Talk of the Town

Young Ike Klaassen has grabbed everyone’s imagination on the global MTB stage, the leading international think-tank the “Club of Rome” will convene in South Africa for the first time and a new mobile app was launched this week to assist the Stellenbosch Municipality in solving their housing challenges. Danie Keet weighs in with another hearty dose of the local stories that matter.

Young local rider shines on world MTB stage

Ike Klaassen is a 15-year-old Dutch/South African from Stellenbosch who has dominated the local junior DH (downhill) scene and earned himself a few titles in Europe over the past few years. He is fresh from an event the Crankworx Whistler Mountain Bike Festival, which took place in Canada earlier this month.

At this event he competed in the Canadian Open DH presented by iXS Youth 15-16 division, and ended up placing seventh in this quick division.

“Crankworx was the two best weeks of my life,” said Ike. “It has been a dream to go to Whistler for a long time, so it was supersick to go there at the best time, during Crankworx. Our division was pretty quick, and I was placed fifth, but ended up seventh after a couple of riders had re-runs on a faster track.”

He is off to the Audi Nines Mountainbike event in September, which takes place at the much-acclaimed Ellweiler quarry near Birkenfeld in Hunsrück-Hochwald, Germany.

This event is a unique free-ride and slope-style mountain bike event, in partnership with Bikepark Idarkopf, renowned for continuous competition evolution. Ike is one of the youngest riders invited to the event.

Global thinkers to meet at Spier 

Renowned and leading international think-tank, the Club of Rome (CoR), is set to hold its annual conference and global summit in Stellenbosch later this year with Spier Wine Farm as the host.

This will be the first time that South Africa will be hosting this prestigious group of notable scientists, economists, business people and former heads of state.

The CoR gained recognition in 1972 with its first report The Limits to Growth, considered a classic in the sustainability movement and the first study to question the viability of continued growth in the human ecological footprint.

At the time the CoR predicted many of the global challenges we face today, but the think-tank has since moved beyond sounding the alarm nearly 50 years ago and is now asking tough questions about the appropriateness of the current paradigm and civilization patterns it has spawned.

With the summit held on African soil, it is appropriately themed Our Joint Futures – Lessons from Africa and will focus on four areas, all critical to the future of South Africa, the broader African continent, and the global community, namely: climate emergency, reclaiming and reframing economics, new models of finance and emerging new civilizations.

Housing app a first in SA

A new free and user-friendly mobile app to assist the Stellenbosch Municipality in solving their housing challenges was launched this week.

The app is not only a first for Stellenbosch, but also one of the first municipal applications in the country that focuses exclusively on providing a digital platform on which residents can submit a housing application.

To work optimally with scarce resources to provide as many opportunities as possible, accurate data is critically important.

The municipality is therefore rolling out a comprehensive campaign to update and refine its housing demand database (HDD). This app will  increase housing accessibility as well as access to the database.

The municipality’s housing waiting list goes back as far as 1987. With the 1995 amalgamation of the areas and towns that today fall within the municipality’s jurisdiction, the various waiting lists were fused into one.

There are approximately 16 300 applicants currently registered on the database, but the information of many applicants may be incomplete or outdated.

Stevens a beacon in local wine industry

One of the local wine industry’s legendary female winemakers Carmen Stevens is a finalist of the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and Business/Partners.

Coming from humble beginnings on the Cape Flats, Stevens has established herself not only as an award winning winemaker but also a change agent, transforming the lives of thousands of learners in the Western Cape every day.

As a young girl she was fascinated by the vineyards and cellars depicted in Mills and Boon novels, which her mother read. It was then that she had already started dreaming of being a winemaker herself one day.

Stevens’ journey has been one of sheer determination, resilience and undeniable brilliance.

Today, the 47-year-old not only produces her own wines, which she sells internationally, but plays the role of consultant to other wine brands, spreading the benefits of her unique winemaking talent and skills.