This issue marks the sixth anniversary of Village Life, and with it we publish our first supplement: a visitors’ guide to the Cape Overberg and surrounds. The guide is a successor to a similar brochure last published five years ago by the then Overberg Meander Association, and which proved to be hugely popular it is still in use even today. A total of 50 000 copies of the guide is being printed and, apart from distribution with our magazine, will be available at travel agents, information bureaux and other tourism establishments.
The Overberg offers the visitor an amazing range of experiences, from the rustic to the sophisticated. The area is best known, however, for its rich biodiversity and fascinating history, a place to unwind and leave cares behind. We trust the guide will entice many people to come and visit!
Sadly, one of the stories in this issue of Village Life tells of a severe threat to the very existence of the tourism industry in parts of the Overberg: Eskom’s plans to build a nuclear power plant, twice the size of the one at Koeberg, at Bantamsklip on Groot Hagelkraal. Anyone who can, should raise his or her voice against it.
On a Sunday in August visitors flocked to Stormsvlei for a first open-air art market. The activity that day reminded of this tiny hamlet’s former status as an important junction on the Old Cape Wagon Route. Here Conrad Hicks works in the smithy, which has remained intact from the days wagons were built and repaired here page 22. Photo: Maré Mouton
2 At the office
Letters and other important matters
Within days after our previous issue appeared, the photographer featured in the article “Trove of vintage images found” had been identified. Subscriber Pieter Hoffman of Carnarvon phoned to say he had some old pictures from Aberdeen, he then forwarded a copy of one of these to Carol Hardijzer, author of the article, who could match the background in the picture to others he had. The photographer was John F Scholtz, whose studio was in Darling Street, Aberdeen about a hundred years ago.
4 Half a century of conservation
Dr Hans Fransen looks back on the 50 years of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (now Heritage SA)
8 The face of South Africa
Time for a break at Genadendal, the oldest mission village in South Africa by Annalize Mouton
10 Bantamsklip: Eskom’s extremely bad idea
National electricity supplier Eskom has earmarked Bantamsklip on the coast south of Pearly Beach as a site for a nuvlear power plant twice the size of the one at Koeberg. This is adjacent to the hottest biodiversity hotspot in the world Groot Hagelkraal. Such a power plant will destroy the livelihoods of all who depend on eco-tourism based on the biodiversity of the Agulhas Plain, from shark-cage diving to flower pickers and guest farms by Maarten Groos
16 The black countess from Bain Street never kissed by the Queen
Maggie Follett recounts the extraordinary romance between Martha Solomons and Harry Grey
22 Stormsvlei once a bustling hub
What is now just a cluster of buildings next to the N2 highway between Riviersonderend and Swellendam, was once an important stopover for travellers by Annalize Mouton
28 Getting to the top of the Tugela Falls
Stephen Pryke ponders the formation of the Drakensberg while he hikes to the highest point, Mont-aux-Sources
32 Lake Fundudzi a sacred secret
Keri Harvey visits this secluded lake, sacred to the Venda people, in Limpopo Province
36 Riemvasmaak a new beginning
This community in the Northern Cape, which was widely dispersed under the old apartheid government, has new hope of rebuilding itself by Duncan Miller
40 Figs under attack
A nasty beetle threatens the survival of the domestic fig by Geoff Tribe
44 Good-bye Lourie, hallo Turaco
Our most beautiful birds have new names by Nico Myburgh
46 It’s better with honey
Our Country Table Annalize uses honey in some tasty recipes
48 Camera work
Layered reflections in a church window at Klaarstroom in the Karoo by Maré Mouton
49 Tail piece
There’s a donkey that needs your help at Eseltjiesrus, a sanctuary for neglected, abused and other old donkeys outside McGregor in the Breede River Valley. Village Life has adopted a donkey, but there are others who need assistance. Visit www.donkeysanctuary.co.za for details