Tag Archives: Working on Fire

4th October 2013: Spring Fever

Clarens - Lesotho Highlands Water Project

Water – Lesotho Highlands Water Project

Sir Evelyn Baring, the British High Commissioner to Basutoland, was the first to formally suggest that the surplus water of the Mountain Kingdom could potentially supplement the shortages in neighbouring South Africa.  His vision set in motion the processes that would lead to one of the most significant engineering projects on the African continent.

Our photograph this week (which features in the Cluny Animal Trust Calandar for 2014)is taken in a quiet residential part of Clarens against the sandstone cliffs of the Swartland.  Some of our newcomers to Clarens, and many of our visitors, might be unaware of the close proximity of this small town to a segment of this distinguished engineering feat, and of the role that the area played in the project execution. Read more


Community Braai Challenge – 29th September 2013


Oh what a day it was!! 16 Teams entered, R15000,00 was raised for local charities and the Clarens community responded – with aplomb!!  The SPF, Tsusanang Care Group, Cluny Animal Trust and Mr & Mrs William Soko will each receive R3750.  Read more

List of Winners, Prizes, Donations and Results

To see the list of winners, prizes, donations and results :  Press here 



Classic Clarens Festival 18-20 October


Start the weekend off with Kaya Mthethwa on friday evening.

Saturday:  Relax in the tea garden on the square while enjoying a Vintage Fashion Show :   with Phoebe from Mona Liza Garment Gallery; “Forehands”  Hansie  Jordaan and Rene Human  (2 pianos); Working on Fire; Moriteng Choir, and


Saturday evening enjoy a classic concert with Pia Jesu Eleganza, Chris Coetzer, Andre Schwartz and Mariette Pitout.


Bibliophile  Bookfest  18-20 October 2013

The Bibliophile has, once more, put together an exciting program for the Bibliophile bookfest.

Writers dinner, Film Premiere, authors, supper theatre – and lots more.

To see the program:  Read more

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Plant of the week: Gymnosporia buxifolia


Damien Coulson:

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a woody plant species that is part of the spike-thorn family.

Gymnosporia buxifolia  (commonly known as the Pioneer Spikethorn in English, Gewone pendoring in Afrikaans and Sephatwa in sisotho), is a medium sized plant of 2 – 3 m in height and is widespread throughout Africa. Gymno is Greek for naked and spora means seed. Buxifoliarefers to the shape of the leaves (similar to the Boxwood Buxus). G. Buxifolia grows in a wide variety of habitats including forests and grasslands – often among rocks. This tree grows alone or in dense intermingled clumps at altitudes of up to 2100 m A.S.L.

Read more



 The Twitcher

Sorry to be absent without leave last week.  Your faithful correspondent had to attend the funerals of seven cattle, all victims of vehicle accidents on the roads of Clarens.  Just amazing that motorists don’t recognise the cows’ right of way while grazing contentedly around the village.  Quite different in the Sub-Continent where vehicles, from richly decorated buses to scooters carrying families of nine and more, simply stop and wait while the Holy Cows go about their business.  Ah well. . But talking of the village, much to report:  Read more




Ubuntu Monday


THIS IS A BIG TRAVEL FOR SOME YOU but we can organize lifts…call DEAN  058 2561729 or 072 1339615

Working on Fire – Letter of thanks

Hi there

May I please through your publication thank all the firefighters that converged on the farm “Ararat” last Saturday when we had rather devastating out of control fires. They were absolutely fantastic and were really fighting hard well into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Unfortunately  I don’t have their names as there was no time for ‘socialising’.

On behalf of the owners, Quartus and Cobie Botha, thank you very much!

Kind Regards,

Linky van der Westhuizen


This weekend – Weather

We’re beginning to think that spring is rapidly passing by – the last few days have felt more like summer, and this year’s new spring babies are growing-up fast, as can be seen with this foal, born at Bokpport about three weeks ago.








This weekend – Live Music

Friday 4 October 2013
Grouse & Claret:  20h00 onwards:  Rick and Denzl
Street Cafe:  20h30 onwards:  Drywater (From Bloemfontein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOrvABp5oGU
Friends: 20h30 onwards Van Smith

Saturday 5 October 2013
Street Cafe: 20h30 onwatds:  Drywater
Friends: 20h30 onwards: Van Smith

Slipstream is playing at the Bethlehem Expo on Saturday at 17h00 and at the Blue Barley at 20h00.


This weekend – Rugby fixtures

Absa Currie Cup Premier Divison | FIXTURES

All times CAT (SA, GMT+2
October 2013  Absa Currie Cup Premier Division/ Fixtures
4 Blue Bulls v Sharks Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 19:10
5 Griquas v Free State Cheetahs GWK Park, Kimberley 14:00
5 Western Province v Golden Lions Newlands, Cape Town 14:00
October 2013  Super Rugby Championship


5 South Africa v New Zealand Ellis Park, Johannesburg 17:00
6 Argetnina v Australia Estadio Gigante de arrovito, Rosaria 00.40

MORE Coming Events : Visit the Clarens News website to find out about all the other events coming to Clarens.There’s lots happening this month.Classifieds  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.com (Classified advertisements are free.)Note from the editor AT LAST  : The Adventure Page is on the website.We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens. Our aim is to build a website which reflects Clarens and everything it has to offer, but,  we need your help to achieve this. Please check that we have the adventures you have to offer listed on the website.  email: editor@clarensnews.com if you’re not listed, or if you have a problem with the way we’ve listed you.


This weekend – Other things to do

Farmer’s Market outside the Bibliophile. 10h00 – 14h00.

Sunday:  Hot air ballooning.  Special – for this Sunday only.
R1850 per person (which includes breakfast)  phone:  Megan 082 4692072

The Bethlehem Expo is happening this weekend.  To see the program press here


Note from the editor

AT LAST  : The Adventure Page is on the website.

We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens. Our aim is to build a website which reflects Clarens and everything it has to offer, but,  we need your help to achieve this. Please check that we have the adventures you have to offer listed on the website.  email: editor@clarensnews.com if you’re not listed, or if you have a problem with the way we’ve listed you.

September 5th, 2013: Spring is in the Air

Golden gate cluny - Mary Walker

Spring is in the Air

This photograph was taken by Mary Walker from the Glen Reenen side of Golden Gate and features as the cover picture of the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.  Calendars can be purchased at The Gallery, Clemintines 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 to jansander22@gmail.com .

The Golden Gate National park celebrates its 50th anniversary as a National Park on 13th September. It’s history does however go back much, much further. Our photographer Mary Walker, inspired by the beauty of the area, has written a fascinating article on how the Golden Gate landscape was formed.  Click here

Spring Art Festival

Readers will remember the call by the Clarens News to visit their local galleries and celebrate the first of many Spring Art Fairs to come.  This year’s inaugural Fair is of course still on and runs through Sunday 8 September.  Posters are up everywhere and brochures are available by the hundred, so there is no good reason for locals (and visitors) not to invest their children’s inheritance in fine artwork.  A reference map is also available to guide buyers and art aficionados around the town’s Art Route.

Johan Smith

Ten members of the Clarens Galleries Association are participating in this first Spring Art Fair and have opened their galleries to admiring crowds.  Johan Smith’s gallery (No.9 on the Art Route) features his own oil paintings, as well as hand-made glass by David Reade and paintings by guest-artist Este Mostert, who will be painting in the gallery for the duration of the Fair.

The Enslin Vorster Gallery (No.2 on the Art Route) will feature an exhibition of Enslin’s miniature paintings and sketches; Merle Vorster will exhibit smoke-fired ceramics and the guest artist in residence will be Raymond Andrews.

Peter Bonney 1

Peter Bonney (No.10 on the Art Route) presents an exhibition of recent paintings and guest artist Sarah Northcote will be working in the gallery, together with flamework artistPeter Lampshed, who will demonstrate his flamework sculpture.

The Helen Claassen Gallery (No.8 on the Art Route) exhibits her acrylic work and Helen will be available to share ideas and do demonstrations.

The Blou Donki Gallery (No.5 on the Art Route) will exhibit the work of many well-known artists, and paintings, photography, glass and bronze works will be on show; Anton Gericke will be the guest artist in residence.

rhino web (2)

Peter Badcock-Walters is exhibiting nearly 100 illustrations from the Illustrated Bosman, as well as his southern Africa militaria drawings (Faces of War and Images of War) and wild life paintings, in the Sheepshed Gallery (No.7 on the Art Route); he will be available to talk about his work over a glass of sherry.




Tina de Beer (No.14 on the Art Route) is presenting an exhibition entitled ‘Visions and Reality’ in her Gallery, where visitors will be welcome to watch Tina paint and discuss her work in pen and ink and acrylics.


Artist Loezytha will present ‘Pege’s Art’ (No.12 on the Art Route) and give demonstrations over the period of the Fair; she will do portraits live in her studio from photographs and the theme of exhibition will be ‘Hope’.

Carla van den Berg will be hosted at The Gallery (No.13 on the Art Route) and she will exhibit her popular and whimsical work in pen and ink and acrylics.

The Clarens Art Guild will be exhibiting group work in the Protea Hotel (No.6 on the Art Route) and paintings by 16 local artists will be on display, in various media and styles, catering for a wide range of tastes.

Apart from this, several more artists and galleries in Clarens will support the Art Fair with exhibitions, demonstrations and talks.  Amongst these are Richard Rennie (No.15 on the Art Route), Simon Addy and Lyn Hoyle (No.1 on the Art Route), Artefunto (No.4 on the Art Route), Robert Badenhorst (No.11 on the Art Route) and the Wine & Art Gallery.  So whether you are an admirer of the creative process, an aspirant art buyer or simply someone in need of a glass of wine and conversation, Clarens is the place for you this week.

In fact, it’s the place for you, every week!

Important Meeting

Notice from the CVC

All residents, business owners and ratepayers are encouraged to attend an important meeting to update and involve the community in some very important developments in the Clarens area.  These issues affect every resident in the Clarens area.We will be sharing how we have utilised your taxes and contributions during the last year to contribute to improving our community.  We will also be discussing some future plans for the following year which will require your participation.  These initiatives require your involvement to be able to be sustained and we urge that your minimum contribution is to at least attend the meeting and provide your input.

Venue: Clarens Methodist Church Hall   Wednesday 11 September 2013 at 16:30

Golden Gate National Highlands Park

50th birthday

There is to be a birthday celebration at the Meriting picnic site on Friday, 13th September, 2013.
Starting at 10.00am.
For further information please contact:  Gloria Ngobeni on 058 255 0933


 Arbor Week in Clarens

Arbor Week was celebrated in true Clarens style on Wednesday, 4th September, 2013.  Children from Clarens Primary, Clarens Combine, and Dihlabeng Christian School, the Working on Fire team, the Clarens Village Conservancy rangers, and Clarens municipal workers as well as your news hound from Clarens News (and even a few of the local cows) amongst many others, all turned up to celebrate and plant 37 liquidambers on the verges of the Dihlabeng entrance into Clarens. These trees will certainly brighten up that entrance into Clarens in the years to come. (Only hope I live long enough to see it.)  And isn’t planting for a better, brighter future what Arbor week is all about? Read more

Clarens Fire Association – Working on Fire


and everyone needs to be on the alert and well prepared.

  • Ensure that you have fire suppression equipment available for our staff (water hoses, fire beaters, knapsacks, etc.)
  • Ensure that your staff are aware that they may not light fires in the open.
  • Ensure that your guests are aware that there is a ban on all open fires.
  • Ensure that everyone knows who to contact in case of fire.

Why not print out Important Numbers from the Clarens News website and stick them up on your fridge door – or where everyone can see them.

 SPF Appeal

Keeping our town crime free is everyone’s responsibility and  all crime should be reported to the police station.

  • Charge office  –  058 256 6001 and 058 256 6002
  • Officer on duty –  082 466 8904
  • Station Commander  –  Capt Mohale – 082 419 7094

In an effort to co-ordinate crime statistics  The Sector Police Forum  also ask that anyone who has not received a case number for crimes reported to the police to please contact the Sector Police Forum. ( Johann Lehman on 083 447 9925)
The SPF does a huge amount of work, keeping our town crime-free. The village is divided into blocks – each with a SAM (Sector Area Manager.)  Residents are more than welcome to contact their SAM to report potential suspicious behavior whereupon the SAM will follow it up with the SAPS.   Click here to find out more about the SPF

Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable growing

Letter from Tsepiso Mosia

I would to thank everyone who participated in our meetings on 28 August 2013.It was such a success even our guest Thabo Olivier was impressed by the community,different stakeholders and Clarens Primary School learners and teachers.

Please encourage your servants to come and register and grow their own vegetables.This project is for the entire Clarens community rich or poor, black or white.

Lets work together as a community and destroy this poverty.Remember to prepare your soil now and keep it suitable for planting.Seedlings and seeds will be provided at end of September – beginning of  October 2013.

Kind Regards,
Tsepiso Mosia
Department Of Agriculture & Rural Development FS
Phone:  0710791332   E-mail:mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com

 Plant of the week: Chrysanthemoides monilifera


Damien Coulson



Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a shrubby species that many of you who have ventured out onto our trails will no doubt have noticed, and whose importance will soon become apparent.

Chrysanthemoides monolifera subs. canescens 
or the Bush-Tick Berry (commonly known as Bietou or Boetabessie in Afrikaans, or ntlou-ea-lekhoaba in Sisotho), is a succulent bushy shrub of up to 2 m in hight. Monilifera is derived from the Latin for necklace (it refers to the arrangement of the fruits on the plant). The word canescent is the Latin for grey. Read more




Golf Club News

(Information posted to the Golf Estate newsletter by Francois Schoeman)

Phone: 058 256 1385

Forthcoming Golf days at The Clarens Golf Estate

 September 28-30             National Junior Club Championships

October 11                          Jordania Primary Golf Day
October 19th                       CTF Golf Day
October 24th                       BMW Golf Day
October 26th                       CFA Golf Day
December 7th                     Clarens Open


The Clarens Garden Club News

The Clarens Garden Club had a chance to see where some of those gorgeous veggies on offer at the Clarens Farmers Market every saturday are grown. On the 28th August Jessie van der Berg hosted the garden club at Davelsrust Farm. A most interesting morning where Jessie showed members around the garden, explained some of the permaculture principles behind the garden’s layout and talked about how everyone on the farm strives to live a sustainable lifestyle. We all finished off sipping tea and tucking into the scrumptious eats  (all made on the farm using farm produce) on the sandstone house verandah. A very enjoyable – and inspiring – morning…  Click here to find out more about Clarens Garden Club



 The Twitcher

Oh, the joys of travel: A week free of twitching and wrestling with an intransigent keyboard, a change of altitude and diet, and new faces untaxed by the stresses of life in Clarens.  Miles of open highway, strangely unblemished by potholes; thousands upon thousands of Rands-worth of petrol stops; villages after towns, mostly unremarkable but some delightful and quite instructive in terms of competitive tourism.

But the greatest delight, believe it or not, is returning to this quaint settlement on the Maloti Route.  Yes, it’s true.  The grass is definitely greener in Cape Town, but the cars were floating in floodwater, so perhaps that’s a self-solving equation.  Hermanus was gorgeous and testimony to effective Provincial administration and the value of foreign investment.  Plettenburg Bay was, well, short of water, but the floods were close behind me and closing fast.  Heading north, the Karoo was simply grand once Prince Alfred’s challenging Pass was conquered, as was Graaf Reinet, fourth-oldest of South Africa’s towns and looking every inch (millimetre?) the stylish centre of early exploration.  A voyage of discovery, one way or another, and an expanded sense of what the country has to offer.  Read more


This weekend




Denzel and Hensie  – provide the musical entertainment in Clarens this weekend. Playing at the following venues:

Grouse & Claret:  Friday 6th September. 8.00 pm onwards

Street Cafe:  Saturday  7th September 12.00 – 3.00pm

Artichoke:  Saturday  7th September  (after the rugby)

Rugby Fixtures: 7 September 2013

09:35 New Zealand vs Argentina Waikato Stadium, Hamilton The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
12:05 Australia vs South Africa Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
15:00 GWK Griquas vs MTN Golden Lions GWK Park, Kimberley Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
17:05 Vodacom Blue Bulls vs Toyota Free State Cheetahs Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
19:10 DHL Western Province vs The Sharks DHL Newlands, Cape Town Absa Currie Cup Premier Division

Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  It’s sometimes difficult to keep track…


Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.
The new Clarens News website is beginning to come together. We don’t have all the bells and whistles yet, but you are welcome to place an ad in the classifieds section.
Should you wish to place an advertisement in this section please email: editor@clarensnews.com

Note from the editor

The new Clarens News website is coming along very nicely and should soon reflect our dynamic town. And being that Clarens is such a dynamiic town, the website will keep on growing and changing. We do however welcome all comments and suggestions. email us: editor@clarensnews.com

1 August 2013: Life


FIRE !!!! It’s that time of the year again, when fires can wreak havoc in our beautiful environment.  This week much of The Golden Gate Highlands National Park  was devastated by fire, and Maliba Lodge in Lesotho also suffered major damage to their reception area.  The Golden Gate Nature Reserve   Continue Reading →

FIRE ….what you need to know

In view of the damage that fires can do it is not surprising that there is a ban on the lighting of open fires at the moment.  This ban will continue until such time as 25mm of rain have fallen within one week.  Continue Reading →


FIRE…..what you need to do

Make a note somewhere of what you need to do in case of a fire.

This weekend

We’re in for another sunny weekend….. just more beautiful sunny days and chilly winter nights.  We also have some live music and the rugby (?) to look forward to.

Continue Reading →

The Twitcher – 31 July 2013

  Having ignored the birds altogether last week, due to a fit of outrage at international tourists in Johannesburg, I thought I should make up for this indiscretion this week with due regard to the sensitivity of ornithologists everywhere and pick a really BIG bird.   Like an Ostrich.

Continue Reading →


Clarens Village Conservancy

 The Clarens Village Conservancy & Environmental Education The CVC has been putting a good deal of time and effort into Environmental Education (EE) plans for several of the stakeholders from within and around Clarens. This includes but is not limited to: Members of the Clarens Community; the Thusenond Care Group (TCG) and its employees; Clarens Primary School (and other schools); the Working on Fire Team and its very own CVC rangers!

Continue Reading →

Plant of the Week: Erica alopecurus (Foxtail Erica)

 Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest” where we will be looking at a dwarf-shrub species that is most prominent from summer – mid-winter. Erica alopecurus or Foxtail Erica

Continue Reading →

Local News:

Keeping our town crime free is everyone’s responsibility and  all crime should be reported to the police station. Charge office  –  058 256 6001

Continue Reading →

Coming Events

Workshops, Potjiekos, the Spring Art Fair. These are just some of the events happening in Clarens.    NG Kerk Flea Market 9th August 2013:  Clarens square     Potjiekos competition10th August 2013
Continue Reading →