By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt
Planting trees is about more than beautifying the environment. It is also about greening our souls.
With this belief Stellenbosch Executive Mayor, Conrad Sidego, launched his Million Trees Project in April 2013. And now he is extending an invitation to other municipalities, organisations and individuals in South Africa to help him plant 1 million trees countrywide in September – Arbor Month.
Since he launched the Million Trees Project, more than 21 000 trees have been planted in the greater Stellenbosch Municipal area.
“Trees are symbolic of nurturing, safety and perseverance,” says Sidego. “The benefits of trees to communities are enormous. Some studies have shown that there is less aggression and violence in leafy environments. There is also research which shows that children fare better academically when they grow up surrounded by trees.”
It is widely accepted that trees have environmental benefits – the most important being that it helps counter global warming and the greenhouse effect.
Trees that bear edible fruit can also help to counter food insecurity and tree planting projects can help to boost the economy by providing job opportunities.
Sidego and his team, headed by Gerald Esau, Manager: Community Services at Stellenbosch Municipality have created a website where individuals and organisations can register every tree planted.
“It is important for us to include schools and learners in this project because we believe that planting a tree can teach a child important lessons – not least caring for a living thing,” says Esau.
Those who cannot plant a tree, but who would nonetheless want to be involved in the project, can make a financial donation.
“Let us take hands countrywide to not only beautify our country, but to also contribute to the emotional wellbeing of every South African,” says Sidego.
For information about donations and how to register trees The Million Trees website can be accessed by clicking here or go to www.milliontrees.co.za.
MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Stephanie Nieuwoudt 083 297 8785
Executive Mayor receives honorary membership from Rotary Club
By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt
Rotarians scale great heights. There were the Wright brothers who invented and built the first successful aeroplane, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first European who reached the summit of Mount Everest and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
“And I believe that Rotarians scale great heights each day through the different initiatives that address challenges in their communities,” said Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch on Wednesday evening (21 July 2015) when he received honorary membership from the Rotary Club Stellenbosch.
Ms Zelda Ellis, a past president of the Rotary Club Stellenbosch with Executive Mayor Conrad Sidego.
He received his pin from past president Zelda Ellis.
“We believe the Executive Mayor, like the Rotarians, wants to serve the community of Stellenbosch,” said Ellis. “We are giving him honorary membership in recognition of his commitment to the Rotarian organisation.
Sidego was one of the founding members of a Rotary Club in Denmark, when he was ambassador to that country in the 1990’s and he has a longstanding relationship with Rotary Innternational.
“I am looking forward to working with Rotary Stellenbosch to address the needs of our community,” Sidego said.
Overarching drive to act against illegal building activities, structures in Stellenbosch
By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt
Stellenbosch residents who erect illegal buildings on their properties or who are using existing structures for purposes other than what the municipality had given permission for, risk being prosecuted. They also risk losing their insurance cover if the property is damaged in a disaster.
This is the warning of Dupré Lombaard, Director: Planning and Economic Development at Stellenbosch Municipality. The Municipality initiated a drive in March this year to act against owners of illegal structures. This drive is overarching and includes farm owners and restaurateurs as well as home owners who rent rooms to students.
According to Cllr Johannie Serdyn, Mayco member for Planning and Environment 14 cases have since March been handed over to the lawyers.
It is estimated that there are more than 1 000 properties in the municipal area where owners erected buildings without prior building plan approvals, or changed the use of the buildings without prior land use approvals.
“The municipality is aware of these illegal land uses and unlawfully erected buildings in the rural areas, mostly on farms, zoned for agricultural use and in the urban areas, zoned for single dwelling use, but used for student accommodation,” says Lombaard.
Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch says: “In Stellenbosch, Innovation Capital of South Africa, we strive to keep all our residents safe and to ensure a dignified lifestyle. By acting on illegal activities, we minimise the risks of possible tragedy.
“There is always a need for accommodation in the town Stellenbosch and in the surrounding areas. And there will always be those who will try to secure an income from this need. One has respect for the entrepreneurship shown in the process, but as a municipality it is our responsibility to maintain law and order. We cannot just allow illegal building and the erection of illegal structures as this could easily lead to chaos.”
The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977, Act 103 of 1977 (NBR), defines buildings and structures and the requirements for the erection of them. Land owners often argue that farms and properties outside of urban areas were exempted from the need to submit building plans.
“However, at no time since the implementation of the NBR was any property exempted from having to submit building plans, other than specifically exempted informal settlements,” says Lombaard.
“All farms and land holdings, mines and quarries, state properties included, must have building plans for the structures erected thereon. Owning properties with buildings and structures for which no building plans or other approvals were granted, holds significant risks for the owners.”
The Stellenbosch Municipality wishes to assist land owners to regularise the use of their land and to gain approvals and authorisations in terms of the relevant statutory provisions. In order to reduce the risks to land owners and the problems faced by purchasers, the Municipality started with a drive to investigate and act on illegal structures in March.
“Some farm owners who have permission to run guesthouses are renting out accommodation on a long-term basis. We encourage tourism to Stellenbosch as it boosts the economy and creates jobs. However, when units meant for tourists are let out to long-term tenants, this does very little to bring in revenue or to create work opportunities,” says Lombaard.
“We are also acting against business owners who have illegally erected structures which serve as restaurants and we are investigating private residences where 8 to 10 rooms are let to students. This is in contravention of the Stellenbosch Zoning Scheme which stipulates that a maximum of 2 non-family members (students) may be accommodated in a private residence.”
According to Lombaard the municipality is using aerial photographs and GPS data to determine whether structures are newly built. This is supported by inspectors who visit the relevant properties. Residents who are found to have acted illegally, could face a fine or be forced to demolish the structures. The ideal would however be to legalise the desirable structures and uses.
Lombaard emphasises that the Municipality is keen to help residents to follow the legal route.
“If you already have a structure which might be illegal, speak to us. We will advise you on how to go about obtaining legal permission for the building.”
Die drinkwater in u gebied word verkry vanaf die Stad Kaapstad en versprei deur Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit. Stad Kaapstad het kennis gegee dat die watertoevoer na Franschhoek, Kylemore en Lanquedoc onderbreek sal word vanaf:
DINSDAG, 21 Julie 2015 om 10h00 tot
DONDERDAG, 23 Julie 2015 om 16h00.
Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit sal poog om die reservoirs vol te maak voor die onderbreking. U word egter dringend versoek om tuis ook voorsorg te tref vir die opgaar van water en water so spaarsamig as moontlik te gebruik, tot voordeel van die hele gemeenskap.
Geen besproeiing sal toegelaat word tydens hierdie periode nie. Ons vertrou op u samewerking en begrip vir die situasie. Navrae kan gerig word aan die Departement: Waterdienste by telefoonnommer (021) 808 8215.
The potable water in your area is supplied by the City of Cape Town and distributed by Stellenbosch Municipality. A notice was received from the City of Cape Town that the bulk water supply to Franschhoek, Kylemore and Lanquedoc will be interrupted from:
TUESDAY, 21 July 2015 at 10h00 until
THURSDAY, 23 July 2015 at 16h00.
Stellenbosch Municipality will fill the reservoirs before the interruption commences. As residents you are however requested to make provision in advance to provide for your needs as well as to use water as sparingly as possible to the benefit of all. No irrigation will be allowed during this period.
Your cooperation and understanding will be appreciated. For more information, please contact the Water Services Department at (021) 808 8215
Bome in ‘mooiste lelikste’ straat hef buurt op
Deur: Stephanie Nieuwoudt
Vind die lelikste straat in Groendal, Franschhoek.
Dit was so ’n paar maande gelede die opdrag van Conrad Sidego, uitvoerende burgemeester van Stellenbosch. Mnr Gerald Esau, bestuurder: gemeenskapsdienste van die munisipaliteit Stellenbosch het La Provencestraat in Groendal, Franschhoek geïdentifiseer. In hierdie straat het vullis oral in die straat gelê en graffiti het die mure ontsier. Op die sypaadjies was daar bykans geen teken van boom of plant nie.
Die volgende opdrag van Sidego was dat bome in hierdie straat geplant moes word. En van 18 tot 21 Mei vanjaar het ’n span mense van die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit en lede van die gemeenskap ingespring en 950 bome en sowat 3000 blomplante geplant. Vullis is ook uit die strate en sypaadjies en aan die walle van die Krommerivier verwyder. Digby die water is die gebied van ongewenste plantegroei skoongemaak en is piekniektafels staangemaak sodat lede van die gemeenskap hier kan kuier en mekaar beter leer ken.
Onderskrif: Me Naomi Marais en haar seun Dineo wys vir Conrad Sidego, uitvoerende burgemeester van Stellenbosch, van die plante in haar tuin.
Hierdie Mooiste Lelikste Straat-inisiatief is deel van Sidego se groter Miljoen Bome-projek wat in April 2013 afgeskop het. In effe meer as twee jaar is 21 078 bome in verskeie gebiede in die groter Stellenbosch munisipale gebied geplant. ’n Mens is dus nie verbaas dat Stellenbosch in 2014 met die louere weggestap het as Boomrykste Stad van die Jaar nie.
Hierdie projek ondersteun Sidego se visie vir Stellenbosch as die Innovasiehoofstad. Dié visie berus op vier pilare waarvan Groenste Munisipaliteit en Menswaardige Leefstyl twee van die pilare is.
“Gebiede soos Bishopscourt in die Kaapse metropool en Jonkershoek hier in Stellenbosch is bekend vir hul talle bome,” sê Sidego. “Jy kan jou geensins indink hoe hierdie plekke sonder bome sou lyk nie. Stel jou voor hoe anders woongebiede soos Kayamandi of Khayelitsha sal lyk as derduisende bome daar geplant word. Bome en plante verfraai nie net die omgewing nie. Deur op innoverende wyse die omgewing te vergroen, word ook ’n belegging gemaak in die vergroening van die siel ”
Naomi Marais, ’n inwoner van die straat sê dit is vir haar lekker om nou met haar kinders in die straat te stap.
“Die bome is nog jonk, maar saam met die verskillende plante maak dit reeds ’n groot verskil aan hoe die straat lyk. Ons straat, wat eers baie lelik was, is nou mooi. Dit laat ’n mens goed voel om soveel bome te sien groei waar daar voorheen niks was nie.”
Sy woon saam met haar man Melcho Boonzaaier en hul vier kinders Riveldo (12), Deneo (9), Aida (3) en Menen (3 maande) in die straat. Hul tuin is ’n lushof waar allerlei plante insluitend groente soos boontjies, kool, skorsies en pampoen groei.
“Melcho het nog altyd tuin gemaak, en toe Gerald Esau so ’n jaar gelede gesien het hoe mooi die tuin lyk, het hy gevra of ons nog plante wil hê,” sê Marais.
Esau sê die stukkie grond is gekies omdat daar geen ander groenigheid in die onmiddellike omgewing van die gesin se tuin was nie.
“Mnr Boonzaaier se geesdrif en gewilligheid om ‘n verskil in sy omgewing te maak het ons as munisipaliteit genoodsaak om plante aan hom te verskaf. Met hulp van sy vriende en ander lede uit die gemeenskap het hulle dieselfde dag die omgewing in n paradys omskep,” sê Esau.
Deesdae is daar soveel kos wat in die tuin groei, dat die gesin nie net hulself kan voed nie, maar ook hul oorvloed met die bure kan deel.
“Dit maak my gelukkig dat ons vir mense wat andersins nie kos sou gehad het nie, kan help,” sê Marais.
Boland learners on way to NASA
By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt
Meeting real-life astronauts, learning about jet propulsion and psychological effects on long-duration spaceflights and how the weightless environment of being in space affects the human body.
These are some of the topics two Boland learners will learn about as part of the United Space School programme at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Alet-Mari van der Merwe (17), a learner at Hoërskool Stellenbosch and Antoni Meyer (16) a grade 11 learner at Paarl Gymnasium are the only two South Africans who have been chosen for this programme. They will leave for the US on 24 July.
“I burst into tears when I heard that I was one of those going to Houston,” said Alet-Mari. “It will be a wonderful experience. Learners from 24 countries will be on the programme and I know I will benefit greatly from the interaction. We also had to complete five challenging projects and because of the research, I have already learnt a lot more than I thought I would – and this even before I have left South Africa.”
CAPTION: Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch chats to Alet-Mari van der Merwe a few days before her departure for NASA, Houston, Texas, where she will attend a two week programme.
On Tuesday (14 July 2015) she and her mother, Renata, had tea in the office of Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch. “Your experience at NASA is an opportunity that is also a crash course in what it entails to be human,” said Sidego.
“Your perspective will broaden and you will look differently at your school, your town and the world. I want to urge you and other young people to be brave and to always be willing to take risks. By accepting new challenges, you can help to design the future.”
The aim of the program is to kindle and develop a new generation’s interest in and involvement with space and related sciences.
Alet-Mari says it was a surprise to realise how many different career opportunities there are at NASA.
“NASA employs among others astronauts, engineers, scientists, people in the medical field and designers. We shall attend lecture by people from all of these disciplines. All the learners will work on a large project with the theme Manned Mission to Mars. The five projects we had to work on determined in which group we will work once we get to Houston and each group will bring its own skills to the project.”
Antoni Meyer (16), who lives in Melkbosstrand, says he decided to become an aerospace engineer when he was in grade 4.
“Since then I have never doubted my decision. This programme will take me right inside NASA and is an opportunity to see up close what exactly I will do one day,” he says. “This is also not about being the top student at school, but about having a passion. There are other learners in my school who do much better than me academically, but they do not have the same passion as I.”
Why did Alet-Mari apply for this programme?
“Some time ago I met advocate Wida du Plessis who through Young Wings Project does selection for the programme. I couldn’t stop asking her questions and we spoke for hours. She inspired me.”
Alet-Mari says her field of interest is design. Although she has never before considered traveling to space, someone recently asked her if she would like to do this. Since then this possibility has been in the back of her head.
“I might one day decide to travel to Mars,” she says.
Being accosted and robbed of their cell phones and money and confrontations by drunk people. These are but a few of the realities that learners from Klapmuts who travelled to school in Paarl by mini-bus taxi and train were exposed to.
But since the introduction of a new bus service, 280 learners can now travel to school in safety.
Caption: Some of the Klapmuts learners who can now travel to school in safety. They are holding Cllr Sophie Louw (Local Economic Development). The learners are (from left): Jeimicklynne Alexander, Brydgette Abrahams, Johanna Kroutz (a parent), Carlene Kroutz, Kaylene Alexander, Carrey-Ann Jacobs, Ryan Alexander and (in front) Des-Lee Hartzenberg and Bronwyn Marang.
“I cannot explain the sense of relief I feel now,” says parent Amanda Borens, a cleaner working at the Greater Stellenbosch Municipality. “I used to be tense all day waiting for my daughter, Nicole (13), to come home by taxi. Sometimes she arrived hours late because the mini-bus taxi was not on time.”
Nicole, a learner at Klein Nederburg Secondary School in Paarl says she was often late for school. “I do not like being late because it wastes education time,” she says. “We would often wait for the taxi early in the morning while it was still dark. It was horrible when it did not arrive.”
The bus service was introduced early in June after three years of hard work by Stellenbosch councillors Sophie Louw (Local Economic Development) and Aldridge Frazenburg (Community Services).
“I am also a mother and although my children are grown up, I know how worried parents are when they think their children are exposed to dangerous situations,” says Louw.
“Some of the learners who travelled from Klapmuts to Paarl by train, had to walk three to four kilometers to get to the station. And in Paarl they had to walk from the station to their school. Some of the children were robbed of their cell phones and money on the way. Many of the learners would arrive at the Paarl station and decide it was too much effort to walk further and they would then just spend the day at the station or walk around town. With the bus service the learners get dropped right in front of their different schools. In general it is a much safer situation.”
Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch says: “No child should be exposed to this kind of danger. Our aim is to help the people of the greater Stellenbosch to live with dignity and to create a safe environment. As the innovation capital we continuously strive to find practical solutions to problems and this initiative helps to keep our children safe.”
Six buses daily transport 280 children.
Mr Mervyn Alexander, father of Jeimicklynne (13), lives near the Klapmuts station. He says he often witnessed groups of children from different schools fighting.
“Once a stone they threw at each other smashed through one of my windows. Although Jeimicklynne did not travel by train but by taxi, she also had to walk far and was exposed to a number of dangers. One of her friends was attacked and robbed of her cell phone. It is terrible to worry about your child all the time.”
Some of the learners walked through gangster controlled areas and they were sometimes confronted by intoxicated visitors to the shebeens.
A number of learners said they are thankful that their parents no longer have to pay for transport which cost an average of R480 per child. The tab is now picked up by the Provincial Government.
Notice of Power Interruption: Kayamandi
The supply of electricity to your premises will be disconnected for the period shown below to enable necessary emergency work to be carried out. The supply may be resumed within a shorter period and must be deemed alive at all times.
Please switch off sensitive equipment in order to avoid damages thereto during the re-energising of the supply.
Please inform your security company of the supply interruption.
Date: 06 July 2015
Time: 08:00 – 11:00
Contact: 021 808 8302 / 021 808 8300
Umbane endaweni okuyo okanye ohlala kuyo uzakucinywa okwexeshana elibonisiweyo ngezantsi ukwenzela isivumelwano ngomsebenzi wethutyana. Umbane kunokwenzeka ubuye phambi kwexesha elibekiweyo kungoko ucelwa okokuba unga cingi okokuba awukabuyi kufune uhlale ukwisimo onokuthi xa ubuyileyo ubenokuwubona.
Nceda ucime izixhobo ozisebenzisayo ezibuthathaka, ukuthintela umo nakalo onokuthi udaleke xa umbane ubiyiselwa kwakhone.
Nceda wazise inkmpani yakho yezo khuseleko ngoluphazamiseko lombane.
Date: 06 July 2015
Time: 08:00 – 11:00
Contact: 021 808 8302 / 021 808 8300
Validity of Coupons for Disposal of Waste
Dear Consumer Please note that all disposal of waste coupons purchased during the 2014/15 financial year, will only be valid for use until 30 June 2015.
With effect from 1 July 2015, only coupons purchased in the 2015/16 financial year will be valid for use until 30 June 2016 at the disposal facilities. No other coupons will be accepted for disposal of waste.
The new tariff for half (½) ton disposal is R225.40 (Vat Incl.), and for one (1) ton R450.80 (Vat Incl.).
No extension will be granted for coupons purchased during the 2014/15 financial year after 30 June 2015. If any person wishes to get a refund for the additional coupons they have for this financial year 2014/15.
They need to submit the following to the Manager: Solid Waste Management:
The unused Landfill Coupon/s, with the receipt, and a letter requesting a refund.
The letter with the coupon/s will be considered and supported before forwarding the documentation to the Finance Department for approval.
The deadline for refunds will be 26 June 2015.
Please be informed that the normal municipal door-to-door refuse collection service that takes place in Kayamandi will change as from July 2015. The areas affected will be serviced every Tuesday, starting as from 7 July 2015.
Residents are kindly requested to ONLY place refuse out on Tuesdays.
We thank you for your cooperation.