Solar makes cents, and Boschendal becomes a significant producer
About two years ago, the V&A Waterfront commissioned 4,207 solar panels (7,000m²) installed on the roofs of the main Waterfront buildings, with a total electrical output of 1,093.8 kWp at a cost of R20 million. It conserves about 1,721,956 kWh annually, significantly reducing the Waterfront’s environmental footprint. At the same time, Boschendal commissioned its first, small […]
Bucking the trend in the drought
The Western Cape has faced its worst drought in a century, and this is the third consecutive year of that drought. Cape Town’s mayor has been at pains to point out that — with climate change — “This is the new normal.” With dwindling water supply to farmers, crop productions have been slashed and, across…
A new, ‘must-stop’ on the R45 between the N1 & Franschhoek
For many years, there’ve been two sad old buildings full of potential on the R45 between the N1 and Franschhoek. One of them used to house the old Groot Drakenstein post office. Landscape architect Danie Steenkamp bought the property recently and has given it a new lease on life, selling the one building to Vicki…
Pniel’s home-grown entrepreneur
Elrico Pietersen was born in Pniel on the slopes of the Simonsberg and went to Pniel Primary School and then Kylemore High School, a few kilometres up the road. “I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to go away to school — my mother is a baker with two children,” he says. Elrico ran two…
Snoozy snake survives to slither in the mountain reserves
I wasn’t too thrilled to find a snake in the outbuilding that houses my solar batteries and inverter yesterday afernoon. And since I know nothing about snakes, I posted a photo of it to find out what it is. Well… everybody on Facebook seems to know far more about snakes than I do and I…
Spectacular Sunday morning first light
If there’s one thing this south-western corner of the African continent really has going for it, it is the quality of light. Add to the that the confluence of two oceans and spectacular mountains, and one has light displays that are hard to beat. These were my views from home yesterday morning before the sun…
What a great little village Pniël could be!
When CapeInfo was deciding on the most beautiful drive in South Africa, Helshoogte came up tops for every reason — the ever changing views in every season, the dramatic mountain vistas and the things to do on the route. On the Stellenbosch side of the Pass, there are views back to Table Mountain. From the…
It’s time to really start promoting small entrepreneurs
I live close to the villages of Pniel, Lanquedoc and Kylemore outside Stellenbosch. Now that’s not an area where you find a booklet advertising local services — which is what I really needed when I arrived there. If there was, the small businesses there are probably so small they probably wouldn’t be able to afford…
A breakfast ride on Boschendal Estate
When most people are stuck in their car in the traffic, or staring at their laptop screen, I went for a breakfast ride up the slopes of Drakenstein mountain on Boschendal Farm. Is there a better way to start the day?
What’s in a name? Everything!
Only politicians, bureaucrats and the foolish think that when they choose a name to brand a destination, they have the makings of a successful brand. They usually choose what they regard as a “safe” name, catering for all interests, ignoring everything that is already well-established. And without the budgets of Unilever or SA Breweries, or …