Our Conservancy is mainly a farming area and a tourist desitination, hardly one hour’s drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria. In response to the favourable comments on recent travel blogs about our beautiful area (as was reported in our previous two newsletters), we have decided to publish contact details of our members’ guest facilities in this newsletter, and to request all our readers to forward this to family members and friends.

A recent job advertisement for a tilapia farm manager stated: “This is a position for someone who is willing to do everything: building, welding, vehicle and pump maintenance, fish handling, etc., so you need to be jack-of-all-trades, and master of several. In other words, it is not a job for the guy who wants to play golf on Wednesday afternoon and drive a BMW ... but if you want a head start in tilapia culture, this offers immense opportunity” (Nicholas James, ichthyologist and hatchery owner).

On 27 May 2016, thirty of the Valley girls were treated to a stylish lunch by Esther Müller, owner of the new restaurant, Esthers.

On the photo of staff  who helped on the day, appear from left to right, Frank, John, Werner, Marianne, Esther & Patrizia.

The restaurant is situated off the R560, on the premises of the former Hideaway. This beautiful venue, with its indigenous gardens, pool, boma, play area for kids, sleepover accommodation, and many more, really is an asset in our valley. The restaurant will open shortly. We will keep our members/readers posted.

esthers

Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak! Hartbeespoort will soon be one of the first towns in South Africa to benefit from father and son team, Hennie and Muller Snyman of Get Connected Construction’s innovative, quality and cost-effective green building method. With this method, they not only re-use polystyrene, which poses a great threat to the environment, they will also help alleviate a critical housing shortage, especially in the low-cost housing market.

The company spent six years testing and researching to patent the fire and water resistant, lightweight and durable mixture that is used in the panels (measuring 1.2m x 3m each). Recycled polystyrene is mixed with a concrete mixture, to make panels and walls that are almost indestructible. The product has been tested by the SABS and carries its certification. Polystyrene has excellent insulation properties. According to Muller, it is estimated to be between five and ten degrees cooler in summer, and five to ten degrees warmer in winter than the outside. This method of building is approximately 30 – 35% cheaper than conventional brick construction. A small-sized home (80m²) can be built and fitted from foundation phase to handover in about 10 days.

The panels are not yet available commercially, but will soon be. If you have any polystyrene lying around, the company will gladly take it off your hands. They will take any type or colour of polystyrene. You can either take it to the site at Kommandonek (in Cosmos, just before the turn-off to Caribbean Beach Club, on the right) or contact Muller (079 747 3406) or Hennie (081 309 3008) to arrange for collection. For more information, contact Hennie via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In a press release received from Kerri Wolter of VulPro on 16 February 2016, it was announced that an international alliance (VulPro, Tusk Trust & Continental Outdoor Media) has launched a huge media campaign to stir empathy among people for a species typically viewed as repulsive.

One of our members, Ria Smit, reports that a family of owls have started nesting in the trees close to their house. The farm workers believe that the owls bring bad luck and chased away. However, Ria and husband Gert are very pleased that all rodents in the area seem to have disappeared. (The photo was provided by Ria).