotho culture. Complimenting this exhilarating enhancement to Maliba Lodge, comes the addition of a fully independent conference centre boasting a private restaurant and bar, presentation area, adjoining accommodation and viewing deck.

In July 2013 the main Maliba Lodge building was devastated by a fire. Fortunately there was no injury as a result of the unfortunate incident, and all accommodation was left entirely unaffected, and has been perfectly operational during the construction period. The owners Chris McEvoy, Nick King, and Stephen Phakisi moved swiftly to plan, and personally fund a rebuilding program, faithful in the dedication of their valued Maliba staff.

This seemingly unfortunate event posed a silver lining whereby the new building would allow for much desired enhancements to be added to the new Maliba Lodge as well as provide contractual employment for over 50 Lesotho locals, above the lodge staff, who were incremental in the building of the new building, stepping out of their roles to be involved in the rebuild.    Click here to read more

Comment from your editor

I visited Maliba Lodge a few weeks ago – courtesy of Maluti Tours.   (The new structure is looking great.)   The great thing about visiting Lesotho is that you come face to face with Africa:  the beauty, the wildness, the clear big sky, the people…..etc.etc.etc.   This is such a contrast to Europe.   (And having just spent a month in Europe and visited Amsterdam, Athens, Rome and Paris, the contrast really hit me on this trip.)   It was specially wonderful to see how the people of Lesotho live with the seasons – and I managed to get some shots of ploughing, and sheep shearing.   Here they are:

Lesotho Oct 2014 _0028


Lesotho shearing sheep





Remember to have a look at our Classifieds page on the website.   An interesting new building block now manufactured in Clarens has just been listed.   You may also need to order your Christmas cake……..



vrugtekoek 3


25th April, 2014: Welcome to the New News

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:  editor@clarensnews.com.

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: mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com

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: raubenheimer@icon.co.za

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: editor@clarensnews.com, 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 info@clarensbrewery.co.za 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: jansander22@gmail.com

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

1st November 2013: After rain

Clarens News: 1st November 2013, After Rain
Contents: Chirstmas trees and snow; Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce; Film crew in Clarens; Clarens Craft Beer Festival; Clarens Recycling Centre; Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve; Tshepong  – Place of Hope in Clarens; The Twitcher; Tourism News; Invitation from Dihlabeng Municipality; This weekend; Coming Events; Classifieds; Clarens Skies

Clarens News Snow in Clarens

After this week’s welcome rain, we were rather hoping that Mary would post a photo of Clarens wearing a green robe, but I guess our comment on the snow in last week’s news, and that rather hopeful remark about a white Christmans in Clarens was just too much for her.   (Serves us right!)

The photograph features in the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.  Calendars can be purchased at Clarens Gallery, Clementines Restaurant and the Old Stone Bottle Store, in Clarens.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email tojansander22@gmail.com .

Christmas trees and snow

When I was a child, on a mid winter’s night, my father lifted me, still half asleep, from my bed and carried me to the window.  What I saw through the clear pane was a thing more magical than I had ever seen before.  The snow was still falling, each flake wide as a fairy’s mantle, dancing and fluttering in slow descent.  Our trees stooped handsomely under satin white cloaks, their bows low and heavy, their brittle fronds casting off gathering flakes like dark-gloved fingers of witches.

I recall being conscious of an immense stillness.  The world outside had transformed beyond my knowing it, without a whisper to draw attention to its silent metamorphosis.  To me this was more wondrous even than a glimpse of the fairies who lived in the moss between the garden terraces.  I knew my eyes would never tire of this pure white fantasy; but soon, sleepy-eyed and happy, I was returned to my bed.

In the morning it was still snowing and it snowed for two days.  It snowed thickly right across the city, right across the Orange Free State, across almost the entire Highveld.  This was the big snowfall of 1964.
Read more

Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce

Last week’s Eish! questioned progress on the development of a Clarens Chamber of Commerce.  A good question indeed and a very timeous one.   The following points summarise the current position and describe the proposed way forward:·

– Following a number of town meetings earlier this year, a process of consultation was initiated by a three-person team including Ray Meyers, Randall Poultney and Chris Pefanis.  This group undertook a series of meetings with individuals and small groups in Clarens, to ascertain appetite and preparedness for an inclusive, apolitical and non-racial Chamber of Commerce.  The considerable efforts and commitment of this group is acknowledged.

– It is noted that this initiative is based on the philosophy that Upper and Lower Clarens constitute a single community and that the interests of every business in them is bound to the success and stability of development in Clarens.

– Facilitation of this process was taken over by Peter Badcock-Walters and Chris Pefanis in September 2013, and a draft Constitution for a Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce circulated amongst business interests in Lower Clarens.  This was intended to facilitate a meeting of business interests there to discuss the concept and agree involvement.

– In spite of extensive planning, attempts to hold a meeting in Lower Clarens have so far failed.  Although it is by no means clear, it would appear that reasons include an assumption that this was and is a politically-partisan agenda and the fact that many – if not most – businesses there are in fact owned by non-South Africans.

– The draft Constitution is available and will be circulated to all businesses in Upper Clarens next week.  Perhaps the key point is that an independent Board of five members is proposed, three from Upper Clarens and two from Lower Clarens.  This weighting is driven by the comparative value of business in Upper Clarens and Lower Clarens, and the Board, once elected, will elect a Chair.

– Given this situation, it is proposed that the urgent need for such a Chamber should be expedited through a town meeting within the next 10 days.  At this meeting, it is proposed that agreement should be sought to proceed to establish the Chamber, and that Lower Clarens should be asked to organise its business interests and elect two directors to join the Board.

– The Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce should therefore be formed through adoption of the draft Constitution and the initial election of three directors from Upper Clarens.  The process for doing this, and a time frame for review of the draft Constitution and election of directors, should be agreed at this meeting.

– It is noted that Peter Badcock-Walters and Chris Pefanis are committed to facilitating progress to the establishment of this Chamber and have no interest in standing for election to its Board.  It is also reiterated that this is a non-political and inclusive initiative designed to ensure the future of Clarens and protect its business interests.

– Any questions, comments or requests for copies of the draft Constitution can be directed to Peter Badcock-Walters on peterbw@eastcoast.co.za or Chris Pefanis on info@highlandcoffeeroastery.co.za.

Film crew in Clarens

Hot air Balloons over Clarens

There was a buzz in the air this week as 80 locals experienced the adventures that advertising has to offer.

Eggfilms service chose our beautiful village as their prime location for shooting a top-secret advert.  The innovative and creative team behind Eggfilms, which includes international producers, are striving to create a highly creative and effective advert, whilst keeping costs in the minimum.

Highly regarded for both their logistical and creative expertise, the team has received numerous work offers stretching across South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and even the Indian Ocean Islands.

The team enjoyed every minute here and the producer Nicci Cox asked to please extend a very big thank you to every one in town for the warm welcome and friendliness bestowed upon them.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more news on the release of the advert shot right here in Clarens. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you anything about the ad at this stage – except that it features a couple of  hot air balloons.

Clarens Craft Beer Festival

Clarens Craft Beer Festival 2014 launches!

The Clarens Craft Beer Festival 2014 is being launched today, 1 November, and already there is a hype in the social  media about it. Exciting times! The fourth edition of this popular festival,taking place 21-23 Feb, will see some changes: new exciting breweries, absence of some of the older ones, new food vendors, longer hours (put not too long!) and more music which includes an exciting band from Jozi… Most notable of all is a lack of corporate sponsorship or any sponsorship at all for that matter. We declined the offer of sponsorship from SAB since their requirements were not beneficial for the festival or the village. The beer festival almost didn’t happen as a result, but some support and clever footwork from locals, friends and partners in the events industry opened the doors. Long live the entrepreneurial spirit and here we go – solo!

So, besides launching what else is up?  Accommodation woes, that’s what!  This is also an appeal to the owners of every guest house, B&B, self catering establishment, hotel and booking agency  (and tent, cave, kennel) to please, please, please support the festival by taking bookings for festival goers only as far as possible – we will fill them up, guaranteed.  If there are existing bookings that you don’t know were made for the fest, how about contacting the guests and informing them of the event? If there is a wedding party booked – how about suggesting to the guests that they extend their Clarens experience by visiting the fest on the Friday? And, if you are booked up, please don’t just say “the village is full” – please refer them to the festival website where they can contact us for alternatives. The reality is that the festival relies on people to make it work, and whilst the perception is that we make a huge amount of money from this, we don’t and in fact are in the red after three years. So the 2014 edition is a watershed one; if we get the numbers we will continue with the festival. If not, this will be the last. Please don’t let that happen by supporting the festival!

For a preview of the website Click here
You should also have a look at the Beer Fest Facebook page


Clarens News Beerfest 2013

Getting the Beer Fest to work for you

You can not only support the Beer fest but also get it to work for you by advertising on the beer fest website.  To find out more click  here
If you still have accommodation available over the beer fest  weekend, please email: natalie@clarensbrewery.co.za.  We need to make sure that everyone wanting to come to the Beer Fest has somewhere to stay.

Clarens Recycling Centre

Clarens News Plastics Recycling

Genevieve Blignaut Clarens NewsHelping the environment can always start in the comfort of your own home.

Many of us may not even give recycling a second thought, as it didn’t play a significant part in our upbringing, however the numerous benefits of the act should be enough to get all very exited over our never-ending refuse.

The Clarens Recycling Centre  has been running for three years and continues to grow in strength day by day. Evon Els talks excitedly about the increase in recycling material that is collected on a weekly basis, and states that more and more  people are becoming involved.involved.  Many of us have driven past the recycling trailer, next to Clementine’s restaurant opposite Mosiac Pizza, without giving it a second thought, but Evon states that the recycling material collected from the trailer has trippled in weight since August 2013 and various shops and business in town have also come on board.

Garbage can become quite interesting when sorted into plastics, returnable bottles, cardboard boxes, tins, cans, paper and glass, and even more so when breaking glass according to colour and sorting plastics according to type. All-and-all recycling requires and incredible amount of hard and dedicated work.

We can all help Evon and her team reach their target of 700kg’s of cardboard boxes and 6 ton’s glass bottles: all you have to do is to fill a separate black bag with all your recyclable plastics, glass, paper,  tins and cans and either load it on the recycling trailer on your way to buy milk, or quickly drop it off at the depot before your game of golf.

Happy Recycling everyone!

For more information contact Evon Els 076 293 2742

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week: Gnidia capitata

Gnidia 2Damien Coulson:
Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at another plant of the Gnidia genus (family of Brandbos which was published in one of the very first PoI snippets).
Gnidia capitata (commonly known as Gifbos in Afrikaans and setele in sisotho), is a medium sized perennial shrublet of up to 300 mm tall. The genus nameGnidia is derived from Knidos – an ancient Greek city. This plant grows in rocky grasslands at up to up to 1800 m A.S.L., and is widespread throughout the eastern regions of S.A.

The leaves on G. capitata are blue-green to grey, sharply tipped, relatively narrow (30 mm long X 3-6 mm wide) and appear tufted. The plant is generally multi-stemmed. The infloresecens is surrounded by a somewhat wider collar of leaves and the flowers are small (aprox 6 mm diameter with calyx tube of around 15-25 mm long), glossy and five lobed. Fine silky hairs cover the flowers and the sepals are a mustard orange-yellowand silky hairs below. The petals are smaller and scale-shaped. The flowers are in full bloom from Oct- Dec.  Read more

Tshepong  – Place of Hope in Clarens


Clarens News Tshepong - A Place of HopeGenevieve Blignaut Clarens NewsTshepong, like the meaning of the word, truly is in every way a Place of Hope.

Established four years ago as an initiative of the non-profit organization Combined Churches In Action (CCIA), Tshepong has grown every step of the way and today many could not imagine their lives without the love and support from all involved. One could say that the the Bana ba Hlokang (Children in Need) feeding programme that had previously been housed in a temporary shelter at the grounds of the Ithumeleng Clinic, served as the springboard for Tshepong. Although many children received food on a regular basis, one had to ask oneself – how much more could be done for the greater community with adequate facilities and facilitators?

And so hope became tangible for many in the community, with the multi-purpose hall built on the lands of the Uniting Reformed Church in the beautiful Kgubetswana.  The large hall would be able to tend to many different needs with facilities such as a kitchen, a small office, bathrooms, computer facilities, cleaning areas and smaller meeting rooms.  Read more

The Twitcher

Clarens News The TwitcherBack to normal and clumps of international tourists clogging up the square, ‘Oooooohing’ and ‘Aaaaaaahing’ over our summer weather, frosty mornings and all.  As far as I can tell, there is no festival, fair, fete or other social event scheduled for this weekend, but who knows.  It seems that these things crop up at short notice and are occasionally successful, so brace yourselves for a surprise.  Planning, as for example in the case of the extraordinary Clarens Craft Beer Festival, confirms that these thingscan be spectacularly successful.  And what better place to do them than the Clarens square, now looking great, thanks to the town manager and his increasingly effective staff.
Not much to report on the ornithological front other than an explosion in the number of Indian Mynahs.  It would appear that they have joined the same eager, elbowing ingress into our benighted country as the Mozambiquans, Zimbabweans, Congolese, Ruwandans, Ethiopians, Nigerians, Albanians and Eastern European Mafia.  If all of them simply nested in the trees, it might be okay, notwithstanding the mess below.  However, they tend to permeate society at a more fundamental level, so you are likely have a Congolese car guard shepherding Nigerian hijackers away, while you relax in the shade sipping a Mozambique beer served by a Zimbabwean waiter, in the indirect employ of a Serbian drug lord.  So much for birdlife.
Of greater interest, hot off the press, is the news that Kaalvoet is probably a girl!   Read more

Tourism News

Tourism News 3

Invitation from Dihlabeng Municipality


Mayoral Charity 3



This weekend – Weather


It’s set to be sunny for the rest of today.

This weekend –  Music

Friday 1st November 2013
The Grouse & Claret:  20h00:  Belinda
Friends: 20h00:  Van Smith

Tamahanste Tavern:  19h30 onwards:  The Battle of the DJs,Fouriesburg featuring DJs from Clarens, QwaQwa, Fouriesburg and Bethlehem.

Saturday 2nd November 2013
The Grouse & Claret:  20h00:  Rick & Denzl

Friends: 20h00:  Slipstream

Artichoke:  12h00:  Belinda

This weekend – Rugby fixtures

Congratulations to the Sharks for winning the Currie Cup.  And what an entertaining game the final turned out to be.
Now that the Currie Cup is won, some of us may very well start displaying some rather odd symptoms.  (Currie Cup rugby withdrawal).   Unfortunately we do not know of any quick-fix solution, but suggest that the following international rugby fixtures may ease the pain……….a little.

This weekend – Other events

Saturday: 2nd November, 2013

Farmers Market:  10h00 – 15h00  Outside Bibliophile

Tshepong  Christmas Party,  Tshepong Hall:  14h00  (sponsored by Protea Hotel Clarens and The Bakery at 530 Sias Oosthuizen Street, Clarens)   Entrance is free.

Fouriesberg Rose Festival
For further details contact Paula Greyling 083 501-3999


Coming Events

Remember, remember the 5th of November,

Gunfire, Treason and Plot.

Should you be planning to celebrate this event with fireworks, please consider the animals in your immediate vicinity.  We suggest you drive out of town – and celebrate well away from our precious pets..

Visit the Clarens News website to see what else is planned in Clarens.


Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.

Should you wish to place an advertisement in this section please email: editor@clarensnews.co.za
(Classified advertisements are free.)

Clarens Skies

In celebration of  comet ISON appearing in our skies from 28th November, 2013, we have decided to run a weekly article on our Clarens Skies.  Genevieve Blignaut has already started researching solar events, and discovered that a very rare solar eclipse will take place this Sunday.
Read more

Note from the editor

Our website is still “work in progress” and you can expect to see some changes every week.  In view of last year’s shortage of accommodation over the beer fest, we have decided to upload a business directory for Clarens Accommodation as a matter of urgency.  Please contact editor@clarensnews.co.za should you wish to list your accommodation on our website.