Talk of the Town

It’s been another busy week in Stellenbosch as Eikestadnuus’s Danie Keet brings you the latest news stories that are grabbing everyone’s attention.

Heritage Festival this weekend

The 8th annual e’Bosch Heritage Festival starts this weekend with a full programme of more than 30 events to follow over the next two months.

The first event on the programme this Saturday is the e’Bosch School Choir Festival for primary schools with 21 schools from the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek district taking part. Entry to this event, which starts at 15:00 in the Coetzenburg Centre, is free to the public.

Wednesday 29 August, sees the official launch of the e’Bosch Heritage Festival at the Stellenbosch University Museum, hosted by Gesie van Deventer, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch Municipality and Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. Advocate Thuli Madonsela will be the guest speaker. A number of Stellenbosch residents will also receive the e’Bosch Heritage Awards at the event for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of culture and heritage conservation.

The following Saturday 1 September, members of Dorpie Heritage Committees will have their annual e’Bosch Pétanque competition to get to know each other. Ida’s Valley will present their Family Heirloom Exhibition from Monday 4 to 30 September. Several other dorpies such as Devon Valley, Jamestown, Cloetesville, Klapmuts, Lanquedoc and Kylemore will also present a variety of heritage events during the month of September.

Stellenbosch Museum’s contributions to e’Bosch heritage events include two tours. The first on 15 September is a visit to the Stellenbosch Museum, SU Botanical Garden, SU Art Museum, Jamestown heritage exhibition, Pniël Museum (with lunch) and Cloetesville Heritage Festival.

The second is an evening stroll with the renowned Pietman Retief through the historical core of Stellenbosch on Friday evening 20 September.

Several other flagship events will also be presented during the month of September and October such as the e’Bosch Senior School Choir Festival on 19 September, the e’Bosch VriendsCUP Games on 22 September, the Under-11 Soccer Tournament on 24 September, the Distell Diversity and Social Inclusion Workshop on 3 October and the Moore Stephens Night Run on 17 October.

Draft Tobacco Bill in final phases

The window for public comment on the Draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill (2018) has officially closed. If passed, the Bill’s enforcement would see a complete shift in the way bars, restaurants and public spaces are managed in Stellenbosch.

According to the 17th World Conference on Tobacco, the Bill’s passing in SA means the following:

  • Smoking in a public space will be prohibited (indoors and outdoors), allowed no less than 10 m away from any restaurant or bar’s door or window.
  • Cigarette packaging will only have the brand name and a health warning.
  • No public display of cigarettes.
  • No adult (18+) may smoke in front of a minor in any enclosed space.

Bars and pubs would be required to reform their current policy, and failure to comply could mean a year-long sentence.

“It depends on the establishment. For example, at Bohemia many people go there to smoke. If you take that choice away they may choose to avoid going out entirely and rather stay at home.”

Taariq Tayob (22), Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing

“Personally, I hate smoking and I’d prefer it if people didn’t smoke inside, but the problem is that there’s no real will to enforce a law like that, especially in places like Bohos or Mystics. When The Happy Oak prohibited smoking it lasted for about a second.”

Locals shine in ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition. 

Almost half of the 20 finalists in the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition hail from the Stellenbosch area – just confirming this cultivar’s domination of the region’s wine cultivars.

A record of 161 entries have been received for the Top 10 competition and includes well-known local producers such as Beyerskloof, Kaapzicht, Kanonkop and Lanzerac. The other finalists come from the Breedekloof, Piekenierskloof, Durbanville, Cape Town, Paarl, Darling and Worcester. Four of the finalists had two wines on the shortlist, namely Diemersdal, Kaapzicht, Môreson and Kanonkop.

The long-awaited announcement of the winners in the 2018 Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition was held on Cavalli Estate outside Stellenbosch on Wednesday 15 August. At the same time, Absa’s 22-year commitment to the Pinotage Association, a partnership celebrating the standard for South Africa’s most successful indigenous wine grape cultivar, has been celebrated.

Elamrine Anthony: Bloemhof’s ballet star

At only ten years old many people might consider it to old to start a career in ballet.

This did not bother For Alet Muller (now 18) at all.

Approximately 8 years later she has many achievements on her record, including the distinction of being the Western Cape runner-up in the Cecchetti Society’s Advanced One-examination in 2016.

And she does not only excel in ballet.

This long list of achievements of the Gr  12 learner of the Bloemhof Girls’ High School includes distinctions in various examinations in violin and piano. She is also a member of the school orchestra, part of the athletics team and an achiever in academics throughout her whole school career.

Of al lher extramural activities, ballet is the one closest to her heart. She says in her first few classes she was not allowed to dance at all and just had to sit and watch the other dancers.

“The discipline, self control and grace of ballerinas – although they were so small, stood out for me.”

In the beginning Alet struggled a lot. She laughs when she thinks back to the irony that her coordination was the aspect she struggled with most. “Through the years my coordination improved a lot,” she jokes.

Michelle van der Spuy: Stellenbosch night shelter’s women of strength

You might regard the homeless in town as a major problem for the community, but they are just normal people like you and me.

This is the view of Denise Paulse, manager of the Stellenbosch Night Shelter in Cloetesville.

Paulse joined the night shelter in 2007 after years of service at Child Welfare. She was on the lookout for a new challenge. And this was a big challenge for her – to work with adult homeless people.

“The homeless person is the one who you regularly see on the streets and you wonder what happened to the person to cause him or he to end up on the streets,” she says.

“We are prone to conjure our own stories about the lives of these people. For me it was a challenge to change my perception about what caused the homeless to turn to the streets and to ge to know the person behind the homeless. Often their stories are completely different to what you think.

At the nigh shelter she finds herself part of a team of women who work hard to offer homeless people the opportunity to find their feet in their communities.

She finds the fact that the team consists mainly of women interesting and it mirrors the relationship of the number of men and women in the shelter.

“In the night shelter itself we have more men than women staying here. I think it is because is normally the stronger figure and cabn function better under pressure, who will find it more difficult to move on and wil suffer more on behalf of her family or the community in which she stays,”she explains.

Womens Day – a celebration of inspirational ladies

The Eikestadnuus women’s day spring function that will be held on Thursday 20 September at the Zarose Olive estate in Devon Valley promises to be a great inspirational experience women in Stellenbosch.

Some of South Africa’s most well-known and much loved icons in décor, style and beauty will be the guest speakers at the event – Inspirational Women – and will cover these topics in inspirational and unique fashion.

Jackie Burger, style icon of Studio58, Aleit Swanepoel of the Aleit Group and Yolande Swanepoel of the Isa Carstens Academy, each an expert on his or her field of expertise will contribute to the unforgettable morning of fun and laughs.

Each of these guest speakers have a very unique view of interacting with their audiences and guests can be assured that they will leave the event, enriched ad filled with inspirational ideas.

“I talk from my heart and will share my experiences of my life and the events and entertainment world in which I work with tour guests. I am sure, and hope, that they will find some inspiration in that, “Aleit said.

Add to these intriguing speakers interesting dishes, especially designed and prepared for the event , some of South Africa’s best sparkling wine and a vista to die for and you will be part of a function never before seen in Stellenbosch.

Tickets are R350 per person and tables of eight or ten people can be booked in advance. Contact Heidi Martin at Eikestadnuus on 021 887 2840 or mail her at