Talk of the town

Tree-preneurs have been beautifying town by planting almost 700 trees in two months, a dream becomes reality for an amateur runner and Stellenbosch Network shines a light on local businesswomen. Danie Keet with the latest from Stellenboschnews.com.

Coalition of tree-preneurs still going strong

Wildlands is still going strong and have gone out of their way over the past few months to beautify Stellenbosch.

“Wildlands, in partnership with the Stellenbosch Trail Fund (STF), Trees-SA, Stellenbosch Municipality and Stellenbosch University have planted close to 700 trees, nurtured by our tree-preneurs, in Dwars River as well as 400 Arum Lilies along the Eerste Rivier in the last two months,” says Lydia van Rooyen, project manager of Wildlands on Stellenbosch.

“The teams continue to work hard and aim to restore ecological river systems by removing alien invasive plants and replacing them with indigenous riverine vegetation.”

“Last week, the Stellenbosch team continued with their restoration efforts by planting an additional 26 big indigenous trees, most of which have been donated by residents who live along the river and who wanted to commemorate family members, or to celebrate a birth or a life of a loved one.”

“They will continue planting between 250 – 500 liter bags in celebration of the upcoming Arbour Week which is celebrated annually on the 1st week of September.”

Learners from Paul Roos Gimnasium, on behalf of their PRG Societas association, also planted five large indigenous trees on the banks of the Eerste River close to the school to commemorate former learners.

Matt Kruger: 100 km in 24 hours for children

Elbé van Heerden

“If I could have a crazy dream and make it into a reality in a mere two months, how much more can we turn a child’s dream into a reality if we fostered it over years?”

Matthew Kruger had a crazy idea one morning, two months ago, while lying in bed. He wanted to do something to make a difference. One that would really impact children in the community.

As such he attempted to complete 100 km’s of open road in only 24 hours. He did, after only two months of training, finish this feat in only 21 hours!

“I have been doing marketing for various non-profit organisations for years, but I have always been in the background. This time I wanted to give something back.”

An avid sportsman and runner, Matt can be seen running over obstacles all around Stellenbosch as part of his urban running movement. “I created UOR (Urban Obstacle Running) a few years ago and it has since become so much bigger. I realised, after doing some research, that there was no clear rulebook that existed for urban running. So I started writing one.” (Look out for the cleverly placed I <3 Urban Obstacle Running stickers throughout town).

His book on Urban Obstacle Running is a new take on this modern sport that has been around for only a few years. But with no rules and regulations he created a grading system, started naming and penning down rules and adding structure. His passion for the sport has spilt over into the community and he now has a bunch of kids that train with him.

Celebrating some of Stellenbosch’s leading women entrepreneurs

Did you know that, according to The World Bank, Africa is the only region in the world where more women than men choose to become entrepreneurs?

Yet, in South Africa, where women constitute more than half of the population, they are far less likely to run businesses of their own. In fact, only nine out of every 100 women in South Africa are actively involved in entrepreneurship. This is because women-led business tend to receive less attention than their male counterparts. So this month, Stellenbosch Network sat down with four of the community’s top female business leaders to shine a light on what encouraged them to become an entrepreneur and how being a woman has helped shape their journey.

For Lynne Rippenaar-Moses, the founder and managing director of PR and communications agency, Wrap It Up PR & Communications, the presence of women entrepreneurs at home, mixed with a desire to use her skills to make a difference in society, inspired her to become an entrepreneur herself.