Stellenbosch Umasipala

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

He can do basic carpentry, painting and plumbing. But he has always wanted to do an electrician’s course.

And with this certificate, he can now further im0prove his qualifications so that he can obtain his Wireman’s License.

“It is going to take a few years, but I have a passion for electrical work and this is a qualification I shall work hard to obtain,” said Chadwin Apollis, one of twelve beneficiaries of the Mayoral Skills Development Electrician Assistant course at the event where they received their certificates at Stellemploy on Monday (31 August).

Chatwin, who was also the best student on the course, proudly showed some of his test results.

Caption: Ms Betta Augustyn, CEO of Stellemploy with the young men who received their Ellectrician Assistant certificates Hilton Palison, Nathan Maroma, Judon Jagers, Kerwyn Roos, Gaino Segers (Office Manager: Stellemploy), Eurgan Groenewald (middle) Brent Simmers, Armeen Cornelson, Lindsay Nieveldt, Chadwin Apollis, Eagan Marlow, Zane Goliath, William Thys. The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego is in the back row. With Shane Zeederberg who trained the young men.

“When I got 97% for a test, I was very unhappy. I was only satisfied when I got 100%,” he said.

On Monday Stellemploy, which trains young people in skills such as carpentry, cooking, electrical work, gardening and painting also celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The Executive Mayor, Conrad Sidego said that Stellemploy is a place where “dreams are given to young people”.

“This certificate is a key that these young men can use to open a number of doors. And when there is no door, one sometimes have to create one.”

Caption: Some of the young men who completed their certificate course qualifying them as electrician’s assistants.

Referring to dire poverty he said that many South Africans are “born dead because of a lack of opportunities”.

“You give young people the skills to live,” he said to Betta Augustyn, CEO of Stellemploy. “When people really live, they also create opportunities for others.”

For Lindsay Nieveldt (23) this course was a further break with drug-fuelled past.

“I was involved with drugs and after a stint in rehab I realised I am really messing up my life. I decided to pull myself together. I know that I will be able to get a decent job with this certificate. “

Brent Simmers had a pragmatic reason for why he wanted to do this course: “Everybody needs electricity. And I know there will always be work for an electrician.”

Stephanie Nieuwoudt

The route is only 20 km long, but the area and its people have walked a long road to freedom.

“This route offers an opportunity to follow the journey from slavery to freedom to wealth,” said Ms Marinda Holtzhausen, chairperson of the Stellenbosch Chamber of Commerce and director of the social media company, Socially Unforgettable at the launch of the Dwarsriver Valley Freedom Route on Friday (28 August).

The name of the route encompasses both the history of the slaves which were eventually set free as well as the freedom that comes with economic independence. The five little towns on the route – Pniel, Lanquedoc, Johannesdal, Kylemore and Banhoek – has a connection to the slaves who worked in the area long ago as well as the more recent farm workers.

The route is the initiative of Doreen Carolissen, Manager: Dwarsriver Valley Tourism.

CAPTION: Cllr Malcolm Johnson, Ms Marinda Holtzhausen (Chairperson of the Stellenbosch Chamber of Commerce), Ms Tudo Zothokazi (PRASA), Cllr Sophie Louw, Ms Doreen Carolissen, Manager: Dwarsriver Valley Tourism and Cllr Nicolaas August attended the launch of the Dwarsriver Valley Freedom Route

“It often happens that larger enterprises benefit from tourism routes. With this route I want to give the small business person an opportunity to introduce his or her product to visitors. There are many crafters and other small business people in the area. We will take the visitors to the local people.”

Sophie Louw, Portfolio Councillor for Local Economic Development at Stellenbosch Municipality said: “Initiatives like these will help to lead us to economic freedom. This is the valley of possibilities. This route will open up many opportunities.”

The village of Pniel can trace its history back to 1842 when two local farmers gave land to freed slaves to build a mission station. And in Lanquedoc one of the tourist attractions is the workers’ houses designed by Sir Herbert Baker. On the estate Solms Delta, the history of the people who lived and worked in the area is recorded in the Museum van de Caab. This estate is also on the route.

Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, welcomed the initiative.

“This route is an innovative way to introduce the Valley and the history of its people. Initiatives like these which contribute to boosting economic growth are welcomed by Stellenbosch Municipality.”

There are many wine estates and gourmet restaurants on the route offering the visitor a rich culinary experience as well. Accommodation options are diverse: from hotels and guest houses to rooms in the houses of the local people.

New banners erected along the fence of the Agricultural Research Council (located on the eastern side of the R44) on 14 August welcome visitors to Stellenbosch and highlight the many attractions of this historic Boland town.

The different banners reflect the town’s status as Innovation Capital of South Africa as well as its status as the Food and Wine Capital. Also represented is its status as a centre of education and Town of Oaks.

The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego, launched the Innovation Capital initiative in 2012. This initiative rests on five pillars: preferred investment destination, greenest municipality, safest valley, dignified living and good governance.

Images on new banners on the eastern side of the R44 reflect Stellenbosch’s status as Innovation Capital, Food and Wine Capital, centre of Education and Town of Oaks. Photo: Harold Daniels

Among other things, innovation means that creative thinking brings about economic and social improvement. Innovation is therefore key to bring about change in communities in Stellenbosch through stimulating social and economic development.

The banners also reflect the town’s status as Food and Wine Capital. The fine wines produced in this area are internationally renowned. A number of annual food, wine and cheese festivals contribute significantly to the local economy.

Stellenbosch is home to more than 20 000 students and the banners also reflect the town as a centre of education. For the last 100 years Stellenbosch University has contributed to research both internationally and internationally and is ranked among the top 500 universities worldwide.

The banner with an image of a tree serves to highlight Stellenbosch as the Town of Oaks. Some of these trees are centuries old and have been declared national monuments.

Stellenbosch Municipality’s Coat of Arms is also reflected on the banners.

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Residents of Klapmuts (Ward 18) were surprised on Wednesday (19 August 2015) by “Superman” who accompanied staff of Stellenbosch Municipality to distribute 100 wheelie bins to households in the area.

“Superman” is Charl Ciliers, of the environmental and botanical consulting service My Habitat who is working with Stellenbosch Municipality to make people aware about environmental issues.

“The Superman suit makes people smile. And it feeds into the idea that citizens have to do the right thing.”

“Superman” Charl Cilliers and the Stellenbosch Municipality team who distributed wheelie bins in Klapmuts, Nomapha Msizi, Arthur Adams, Nelson Mzili, Clayton Hendrickse, Zizipho Fatshane, renata fourie, Charlotte Cronjé, Gerald Abraham and Shaun Nomnganga. On the truck are Lusindiso Joyi, Mabuthi Makupula, Werenr Groenewald and Dawid Reitz.

Resident Rachel Gabriels said she is extremely grateful for her bin.

“The black bags are not effective. Dogs, looking for something to eat, tear them to shreds.

“This area lies on the wine route. When the streets are covered in litter, it sends out a terrible message to tourists who pass by here.”

Mrs Fransina Remmetts (82) who has been living in the area for more than 50 hyears, also said she was excited about the bin.

“I have been waiting for a bin for a long time, because animals won’t be able to tear them open, like they do with the black bags,” she said.

Grateful Klapmuts resident Rachel Gabriels (third from the left) standing next to “Superman” Charl Cilliers. With them are municipal staff members,Nelson Mzili, Charlotte Cronjé, and Nomapha Msizi. In front are Zizipho Fatshane and Arthur Adams.

The distribution is part of a bigger project by the Municipality’s solid waste department to distribute 3 000 bins to all residential areas in Klapmuts by the end of September.

“Residents of Klapmuts have up to now been using black refuse bags. It has contributed to the problem of litter in the area,” explains Cllr Sophie Louw, Mayco member: Local Economic Development. “We hope that these wheelie bins will help to curb litter and the illegal dumping of waste in open spaces.”

Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego, says that the wheelie bins are an intervention to add to the vision of Stellenbosch to help its residents live dignified lives.

“Waste that is dumped indiscriminately cause a variety of problems of which health issues are foremost. The bins will help to get rid of waste more effectively. The next challenge is to ensure that our residents know that recyclable waste can be turned into economic opportunities.”

Ms Charlotte Cronjé of the Municipality’s solid waste department adds that black refuse bags are an inefficient system.

“When bags get torn by dogs and other roaming animals the waste spilling out then lies in the street or gets scattered in the wind. People are more aware of their waste and the need to get rid of it in an appropriate manner when they have wheelie bins,” she says.

Members of the Municipality’s Youth in Waste project helped to distribute the bins. These young people make residents and especially the youth aware of the importance of getting rid of waste effectively.

“It is important to tell other young people why it is important not to litter. They see adults dumping rubbish anywhere and this sets a bad example for them,” says Namapha Msizi one of the Youth in Waste workers.

“In Stellenbosch our landfill site will be filled to capacity within the next three years. We also try to teach young people about the importance of recycling. Plastic, glass, cardboard and metal can be collected and sold. There is money and great opportunities in recycling. We should all make more of an effort to re-use, reduce and recycle.”

‘Live in the moment’ – Women’s Month message

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Women and girls should stop thinking “if only” and live in the now.

This was the message of Ms Michelle Aalbers, Manager: Community Development; Planning and Economic Development on Friday (7 August). She spoke to a group of girls at the Franschhoek Valley Community Sports Centre in Groendal as part of a programme of events for Women’s Month.

“We do not have power about the past – which has already happened. And we do not have power over the future. We only have power about this very moment. We have to value this moment,” Aalbers said.

She said that woman and girls do not often experience feelings of “awesomeness”, “magic” or “fabulousness” because they focus on thinking “if only”.

“We believe that if only we were richer, or thinner, or cleverer we would be happy. We need to focus on what is happening right now. We can decide to be fabulous and feel fabulous every day. We can choose how we feel. Whether they are young or old, women do not need other people to make them feel wonderful.”

After her talk, the girls had to write down decisions they believed could have a long-term impact on their lives. Juliana Sterkse wrote that she decided that she would study harder so that she could succeed in life.

Chelsey Davey said that she wanted to rise above her circumstances while for Davidene Adonis it was important to practise hard at sports so that her school, Groendal Sekondêr, could win the sports derby.