Monday 18 February 2019
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Franschhoek about to become famous for… beer!

FLTR: Franschhoek Beer Company partners Alex McCormack, Frank Rodriguez and Reuben Riffel.

What started out as friendly banter between two friends on a golf course, quickly turned into a dynamic partnership when celebrity chef Reuben Riffel bought into Franschhoek businessman Alex McCormack’s vision to produce a world-class range of handcrafted beers, bearing the name of the town – known as the country’s culinary capital.

Another extension of Franschhoek’s urban edge?

The proposed changes to Franschhoek's urban edge

Franschhoek’s urban edge watchers will know that in 2013 the municipality slipped through an extension of the village’s northern and eastern urban boundaries. It took in an additional 59 ha comprising a great swathe of land from the Fransche Hoek Estate boundary with La Cotte to Mooiwater. Much of it is potentially prime development land and all of it is in the Non-urban Zone (NUZ) demarcated by Franschhoek’s 2003 Urban Edge Policy. This laid out guidelines for very limited development in the NUZ to preserve its primarily agricultural use and contain urban sprawl.

French delegation visits Le Lude

FLTR: The French delegation with Le Lude’s owners and winemaker. FLTR: Paul Gerber (Le Lude winemaker), French Consul Xavier dÁrgoeuves, senator Michelle Demessine (head of delegation), Senator Louis-Jean de Nicolaÿ, Ferda & Nic Barrow (Le Lude owners), Nicolene Barrow (Orangerie Restaurant Chef) and Senator Joël Guerriau.

Le Lude received a visit from a high-level French delegation on Friday, 13 May. Le Lude’s owners, Nic and Ferda Barrow, received the delegation.

The group of three French senators and their secretary were accompanied by the French consul in Cape Town, M. Xavier dÁrgoeuves.  All three senators are members of the ‘Friendship Group France – South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland’.  The head of the delegation Mme Michelle Demessine is the deputy-Chairwoman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces and a former French Minister of Tourism. The second delegate, M. Joël Guerriau, is the Secretary of the Commission of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces.

The third delegate, M. Louis-Jean de Nicolaÿ, is a senator from the Lude commune in the Sarthe District. He personally requested the visit to Le Lude as he is also the owner of the Château du Lude in the world-famous Loire Valley.

Pass chemical spill still being mopped up

Containment dams for polluted run-off near the spill site

Environmental authorities and hazmat technicians are still busy with cleaning up and monitoring operations at the site of the chemical spill that took place on the Franschhoek Pass on 5 September 2016. The spill was the result of a trailer carrying agricultural chemicals catching fire and going up in flames.

La Motte Millennium – new vintage, new award

The latest (2015) vintage of La Motte’s acclaimed Bordeaux-style red wine, La Motte Millennium, was recognised as the Best of Show South African Red at the Spring Tasting of the Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards.

Nearly 200 international wine experts from 44 countries, comprising oenologists, winemakers, professional wine traders, sommeliers and wine journalists made the selection from almost 6 200 wines from more than 150 wine growing regions all over the word.

Councillors support Stellenbosch Can Project

DA councillors make donations to the Stellenbosch Can Project before the start of the March town council meeting. They did so again at the April meeting.

Stellenbosch Municipality is supporting the Stellenbosch Can Project that collects canned food for the Stellenbosch Feeding in Action Project. The project will use the cans collected to prepare meals for less fortunate people.

Each directorate in the municipality has received a wooden box and employees are encouraged to bring canned food items from home and place it in the boxes provided. Donations are collected every Friday and kept in a safe place until the end of the project when they will be handed over to the project. The project runs until the end of May 2017.

Innovative shelter displayed at Huguenot Museum

Museum staffers Silvia Boonzaaier (left) and Elizna Davids with the innovative shelter that was on display at the Huguenot Museum in March. With them is Silvia’s granddaughter Dionisia.

An innovative temporary shelter for refugees was on display at the Huguenot Museum during March. The shelter was the centrepiece of a travelling that opened at the museum on Human Rights Day, 21 March. Franschhoek was the exhibit’s last stop in SA, before it headed off to Canada on 28 March.

Margot has left the building…

Chef Margot Janse

She joined the restaurant 21 years ago, she trained a team to work in it, created food for it, won awards with it and now it’s time to move on. Margot Janse, executive chef at The Tasting Room and Le Quartier Français, has left and The Tasting Room is closing down. All is not lost for the restaurant space at Le Quartier Français however, as La Colombe will be opening a new restaurant there later this year.

New compactors will help keep towns clean

Mayor Gesie Van Deventer in one of the municipality’s new compactor refuse trucks.

The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Advocate Gesie Van Deventer welcomed the delivery of two compactor waste trucks on Thursday, 30 March 2017.

Mayor van Deventer said when she took office in August 2016 that “making sure our towns are clean is a priority. Residents have informed me directly that clean towns are a priority for them. Furthermore, by keeping our towns clean we ensure that the first impressions for our visitors are memorable and positive. Our new compactors will help us to do exactly that – keep our towns beautiful.  I urge every resident to do their part in keeping our towns clean by using rubbish bins that are available throughout all areas.”

No Zuptas welcome!

Anti-Zuma protest in front of Town Hall

Franschhoek is welcoming village, but on Monday, 10 April, our country’s kleptocracy would have felt decidedly less than welcome here.  At noon a large crowd – many dressed in black – gathered in front of the Town Hall in mostly silent protest at what our own ‘dear leader’ and his acolytes had wrought.

While villagers from all walks of life stood in protest, some holding placards voicing their sentiments, tourists passing by on foot and in tourist coaches signalled their interest and support by giving the crowd the thumbs up and taking photos to share with friends and family back home.

The SAPS and municipal law enforcement maintained a low profile throughout the protest. Thankfully their services weren’t required. Also maintaining a low profile was Stellenbosch Mayor, Adv Gesie van Deventer, who quietly joined the protest after spending the morning in meetings in Franschhoek.

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