201912 SCHONENBERG Newsletter

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Decem b e r 2 0 1 9 Estate Manager’s Message

Year-end Community Events


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CONTENTS Season’s Greetings from the Chairperson Estate Manager’s Message 2019 Security Report Update on Glovent Visitor Management System Year-end Community Events Retired Estate Manager’s News Somerset West Village Garden Plight of our Oceans The Huntsman Spider Builders’ Break & Building Control HOA’s Holiday Closure

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It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here – where did this year go! Each year that passes seems to have its character – there are always challenges, and maybe a low point here and there, but there are many highlights. One issue we need to tackle is the lack of adherence to the speed limits on the estate, and I urge everyone to please abide by the road safety and traffic regulations as detailed in the Conduct Rules. However, on the brighter side, there have been several highlights to mention, namely the number of successful community events held on the estate, zero major security incidents, the renegotiation of the landscaping contract and an eMag which we can be proud of. It is also worth mentioning that the fibre network uptake has now exceeded 50% and this means that fibre is currently an incomegenerating stream, albeit a small one.

Penny Prinsloo, Board of Trustees Chairperson


Season’s Greetings from the Chairperson CONT.

I am particularly aware that the success of the Schonenberg Home Owners’ Association (SHOA) rests upon the hard work of the staff, the committee members who so generously volunteer and give of their time, and the valuable support of our members. Let me take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your assistance, dedication and cooperation. Regardless of your current level of involvement, I encourage you to become more engaged with the HOA next year, either by volunteering to join one of the committees or participating in the community activities on the estate. In this busy time of year, please take a few minutes to count our blessings. We all have so much to be thankful for: our lovely estate, our community, family and friends, to name a few. Christmas is a time for reflection and a renewal of hope for the future. May we always be mindful of the spirit of caring, sharing, love and generosity in the Christmas season. On behalf of the Trustee Committee, I wish you a safe and happy Christmas and a New Year filled with peace, joy and prosperity.


Race against time Our schedules are jam-packed with heaps of work to be done before the office closes for the holidays. We are busy with the interim budget process, and hopefully, it’ll be finalised by the time we issue this edition of eMag. It’s a very detailed process in which all the departments are involved and consulted before we take the budget through the approval route via the Financial Committee, the Board of Trustees and eventually circulate it to the HOA members. We are also conducting one-on-one personnel performance assessments during which self-assessment, supervisor assessment, human resources consultant input and 360-degree scores are considered and processed. The Human Resources Committee motivates the consolidated evaluations to the Board of Trustees for approval. Community events and activities The last HOA-hosted community events proved to be well-attended and successful. We want to

thank Nazari Hickman, Data and Communications Manager, for the organisation and all the sponsors and helpers who contributed to these communitybuilding activities. Progress on the Play Park upgrades is also underway with the additional gate and the new netball/ basketball area installed. The artificial grass for around the bigger equipment is next in line. We are planning a water spray area and investigating the surface where children can safely run and splash through fountains. The green tanks next to the Play Park area will be utilised to store water for the fountains. These tanks were initially intended to serve as the community’s emergency provision of water during the drought. There are four more water tanks at Voorburg Park which can store 40,000 litres collectively. During a water shortage crisis, HOA may extract water from boreholes and distribute to residents, but we cannot supply residents with water for irrigation purposes.

Christo Pienaar, Estate Manager


Estate Manager’s Message CONT.

Custodian of water resources The Department of Water and Sanitation, the custodian of water resources in the country, has put in place a regulatory framework that addresses many aspects of the water business including regulating the abstraction of water from both surface and groundwater. In this context, the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) lists extraction of water from the groundwater as water use and further requires every water user to register their usage when abstracting it from a water resource such as a borehole. If the volume of water drawn from the borehole is higher than the domestic limit, or if its use is not only for domestic consumption, the user must apply for a water use licence. Rules and regulations The Conduct Rules explicitly state the rules of the road: obeying stop signs; keeping to the speed limits and generally practising cautious behaviour on the streets. But there are too many transgressions. And

pedestrians and cyclists must be considered and respected as well. We receive many complaints from residents who are sworn at and even threatened when they remind offenders of the regulations. Such behaviour is unacceptable and goes against our agreed values. Please continue to address offenders and submit information about traffic violations. HOA has a specific complaint procedure for traffic offences and can successfully process incident reports that include the date, time and description or evidence, e.g. not obeying a stop sign requires a short video clip. Security conducts twice-daily checks on a rotational schedule to identify transgressors, and these are processed swiftly in conjunction with the approved Fine Structure. Speed bumps proposal At the 2019 AGM, members instructed management to investigate one member’s proposal to install a


Estate Manager’s Message CONT.

speed bump at every stop street and intersection, as well as before and after every pedestrian crossing. Members indicated that this might be excessive and instructed management to investigate and report on an alternative proposal at the next AGM in 2020. Progress has been made, which includes mapping of all the stop streets, intersections and pedestrian crossings to show the effect the member’s proposal would have. Costing of the project is in progress as well as alternative recommendations from management. We will continue to share regular updates on progress.

In April 2019, the SCA found that private estates in South Africa are entitled to establish and enforce their own traffic rules and ruled that the roads within the estate are not public and instead form part of a private township. Management is compelled to go to extreme lengths to ensure safety for all road users, which outweighs the additional capital and energy spend on speed cameras.

General road safety and speed cameras Additionally, management is investigating the introduction of speed cameras as part of a general road safety plan, especially since the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled that the control of speed limits in a residential estate falls squarely within the provisions of the contract concluded between the HOA and property owners.

I wish those who celebrate Christmas a blessed one and hope those who travel will return safely and well-rested.

I want to personally thank all the active contributors, staff and trustees who work so hard to keep this community thriving.

Christo Pienaar is bilingual in Afrikaans and English and can be reached at the HOA’s office housed in the building at the Main Gate or email to estatemanager@schonenberg.co.za.


Contributed by Mark Jellen From the Vetus Schola team perspective, 2019 has been a year full of challenges, but also a year where we made significant progress in certain sectors. The security team will continue to render comprehensive protection services to the best of our ability. Working closely together with the Schonenberg Home Owner’s Association, we have gained valuable site-specific experiences daily. For this reason, we would like to thank everybody for their support – it’s a pleasure working at the Schonenberg Estate. New vehicle registration When new homeowners and tenants register, it is imperative that they provide details of their vehicles for ease of reference. It’s also essential for all existing residents to keep this information up-to-date, especially when they purchase a new vehicle. Please go to Shantel Opperman, the Access Control Administrator, at the Waterstone Gate entrance to register your vehicle(s).

You will require a valid copy of your Identity Document (ID) and the new vehicle’s registration number. This process will enable security to be more proactive in dealing with an emergency or any traffic violations, and the follow-ups can be prompt, accurate and without delays. Access control To avoid any delays at the gates during the festive season, residents who expect their visitors to stay for more than a week should take advantage of the visitor registration system which allows visitors to get in and out of the estate independently. The visitor must have a valid identity document, and the resident or tenant must be present at registration. Only biometric fingerprint access is granted, unless the visitor’s fingerprint cannot be read then a tag (access disk) will be issued. Visitors can also be precleared on the Glovent Visitor Management System. For more information, please refer to the update on page 11.

Mark Jellen, Vetus Schola Security Contract Manager


2019 Security Report CONT.

Protected Nature Conservation Area The security personnel took part in a training about the Seep (the Nature Conservation Area behind the Play Park), to familiarise themselves with the importance of this specific area. All the wetland areas on the estate are intensively secured to ensure that: • Any residents, visitors or contractors crossing the Seep other than on the boardwalks or the footpaths are immediately redirected; • Children are kept out of these specific areas; • Smokers in the vicinity are restricted to the benches at the end of the pathway leading from Milagro Street to the entrance of the Seep. Beehives on the estate Beekeeping is a wonder of nature. For some, the buzzing of a bee might be fearful, but to others, it is a soothing and peaceful sound to hear. The sad news is that dozens of bee species are on the verge of becoming endangered, and are dying due to numerous factors, including climate change, habitat loss and pollution.

Shantel Opperman, Access Control Administrator

New signage in the Seep


2019 Security Report CONT.

Thus, we want to ensure that these small creatures are protected in our local area. Schonenberg HOA has agreed to allow a few beehives on the estate to save the bees. During the past three years, catch boxes or catch hives have been placed around to catch bees from other colonies that are swarming. Recently, security received calls from residents who had observed beehives on the walkways around the estate. These areas had to be cordoned off by the maintenance department, and proper communication was sent to the affected property. We would like to encourage all residents and their families, visitors and contractors to refrain from tampering with beehives, but rather to contact security and inform us of the situation

and location. We can reach a beekeeper who specialises in the removal of these swarms to ensure the safety of the bees and residents. Whenever you see a bee in your house, open the window and let it out! These species are essential for pollinating the flowers and the crops and in turn, human survival.

Beehives on the Estate


A Community Development Committee Initiative Access/exit control of non-residents Schonenberg Estate has only two access/exit points for vehicles and pedestrians, namely Main Gate and Waterstone Gate, and the Vetus Schola security company operates them both. There is a designated entrance for contractors at the Waterstone Gate. All non-residents: guests, visitors, employees, contractors, subcontractors, service providers and delivery persons, must have security clearance to access/exit the estate. Visitors need to gain pre-clearance from residents via the Glovent Solutions Visitor Management System (VMS) or try to get security clearance authorisation at the gate

from the homeowner or tenant they wish to visit. Pre-cleared visitors are quickly allowed access whereas visitors without a security clearance have to park outside the gate and ask the resident to send them the clearance code or ask the Vetus Schola security officer to contact the resident on their behalf. Since Schonenberg’s HOA first implemented the VMS in 2017, Glovent has been continuously developing and improving the system, and the latest update (13.09.2019) incorporating the New Visitor Management Features may necessitate a refresher course for some Schonenberg residents. GloVisitor App


Glovent Visitor Management System Update CONT.

Pre-clearance made easy The purpose of the Glovent VMS is to make it easy for Schonenberg residents to pre-clear expected visitors. Having a Personal Access Code (PAC) ensures speedy access for visitors at the entrance gates. The Glovent VMS not only allows secured access to the estate but is efficient and cost-saving and creates a positive experience for visitors. Recent stats indicate that ± 70% of the total number of Schonenberg residents registered on the Community Portal is using the Glovent VMS, out of which 90% are using the GloVisitor App. The GloVisitor App is free to all residents with smartphones, but for those who cannot or do not want to use the App, there is an alternative SMS method (currently being used by 10%).

Foreseeing a spike of visitors in the holiday season, the HOA urges the non-users (currently 30%) to make an effort to use the Glovent VMS for an effective and efficient flow of traffic at the gates. The security clearance code (5-digit PAC) is valid for one entry and one exit only until the following day at 23:59. If your visitor does not arrive in time, you must repeat the steps to request a new code. However, on the GloVisitor App, you may invite a visitor to be a ‘Regular’ and select the start and end date as well as the days you would like your visitor to enter with the PAC. Please remind your visitor they must have a valid driving licence available as well as valid vehicle registration on arrival at the estate.

GloVisitor App


Glovent Visitor Management System Update CONT.

The Vetus Schola security officers have been instructed to show a degree of tolerance towards visitors arriving at the gate without a pre-clearance code, and temporary access is allowed but discouraged. The aim is to eliminate the use of the old green and red card system as it is labour intensive and time-consuming.

If you need a brush-up training, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with Madelein van Vuuren, Reception at HOA, on 021 855 4537 /intercom no. 9 or send an email to Nazari Hickman, Data & Communications Manager, at info@schonenberg.co.za.

Need a brush-up training? It’s evident that Schonenberg residents are not utilising the Glovent VMS optimally. We strongly encourage those who are not making full use of the Glovent VMS to do so. * For information on how to download the GloVisitor App in Play Store and App Store Click here * To find out about Glovent Solutions New Visitor Management Features Click here GloVisitor App



Contributed by Nazari Hickman Garage Sales On Saturday, 26 October, SHOA hosted its third successful Garage Sale event. It was a cloudy Saturday morning when residents started placing balloons outside their homes, indicating they were one of the participants. A total of 21 households had registered and a list of participating households’ addresses, as well as a map showing their exact location, was circulated the day before, so it was easy for interested residents to find the garage sales. Items typically sold included paintings, sports equipment, clothes, toys, books and furniture and so the list went on. Afterwards, participants told of their positive experience and most importantly, their pleasure in meeting other residents on the estate!

Nazari Hickman, SHOA Data & Communications Manager


Year-end Community Events CONT.

Halloween Celebration Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as sweets or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” implies a “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. Once again, this year’s Halloween event proved to be very popular. It was just before 17:00 on Thursday, 31 October when the first child knocked on the door of the postbox building which I had decorated inside with Halloween-inspired items for children to come and have their pictures taken. I loaded photos of the event onto the community portal as well as Schonenberg Estate’s Facebook page. There was a jovial atmosphere as many children, accompanied by their parents, could be seen walking safely around the estate in the early evening in search of “treats”. We announced the winner of the “Bestdressed Halloween Costume” at the Halloween Night Run which was held the next day. Well done to the Powerpuff Girls and thanks to all for participating.

The Powerpuff Girls


Year-end Community Events CONT.

Halloween Night Run The Halloween Night Run took place in the early evening of Friday, 1 November. The weather was perfect – coolish but no wind – fantastic conditions for the estate’s fun run. There was a crowd of about 50 people gathered by the postboxes, next to the Children’s Play Park on Vaillant Boulevard, all brave enough to enjoy the eerie night dressed in their most ghoulish costumes. Many thanks to the sponsors for their generosity: • Donford BMW Helderberg • Flagstone Winery • Schonenberg Real Estate in association with Fine & Country

Fouché Venter, Ben Grobler, Jaryd Loubser


Year-end Community Events CONT.

Children’s Market Day It was a sunny but windy afternoon on Friday, 15 November, when a record number of 24 children participated in this popular event. They were selling toys, clothes, hotdogs, Christmas cookies, Christmas cards, pancakes, lemonade and so much more! Some parents joined their children to assist them with the selling of items, whereas others enjoyed participating in the fun market, with great music contributing to the atmosphere. Thank you to all involved in the organisation and for the families and friends who supported the young entrepreneurs. Kayla and Hayley Wantenaar

Nina Walters


Year-end Community Events CONT.

Christmas Carols, Talent Show and Picnic in the Park On Sunday, 1 December, the festive season got underway with a Christmas carol sing-along and a fun-filled talent show in the beautiful setting of Welmoed Park. Schonenberg residents gathered with their families and friends from in and outside of the estate to join in the festivities. A warm setting sun created the perfect atmosphere to relax and enjoy their picnics while they were being entertained.

Social gathering in Welmoed Park


Year-end Community Events CONT.

Schonenberg’s Talented Kids The children’s talent show attracted seven performances. The contestants were either singing, dancing, acting, performing magic tricks or playing an instrument to showcase their skills. Each act had approximately five minutes to exhibit their talent. Unlike the “Got Talent” series, there were no judges and no voting, but an appreciative audience which applauded enthusiastically. There were three lucky draw winners: Jaryd Loubser, Shaunelle Cuff and Jaide Kelly, and all the child performers were rewarded with chocolates. Thanks to Schonenberg Real Estate in association with Fine & Country for providing the freshly-made popcorn, drinking water and three cookie jars for the Lucky Draw.

Schonenberg’s “Got Talent Kids”


Year-end Community Events CONT.

Christmas Carol Service The programme, led by a community engagement ministry from the Somerset West United Church, started with the all-time Christmas hit, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas”, followed by the traditional carols such as, “Oh come, all ye faithful” and “Once in Royal David’s City”. A small group of musicians provided the accompaniment on keyboard, accordion and trumpet and encouraged the audience to sing along using the song sheets. Minister Bevan Sylvester led the prayer for the evening: “Come together to sing and rejoice about the most beautiful story on earth.” Everybody loved the Christmas songs and the meaningful service.

Christmas Carol Service – Minister Bevan Sylvester, “Fill this evening with meaning for us.”

All in all, this was a not-to-be-missed seasonal family event! 21

By Gerrie van Niekerk

What can a retired Estate Manager do? Last year in my farewell message, I indicated that apart from spending more time with the family, I wanted to support struggling communities in the Helderberg Basin. My approach was to get involved at a micro-social work level to understand the mezzo and macro-level needs better and to search for and implement sustainable long-term solutions and work with others already engaged in the social setting. The first part of the journey was with Thabo [not his real name] who is 16 years old and lives with his parents in a 25 sqm home. Thabo’s home language is Xhosa, and following his dad’s example, he is also fluent in Afrikaans and English. His mother works in a local clinic. His dad is retired, having developed lung cancer. They are a proud family who sticks together and survives by meeting only their basic needs. Sus and I knew the family from some years back when they participated in a project with other families to develop and grow vegetable gardens.

Gerrie and Sus van Niekerk, Schonenberg Estate residents

We met up again in November 2018. Thabo asked if I could help him choose school subjects for the following year. I said I could make no promises and needed to see his year-end school report. It was not good — with an average score of 45.6%. His unexpected request required some thought. 22

News from Schonenberg’s retired Estate Manager CONT.

A quick fix would have been to give my superficial view on the subject selection and walk away. But after a long and serious discussion with Thabo and his parents, I agreed to volunteer to help him improve his school results but said it would depend mostly on him. To do better implied ownership and equal effort. His parents were committed as well and became part of the process contributing, wherever they could, support, encouragement, time and money. A process started where we met one afternoon a week at the local library to discuss the learning problems he experienced. It was eventually narrowed down to two subjects: improving his preferred school language, Afrikaans, and maths. Improving his reading was relatively easy – I assigned him to a reading course. But for the rest, I had to brush up on my slightly rusty Grade 9 maths. It soon became apparent that he was most willing to learn, but his circumstances were not supportive

of learning. Registering him at the local library and arranging for access to the internet opened a world of knowledge not previously accessible. The library was also much more conducive to studying than his home environment, which is often noisy. An old and basic model laptop was the next tool for him to use. He learnt to type and use Microsoft Word, which improved the quality of his assignments and Microsoft Excel, which allowed him to log his previous year’s subject records and create graphs with targets. We transferred data with each other using Memory Sticks as he had no internet connection at home. The WhatsApp messaging application also proved very useful to stay in contact and exchange information.

his exposure to the ‘outside world’ had been limited to the Helderberg Basin.

Thabo is strong for his age and plays rugby as tighthead in the scrum. The school planned a rugby tour to Namibia during the school holidays in July. The R 5,000 needed to make this possible was way out of the family’s reach. But the opportunity to play rugby and visit a neighbouring country was a huge motivator. Till then,

I then contacted several friends asking if they would have items to contribute to a ‘garage sale’. Understanding the situation and the cause, they responded generously and almost all chipped in. Meanwhile, Thabo contacted a friend in his community who works at a local 23 organisation that purchases such items for cash.

Thabo is interested in a career in business. To go on the rugby tour was a great incentive to try to earn money and learn what commerce is all about. Not knowing where to begin, I challenged him to start with what he knows, can do and has access to. So with the help of his mother, he began braaiing and selling hoender pote (chicken feet) in the community and selling sweets during the breaks at school. These fundraising activities taught him new skills and contributed towards reaching the goal, but they were never going to provide enough money to go on the tour.

News from Schonenberg’s retired Estate Manager CONT.

Planning the whole process and the logistics provided an added learning opportunity for Thabo. Combined with donations received, an amount of R 6,000 was reached, enough for the tour as well as pocket money. The rugby tour was a great success, but his most valuable experience was travelling and seeing new things such as the Namib desert. The story of support and collaboration continues A good friend volunteered his skills and experience in doing career and personality assessments. Eventually, this made the selection of school subjects relatively easy. And it provided insights into career options that Thabo had not even thought about until then. Another retired friend who’s brilliant at teaching maths to schoolteachers volunteered to spend some time with Thabo bridging the gaps I could not cover. At the time of writing, Thabo is waiting with expectancy for his final school report. The results are important.

But at this stage, what is far more valuable has been his exposure to the world beyond where he lives. What is encouraging for me to observe is Thabo’s mental, physical, spiritual and personal growth during the year. To identify and understand his limitations but also his potential and see him develop new skills and able to start tackling and solving problems which he was not even exposed to previously. My most significant learning was the willingness and voluntary support of friends and specialists who contributed their time, skills and encouragement to help one individual achieve his God-given potential. The experience has also helped me gain a better understanding of the macro challenges we face in our social setting but especially in the struggling communities. Maybe this is what we as South Africans can and must learn from the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Every small but positive contribution makes a difference

even if not immediately visible. One of the highlights of the year was for me to observe Thabo’s dad when he watched his son play a rugby match for the first time. The challenge in 2020 will be to help Thabo start “passing forward” what he has learnt to others. Schonenberg Estate is indeed a very fortunate community. As residents, surely our challenge in 2020, should also be to learn to “pass forward” to others? Maybe the estate management could create an opportunity for social work discourses? If allowed to do so, I would like to provide some insights, learning and debate challenges at the macro level. For anyone interested in sharing their thoughts on this topic, please contact me at email gerrievn@gmail.com. My sincere thanks go to the trustees and the estate management for all the work done ‘behind the scenes’ to make our estate a better place during 2019. May 24 you all enjoy a blessed Christmas and prosperous 2020.

By Natashia de Wet Growing food, Growing people Having just celebrated their 4th year, the Somerset West Village Garden has truly inspired and uplifted the community and the homeless people. We are truly blessed to have an organic community vegetable garden on our doorstep. This non-profit garden was started after Jenny Findlay, Di Irish and a small team of Somerset West residents were eager to help the vulnerable homeless people here in Somerset West. They pinpointed a neglected piece of land at the corner of New- and Drama Street. A 5-year lease agreement was signed with the City of Cape Town to turn it into an organic garden.

Natashia de Wet, Schonenberg Estate resident

One of the main goals of the garden is to restore dignity to the street people who work there, by giving them a hand up and not a handout. The garden teaches them how to plant, look after the vegetables and see them grow.

They learn valuable gardening and farming skills, work ethic, and it prepares them to enter the job market. On average there are 20 unemployed people working daily from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 14:00. They receive a token for every hour worked and they can exchange their tokens for food, clothes, toiletries, administrative assistance, a warm shower or a night’s rest at the Somerset West Night Shelter. The garden provides fresh vegetables to the Thomas House of Hope and the Sevens Restaurant. The public is also more than welcome to come and buy. There is a market day every Tuesday, come rain or shine, between 9:00 and 11:00. Seasonal vegetables are harvested, and other products to choose from include free-range eggs, organic olive oil, local honey, herbs, homemade jams, compost and Bokashi. Plastic waste is kept to the minimum, so please bring your bags or basket. Payment is accepted either in cash 25 or by using Snapscan.

Somerset West Village Garden CONT.

A garden like this is a team effort, and many volunteers come and help with the picking of vegetables, selling on the market day, making jams or pickled delicacies. The garden always welcomes contributions in the form of peanut butter, work boots, clothes, donations or empty jars for the honey and jams. Chris Bester, another Schonenberg Estate resident, who works behind the scenes, has been a real asset to the garden. He helps with everything that needs to be built. Some of his completed projects include the installation of three 5,000l water tanks, a small dam, a borehole, an insect hotel and even an owl house. The Bokashi programme I am passionate about making a positive difference and started the Bokashi programme in the garden. Bokashi is a probiotic with millions of beneficial micro-organisms which eliminate foul odours and helps in breaking down organic waste. With this programme, the community can get involved by bringing their two-weeks old Bokashi fermented food waste (this includes, meat, cooked leftovers, bones, fat, onions, citrus, uncooked foods, fish, dairy, etc.) any weekday between 9:00 and 14:00. The food waste is transformed into Bokashi compost and then used to provide nutrition to the soil and vegetables. I also offer a pickup service called the “Bokashi-run�, whereby if you contact me I will collect the fermented Bokashi food waste at your house and return the empty Bokashi bucket for a refill.

Somerset West Village Garden


Somerset West Village Garden CONT.

The programme was started on 26 February 2019, and to date, the garden has received 111 Bokashi fermented bins which totalled 1776 kg of food waste and resulted in 1077.35 kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) saving and 2.66 m3 of landfill space-saving. By composting your food waste, you are actively helping to limit the production of harmful methane gas, and you are enriching the soil - one of the essential resources for our livelihood. Educational school visits The Community Garden also wants to play a part in teaching our little ones to love nature and cherish it. Educational school visits can be arranged on request for Grade R to Grade 7 on Wednesday mornings. During their visit, children learn about vegetables, recycling, composting, Bokashi and eco-bricks. The entrance fee is a large jar of peanut butter which goes towards the nutrition of the homeless people.

Come for a visit and walk around the garden and feel amazed. Spend some time looking for ladybugs, bees and butterflies between the vegetable beds and flowers. There are also guinea fowl with their little ones currently doing the rounds, and if you are lucky enough, you might even see the resident chameleon blending in on one of the leaves. Please always feel free to ask questions if you want to learn about growing your own vegetables. A WhatsApp message is sent every Monday with an indication of what will be available at the Tuesday market. If you would like to receive this, please send a WhatsApp with “Add me� to 082 901 2636 or follow Somerset West Village Garden on Facebook. For more information go to www.somersetwestvillagegarden.co.za or contact Natashia de Wet on 066 231 2839. Educational school visits


Words and Images by Annette Ruppert It is a late Sunday afternoon in mid-October. I am making my way over the wooden footbridge at the mouth of the Bot River estuary onto the beach. This part of the beach between Hawston in the east and Kleinmond in the west borders the Middlevlei Reserve and the Rooisand Nature Reserve, and is only used by the small number of Middlevlei residents and a few fishers. It is a privilege to have access to such a pristine and remote beachfront. Yet, as concerned nature lovers, we regularly have to clean up this beach of plastic waste that is washed up onto the sand and settles between sea bamboo (kelp), shells and pebbles. If you don’t remove the plastic, it gets swept back into the ocean when the tide comes in. It saddens me to see how many plastic bags, bottles, bottle caps and food wrappers are washed up onto this remote beach. From where does it come? How far has this debris travelled to settle on this secluded beach?

Annette Ruppert, Schonenberg Estate resident Wooden footbridge over Bot River estuary


The Plight of our Oceans CONT.

It is estimated that almost 12.7 million tons of plastic waste is polluting oceans worldwide every year. Plastic is not biodegradable, so it lingers for years and is reduced to microplastic particles, releasing chemical toxins, killing fish and marine mammals, not to mention how many thousands of sea birds, endangered sea turtles and marine mammals are entangled and choked by large pieces of plastic debris. Plastic pollution is a result of human carelessness. Thoughtless and inappropriate disposal of plastic waste is the leading cause of the pollution of our oceans, and ironically, we as humans are also affected when we consume fish and seafood that are contaminated by these chemical toxins. It has been found that cancer, immune system problems and even congenital disabilities can be caused by some of these chemical toxins.

The beach is deserted on this particular afternoon. Dark clouds are gathering, and a strong easterly wind is blowing with gusts whipping up sand and blasting it against my legs. The tide is coming in, and the sea is particularly rough. I enjoy walking on the beach alone, pausing to watch the turquoise waves curl over and slam onto the sand in white foam. I hear only the sound of the wind and the roar of the ocean. Today, it feels as if the ocean is lashing out, expressing her anger about the pollution and the mistreatment of marine resources. It is as if she wants me to convey the message that we humans must wake up and start living with awareness, compassion and care when it comes to our interaction with our marine heritage. The remote beach of Middlevlei on a bright morning


The Plight of our Oceans CONT.

Extraordinary encounter On this day, the ocean confirmed my feelings in an extraordinary way. As I turn to make my way back to the wooden bridge, leaning against the strong easterly wind, I see it: some forty metres away, on the slope of the sand, a few metres from the sea’s edge. It looks like a Cape fur seal! Is it dead? I cautiously walk closer, preparing myself for a bad smell to be carried towards me by the wind. But nothing! I come still closer. To my surprise, I can see the body heaving: it is breathing! Thinking it might be injured, I stop and ask aloud: “What happened?” The next moment, the seal jumps up, eyes wide open, and with a loud moan, makes its way into the water on its flippers, diving under the first wave. Still shocked, I can only watch as it pops up behind a breaker, looks towards me, and then dives underneath the next wave. I wait for a few moments until it disappears into the ocean.

I am deeply moved by this brief encounter, wondering what the seal was doing there. Maybe it just rested for a while? Perhaps it was sick? I hope not! I want to think the ocean sent it to me, and I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. Living with awareness And so, friends, as the festive season is upon us, and many of us will visit beautiful coastal destinations in our own country and abroad, let us not forget about the plight of our oceans and its precious life. Let us be responsible with our plastic waste, and dispose of it carefully and appropriately so that we can preserve and protect our marine heritage, and in so doing, maintain our very survival on this beautiful blue planet. Reference: https://www.marineinsight.com/environment/howis-plastic-ruining-the-ocean/


1 By Richard Tasker

Richard Tasker, Schonenberg Estate resident


The Huntsman Spider CONT.






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The Huntsman Spider CONT.



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The Huntsman Spider CONT.






16 Click here to view the images in large format.


Building Control The Building Control Officer will provide guidance and make sure that any proposed work will be done following the Architectural Design Guidelines and the Builder’s Code of Conduct. If you plan on making alterations or building a new dwelling on the estate in 2020, please contact Malan Swart at drcbuildingcontrol@schonenberg. co.za or phone 076 011 7085. For additional information, visit our website at www.schonenberg-estate.co.za and click on “Documents” and go to Architecture and Building.

Builders’ Break Please note that the Annual Construction Industry Shutdown period on Schonenberg Estate is from Friday, 13 December 2019 (last working day) to Wednesday, 8 January 2020 (first working day). No construction work may take place during this time. Although general home and emergency maintenance are allowed, no undue construction noise is permitted.

Malan Swart, Building Control Officer


Please be advised that Schonenberg’s HOA office will be closing for the holidays on Friday, 20 December 2019 at 17:00 and re-opening on Monday, 6 January 2020 at 08:00. Click on the following link to download the Emergency Telephone Numbers applicable to the Schonenberg Estate: Click here Make sure you have these telephone numbers handy in case of an emergency. If there is a maintenance emergency on the estate, please contact Vetus Schola Armed Response on 081 051 6696, who will alert the HOA staff member on duty to attend to the problem.


SECURITY - CONTROL ROOM (All hours) VETUS SCHOLA - 021 853 9009 SHOA - 021 020 1269 ARMED RESPONSE - All hours 081 051 6696


MAIN GATE - All hours intercom 1001/021 020 1269

POLICE - SOMERSET WEST 021 850 1303 / 021 850 1300

WATERSTONE GATE - Open 05:00 - 22:00 Intercom 1001/021 020 1270

FIRE DEPARTMENT 021 444 2700 / 021 590 190

HOA OFFICE - Open 08:00 - 17:00 Intercom 1001/021 855 4537

AMBULANCE EMO 072 996 6337 / 107 / 112

maintenance OFFICE - Open 08:00 - 17:00 Intercom 1204 After Hours - 021 020 1269

If you have a not-so-urgent issue or a general query, please send an email to one of the following addresses: Accounts - accounts@schonenberg.co.za | Maintenance - acc@schonenberg.co.za Data & Communications - info@schonenberg.co.za | Reception - reception@schonenberg.co.za