I'm sure that most Clarenites are totally unaware of the work carried out by the Clarens Village Conservancy in looking after the Clarens environment in general.   Committee members not only keep an eye on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve, and the Clarens Village Recycling Centre, as well as the Working on Fire team, but also keep an eye on developments and planned developments in our area.   Earlier last week committee members Louw van Biljon and Toni B Walters met with Paul Scherzer of  E & D Consulting Services to discuss what environmental and visual impact of the proposed upgrade of the  Clarens Water Treatment works. would have on Clarens.   Click here to learn more about the proposed upgrade of the Clarens Water Treatment upgrade. Click here to find out more about the Clarens Village Conservancy - and show your support by becoming a mem
Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Conservancy      &n
Hi There Dihlabeng Budget:  Attached PDF format is the letter which Rodney and I compiled following the Budget meeting, which was held on April 23rd.  The letter was hand delivered to various parties in the Municipality and contains our concerns about the Budget and other serious matters.  Simultaneously an article from the DA, with similar concerns, appeared in the local “ Vrytstaat”.  Click here to see the letter High Mast Lighting:  We’ve had a number of complaints from around the Village and in Larola about the high mast lights in the Township, they are facing either upwards or into the village.  Shining into bedrooms of residents homes and the accommodation for visitors. The new one in the Stadium has exacerbated the situation.  We have talked to the Contractor at the Stadium.  He has agreed to call back the electrical contractor to adjust the lights and also to set them so that only 2 of them come on at night.  However, it may take some time to get the electrical contractor back.  Hold thumbs! With regard to the other lights, Peter Reed advises that the guy with responsibility for these is on leave, but will be back early May, when the other lights will be adjusted as necessary. Knowing that these lights were installed in the Township for security purposes, they are not really doing much good shining in the sky.  Please pass this info to anyone else who has a problem – I don’t have the email addresses of all residents, only those who have joined the Ratepayers Association. Paballo’s Nursing Care @ Clarens:  Please note that Sisters Henriette and Antoinette will be taking their well-deserved annual leave as follows: Last day of work 1pm on Thursday 15 May 2014 First day of work 8.45am on Monday 9th June 2014 Kind regards Pat Chairperson, Clarens’ Ratepayers’ Association (3+27 58 256-1123 8raubenheimer@icon.co.za Click here for more about the Clarens Ratepayers Associa
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE CLARENS TOURISM FORUM   Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Clarens Tourism Forum will take place on the 22nd of May 2014 at 16hOO at Mont d’Or Hotel, Clarens. Registration will take place from 15h00.   PROXIES - A member may be represented at a general meeting by proxy, who must be a member of the CTF.  - A proxy must be lodged with the Association at least 24 (twenty-four) hours before the commencement of the meeting.  - The chairman of the meeting may agree to accept a proxy tendered at any time before or during the meeting. You are cordially invited to appoint a proxy to act on your behalf at the Annual General Meeting by completing the attached Proxy Form and forwarding same via e-mail or fax, to be received on or before Monday, the 19thof May at 15h00.   NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS  - Committee members shall be required to rotate on an annual basis  - Committee members shall continue to hold office from the date of his/her appointment to office until the annual general meeting next following his said appointment, at which meeting each committee member shall be retired from office but will be eligible for re-election to the committee.   You are cordially invited to nominate Members (not more than two) who you would like to see elected as Committee members of the Clarens Tourism Forum. If you would like to nominate a Member/Person, please ensure that the Member/Person concerned is willing to stand for election. Once the nominee’s consent has been received, kindly complete the attached nomination form and ensure that both, you and the person seconding, and the nominee sign same in the appropriate places. The nomination form may be handed in at the Clarens Destinations offices or at the AGM.   VOTING RIGHTS OF MEMBERS  - Members shall be entitled to vote only on the matters raised at every general meeting.  - Each member, present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote, shall have one vote for each nomination.  - No person other than a member who have paid membership fees payable to the CTF in respect of or arising out of his/her membership and who is not suspended, shall be entitled to be present or to vote on a question, either personally or by proxy, at any general meeting.   Click here for Proxy form Click here for Ag
THE NATIONAL MTN MTB SERIES LEG #4 CLARENS, FREESTATE 2 – 4 MAY 2014 And so another superb event concludes in Clarens. Sincere thanks to Advendurance, event owners and organisers of the MTN MTB Series in Clarens. Thanks also to other contributors to the success of this event:A Massive thank you from the Advendurance Team to the entire Clarens Community for their support of this event. 2014 Saw their largest number of entries to date for the Clarens leg – 1825 unique entries with a total of +/-2200 riders over the 2 days. This event first started in Clarens in 2004 with 250 mountain bike riders so the growth over the last 10 years is evident! In a post-event meeting attended by Wessel van der Walt and Francois Theron (Advendurance), Paul Pretorius (Advendurance representative), Rodney Wainwright (CVC + Fire Association), Dawn Wainwright (Paballo’s Nursing Services) and Tammy Hancock (CTF), the future of the event in Clarens was discussed with the objective and vision to further improve, grow and enhance the event. To this end the date of the 2015 Clarens leg has been moved to 17 – 19 April 2015. Contributing factors to the date change are: i.         to avoid the conflict with a usually productive long weekend in Clarens; and, ii.         date change of another major mountain bike race event. Other matters discussed were: a)    The possibility of creating a ‘pedestrian only’ zone on the east and west sides of the square with access control for residents, business owners, employees and day visitors, thus providing off-square parking for event entrants. This matter will be discussed locally between relevant associations. b)    Public amenities and problem areas associated to these facilities were discussed and it was decided by the organisers that they will continue to hire in amenities for their event. c)     Electricity supply for the event will be discussed with the relevant authorities for the 2015 event. d)    Extra accommodation – more riders would like to participate in the Clarens event but are restricted by number of available beds. The process of identifying available (existing or new) suitable sites for campers will be pursued. e)    The possibility of alternating the start/finish line from where it has been sited over the last 7 years. Further discussion is vitally important with proposals/suggestions presented to the organisers.  - RODNEY WAINWRIGHT and his WoF team – so much ‘behind-the-scenes’ work is done by this team leading up to the event involving trail cutting, preparation and maintenance. But it doesn’t stop there – at the actual event, the entire team together with the CVC team continue to contribute through marshalling along the course. The Advendurance’s representative man-on-the-ground, Paul Pretorius, complimented the WoF and CVC teams and thanked them for their professionalism, polite behavior and enthusiastic support and applause for the riders along the route.  - PABALLO’s NURSING SERVICES: Dedicated professional and committed service to the event for the last 3 years. Thank you also to MTN for supplying a beautiful inflatable tent for their usage and convenience. The ‘Taj Mahal’ of on-site medical facilities! Henriette Hohne and Antoinette Earle work tirelessly and are sometimes called to handle very difficult situations, as was the case at this recent event. Their enthusiasm, focus and professionalism never waning. They are an asset to the Clarens family.  - NG KERK CLARENS – Ds Sakkie van den Bergh and his team of ‘pannekoek bakkers’. Thank you for your enthusiastic support for the event – early mornings, long days and many many pancakes enjoyed by riders and their supporters alike!  - JORENE RUHFUS (B You Day Spa) and her team of therapists were kept very busy, massaging some very weary bodies and tired legs!  - PROTEA HOTEL for making available their conference facilities for event registration over the 3 days.  - CTF TEAM – To the CTF stalwarts a massive thank you for assisting at this event – an amazing opportunity to raise some much needed funds for the CTF. Early mornings, long days (as above), hundreds of boerewors rolls, hot and cold drinks, friendly faces and loads of fun!!!  Special thanks to Nic Prinsloo + his team of Lukas and Wilson, Emily on porta-loo cleaning duty, Ollie Esplin for the use of his braaier and grids, Jorene Ruhfus for her delightful early morning giggle, Enrica Geyer, the Queen of Wors Braaing, ably assisted by Helga Oosthuizen on Saturday, Chris Pefanis, Jean Hubner, Franlize Zaaiman, Doug Hancock, Jonas and David (Tammy’s team). Thanks also to the following people who contributed on a large or small scale, to the success of the CTF’s efforts:  - Golden Gate Highlands National Park for the donation of wood + firelighters  - Horeb Butchery for supply and delivery of boerewors  - Old Stone Bottle store for supply of soft drinks, ice and tubs  - Clarens Village Grocer for the supply of buttered rolls  - Les Thake and Bert van Rensburg for general assistance The CTF has also been instrumental in assisting in several areas where help/facilitation was requested by the Advendurance team and has, over the last 3 years, been consistent in fulfilling its commitment to providing the assistance/facilitation as required.  - Golden Gate Highlands National Park through Victor Mokoena (Chairperson CTF + Tourism Manager GGHNP) and John Martiens (CTF CommT Member and GGHNP Manager) made available Joseph Rantseke + 4 EcoTourism Intern students to assist over the 3 days of the event. Their contribution and work ethic was described as ‘superb’ by the event organiser’s Francois Theron who expressed his sincere gratitude for the provision of the 5 assistants. Waterpoints were manned by the following organizations/people, a very important component for the success of this event! Sincere thanks to: - NATALIE & STEPHAN MEYER: “our (Clarens) Brewery makes a point of supporting the event since we get supported so well by the cyclists. So we took 800 litres of water and all the paraphanalia needed for the water point right up on top of the mountain between Marius Naude & Clarens and manned the water point until mid-afternoon. It was fabulous!  And we also gave the event all the ice they needed....” - PROTEA HOTEL – keen supporters and has manned a station each year. - JOHAN STEYN, a farmer from Clarens who owns one of the farms the cyclists had access to. That was a real privilege. - LIFE WATER:  manned  a point at Roodepoort Farm which is in the Clarens district, notwithstanding the fact that the owners are from Bethlehem   Thank you Clarens!!! Let’s put our hands and our heads together and unite in the efforts to grow and enhance this fantastic event for the years to come. Please diarise the dates for next year 17 – 19 APRIL 2015. May 2014:  Article from Clarens Tourism Forum Click here for more information on the Clarens Toursim F
  SERVICES BUILDING & TRADE BUSINESS SERVICES HOME & GARDEN   HEALTH & BEAUTY   SECURITY Building services Computer & It Gardening  Practitioners Alarm systems Carpentry Guest house management   Furniture Restoration  Products Security services Electrical Event Planning  House-sitting  Medical/Nursing Plumbing  Carpentry Town/Environmental planning       &n
    Village Life: Clarens invites you to relax and have fun, and village life is geared towards making sure that our visitors can relax and enjoy every moment that they're here. The Clarens Community - the people who make it all happen - are here mainly because they love living here, and this is probably why  Clarens has such a warm and friendly atmosphere.   An atmosphere which together with a scenic setting, the crisp clear air (thanks to the lack of factories), and the surrounding nature areas has attracted many artists to Clarens, and Clarens is known as one of South Africa's best loved art centres.  Clarens is a very popular  holiday destination, and this has led many of its residents to becoming involved in the hospitality industry:  Clarens abounds with accommodation establishments, restaurants and coffee shops, and, since, the environment  invites adventure, Clarens adventure companies and professional guides have also settled here.  Shopping is another major attraction to the town - and there are many shops which specialize in crafts (some of them made in Clarens) which are not easily available elsewhere in South Africa. Many Clarens residents came to live in Clarens simply because they want to live in a beautiful, unspoilt environment, and there are also those that have come to live in Clarens because they need somewhere quiet to work. All of which adds up to a varied and vibrant community, made up of people who care about and are committed to Clarens. To get a feel of what Clarens citizens are talking about visit our Facebook page.  There can be no doubt that most of the people of Clarens are committed to the town, and this is reflected by the many individuals involved in community organizations.   These organizations  go about their business, for the most part away from the public eye, not only making sure that every Clarens citizen has access to basic needs, but also uplifting and encouraging all.  The people of Clarens are, in the main, friendly and welcoming no matter which part of Clarens you visit.   We believe that it is thanks to this community spirit that Clarens has remained  a relatively crime-free area.     &n
  Climate - Seasons:  Summer: (November to February) Clarens summers  (November to February) are mild, and whilst you may encounter the occasional thunder storm, temperature and humidity levels are such that you can enjoy most activities throughout the day without getting too hot. The evenings are slightly cooler, and you may need a light jersey if you wish to sit outside - and why not - Clarens is a malaria-free area. Autumn: (March - May) Night temperatures start dropping in Autumn and the deciduous trees take on their autumn colours, making Clarens one of the most photographed destinations in South Africa. Winter:  (June - August) Winter nights  can be very cold, and whilst the days are usually clear and sunny,  there is often a bite in the wind coming off the snow-capped mountains. Spring: (September - October) Spring in Clarens is particularly beautiful as all the fruit trees come into flower. The days start warming up and the wind looses its bite. The countryside however is usually still dry and doesn't turn green until the summer rains arrive. As with most mountainous areas, climatic conditions can change very quickly.   Visitors to Clarens are advised to take this into account: always have a hat, sunscreen, and something warm to hand.  Days throughout the year are usually sunny and bright, but given the lack of cloud cover temperatures can drop sharply once the sun disappears behind the mountains, and winter night temperatures have been known to drop to -14°C.  (On the upside - the stars are particularly bright on cold winter nights.) Rainfall occurs mainly in the summer months, and storms are mostly of a very short duration. Clarens is in a low-rainfall area, and the atmosphere is therefore generally very dry.  Visitors from moister climates are advised to pack some skin moisturizer.  Snow: Snow in Clarens is very unpredictable.  The mountains around Clarens are often dusted with snow during the winter months, as are the Maluti Mountains, and given the clear skies this makes for postcard perfect photographic opportunities. During winter visitors can go skiing at Afriski in Lesotho - only a few hours away - and there is a regular shuttle service between Clarens and Afriski during the winter months.  Clarens Weather Average Monthly Temperatures and Rainfall  (Meoweather) Weather Forecast  (Accuweather) (Those watching the South African weather reports on TV should look at the temperatures for Bethlehem, but bear in mind that Clarens is usually 2°C cooler than Bethlehem.) News items: June 2014: Welcome to Winter - Afriski June 2014: How to stay warm in Clarens September 2013:  Clouds and Rain (Article by Mary Walker) June 2014:  Skiing and Snowboarding in Lesotho June 2014:  Self-drive Clarens to Afriski More about Clarens Location:   Map and directions;     Recommended routes Exploring Clarens: Environment, Art and Craft, Features Environment: Clarens Village Nature Reserve Art and Craft:   Art Galleries;  Art courses and events Adventure:  Activities; Self-drive adventure; Tours;  Village Life:  Village Life;  Community Organizations &n
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. 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: METAL o   Cold-drink and beer cans o   Food tins o   Metal lids of glass jars o   Aluminium cans (eg, Red Bull),  foil and foil packaging (including newer soft-drink cans as well) o   Paint, oil and aerosol cans (leave labels on them so recyclers can see whether they contain hazardous material). o   Rusty cans GLASS o   Beverage bottles o   Food jars such as tomato sauce, jam and mayonnaise bottles PAPER o   White paper o   Cardboard o   Old newspapers and text books PLASTIC o   Milk bottles o   Plastic bags o   Cling wrap o   Household chemical bottles such as Stasoft, etc. The best way to determine if a plastic product is recyclable is by looking at the recycling logos (usually on the bottom of the product) of which there are seven. The logo informs of the grade or chemical makeup of the container. The following CANNOT be recycled: Drinking glasses (hardened glass containing chemicals that raise the melting point to above the normal melting point of most disposable glass food or beverage containers); light bulbs  – ordinary and energy-saving and fluorescent tubes (contain mercury – toxic and may contaminate soil and groundwater); Tetrapak (although technological advancements have made it possible to separate the layers it has not yet made its way to most recycling centres); gloss or laminated paper; confetti; carbon paper; stickers; batteries; Pyrex and ceramic plates as well as all foodstuffs. Now that we have basic idea of why and what should be recycled we come to the how of the recycling process. The simplest way to recycle is by taking your refuse back to the nearest recycling centre; however the staff of the  centre would have to sort the refuse resulting in extra time and space wastage and possibly even increased health hazards (toxic materials, rotten foodstuffs, rats, insects, odour, etc.).  A better approach is to divide your waste into recyclable and non-recyclable items – although the recycling centre staff would still need to sort your material, the health hazard factor is significantly reduced. An ideal approach would be to sort the materials at home into separate bins – plastics, paper, metal, glass and non-recyclables. This would mean minimal sorting for the recycling centre staff and allow for greater volumes of recyclable materials to be processed on a daily basis, making the recycling process far more efficient and cost-effective. You now know why, what and how to recycle, but now you need to know where to recycle. Recycling takes place at home, at schools and at work. Once the recyclable items have been sorted they may either be taken directly to the recycling centre, or picked up from designated drop-off points as arranged between the management of the recycling centre and a local municipality. The items will then be transported to the relevant handlers of recyclable goods which then get remade, sent out to factories, filled with goods and sent back to the supermarkets. In Clarens, a drop-off point is located between the Bibliophile and Knife-Makers shop just one street over from the Square and collections are made early in the morning of Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. Recyclables are also picked up from our local schools on Thursdays of each week. For individuals wishing to drop off their own recyclables, the recycling centre is situated in the same complex as the Working on Fire and Clarens Village Conservancy base opposite the refuse transfer facility near the Schaaplaats road. For additional information regarding recycling ask Uncle Google (he knows everything), or take a few minutes out to visit the recycling centre and talk with the manager, Mrs Evon Els for a more in-depth and personally satisfying approach to recycling. D.Coulson   For more information  click here to visit the Clarens Recycling Centre
It’s all about the 3 R’s! Reduce, reuse & recycle. These are the words that encompass almost the entire concept of sustainability. The ways in which the 3 R’s may be practically applied are limitless; however they have a profound effect on the arenas of ecology, economy and human welfare. Over the last decade the cost of living has really shot through the roof as petrochemical product prices keep going up, and in the last few years on an almost monthly basis. Globally, pollution of an anthropogenic nature has also never been higher. The need for ingenious solutions to common problems is therefore at an all-time high. Finding new means of cost-savings and improving overall quality of life requires that we now adopt these measures; we must adopt the 3 R’s. This week we give special attention to some people from within Clarens who are helping to realise the 3 R’s, and the manner in which they do this. Fun D(Y)ay! at Dihlabeng Christian School In continuing with our theme we now focus on 2 more of the 3 R’s: Reduce & reuse. This past month saw the students of Dihlabeng participating in several C.V.C. hosted events. A new recycling station was also set up by Sherri & Laurence Gersh The first of which entailed a basic introduction to the concept of the R’s in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and recycling video, followed by a recycling game and interactive Q & A session and ended off with the announcement of a poster competition. Groups of students from each grade were asked to produce posters utilising reused materials and to explain how their posters best convey the concept of sustainability. The winners from the foundation and intermediate phases would be taken for a day of fun sponsored by Clarens Xtreme and the C.V.C. This helped to spark enthusiasm and the first event ended on a high note. The second and main event held again at Dihlabeng involved the students from grades 2 – 7 in a series of 5 games, all of which were created using only recyclable materials and served as a means of showing the students that one can reuse and recycle and even have fun while doing it. It seemed that all who took part in the event thoroughly enjoyed it – including the students, WoF team, teachers, rangers and our committee member Sherri Gersh. The day ended with the judging of the posters and presentations and all the students were eager for our return to announce the winners. Last week Wednesday was a cold, grey and windy morning. Thankfully we were all safely tucked away in the school hall where we announced the winners of the poster competition. Judging was not easy as many of the posters had their own merits. That’s why grade 7 saw both its teams win from the intermediate phase while a team from grade 2 in the foundation phase met our critical eyes. The 3 R’s are part of our everyday lives whether we like it or not. The time is right to be a part of the solution. The time is right to improve our own livelihoods. Ladies and gentlemen, the time is right to start living again. One ant makes all the difference. Clarens Recycling Centre Recycling hasn’t always been big for Clarens, which is unusual considering that the majority of us living here are arty by nature and live outside-of-the-box, as conveyed by the wealth of art galleries, quaint and unusual shops and intriguing characters. All can be found right here in the little out-of-place, timeless Village. Prior to the 26th of August of last year, our pint-sized recycling centre struggled along in the absence of daily management, relying on borrowed funds and causing a big headache for the C.V.C. committee. Then things changed and she happened – Mrs Evon Els, a recent inclusion in the Clarens community voiced her intention to turn things around at the rec. centre – and that she has. Fetching, sorting, bailing and transporting loads of recycled materials to their penultimate destinations is no easy – and certainly not the most pleasurable task. Yet since stepping in, the rec. centre has observed more than a quadrupling of capacity; the precision and pace with which items are sorted has increased dramatically and now up to 4 loads a day, 3 days a week may be transported. This all at personal expense and utilising personal equipment without the expectation of a salary – yet day in and day out Mrs Els is there, often before anyone else arrives and is usually the last to leave. Currently there are 3 individuals employed on a contractual basis with extra hands being brought in at peak tourism times for Clarens. Watching these individuals and their leader at work is actually most interesting and the sorting process is an educational experience for anyone with a few moments to spare. Certainly it helps develop an appreciation for the recycling process as a whole and respect for those who are involved in it. A big Thank you Evon for your team’s efforts and an extended thanks to all who already are involved in recycling in Clarens – your efforts are helping to keep the streets of Clarens clean and are definitely having a positive effect on the environment. Article and photography by Damien Coulson &n