Drive for him and for her

APRIL16-14-1Mazda MX-5 2.0 Roadster Coupe

by Helen Carstens

This was an eye-stopper and most people were confused, thinking it was anything but a Mazda.
The coupe is striking, low down with a long, flat and curvy bonnet. It is small, perky, smart and stylish.
The interior is by no means spacious but rather built-up. Climb into bucket seats in an all-leather interior with red stitching on the seats, gears and steering wheel. The doors are clad in leather with red gloss matching the outside of my metallic red test vehicle.
As the name denotes this is a car for the driver and their passenger. I term it a “me” car. The confined space makes it suitable for you and a passenger, no more.
The MX-5 provides a lively ride, low and tight suspension, six-speed manual gears that are close and precise. The steering wheel is adjustable and includes multi-function controls for cruise control, telephone, volume and navigating the infotainment system menus.
Keyless and push button start add convenience. The headlights once on can stay on and will automatically turn off when locking the car.
The cabin area is compact with a built-up section between the seats where the gears, handbrake and infotainment controls sit.
Above this is are the dials for the aircon, just below the LED display, all neatly laid out.
The MX-5 features power windows and mirrors, rear park distance control and reverse camera, heated seats, media unit with radio, CD, aux and iPod connectors as well as Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming.
The MX-5 is clearly focused on the experience of driving fast and free. The 2.0 4 cylinder engine puts out 118kW and 200 Nm of torque and is capable of reaching 100km per hour in just 7.3 seconds.
The foldable soft-top roof comes down with ease. Just one clip needs to be released in order to fold the roof away. Once you have the top open the experience of driving is further amplified. Put the pedal to the metal and you are treated to an exhilarating, adrenaline-filled drive.

APRIL16-14-2Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+

by Helen Carstens

One can be confused at the sight of this one, as many in fact were, thinking it was the Range Rover Evoque. It is however from the stable of Suzuki and it is the Vitara (which is smaller than the Range Rover to which it bears a passing resemblance).
The cross-over SUV has a higher ground clearance which provides a clear view of the road ahead. The body is two-tone with a slope to the back and tinted rear windows, which help to create a very appealing view as do the slightly larger wheel arches.
The interior is uncluttered with controls neatly laid out and easy to see, operate and navigate around. The cloth seats are large and comfortable. The steering wheel is height-adjustable and has controls for menu options, volume, cruise control and Bluetooth telephone.
The instrument cluster has a display screen with buttons on either side and has a CD player and radio which includes Bluetooth streaming, Aux, USB and iPod points. The aircon dials are located below.
On top of the dash sit two moveable air vents and the digital clock.
The five-speed manual that I drove provided a clean and crisp drive, comfortable at all times, with precise gear changes. The Vitara is easy to drive, smooth and comfortable to handle.
Passengers in the rear sit comfortably and leg room is ample, according to my passengers.
The boot area is of a fair size, with the option to drop the rear seats to further expand the space. Additional versatility is offered by way of a concealed area under the boot floor as well in the side walls. The plastic holders located on the side walls can be removed, and stuck onto the top of the boot cover, providing extra width without constriction. I found this to be a rather nifty feature.
The Vitara provides fuel efficiency as well and is an all-round good ride with space and versatility to suit a varied lifestyle.

APRIL16-14-3Mazda CX-3 2.0 Individual auto

by Helen Carstens

Sleek, curvacious and bold is how best to describe the CX-3. On top of that you can add sporty and smart because the look certainly draws attention and turns a head or two.
The CX-3 is the smaller option to the CX-5 and I think it is the perfect option for the “I want it but not all of it” crowd.
Diversity is what the CX-3 is all about. My test vehicle was the higher-specced 20.L auto Individual. The sleek interior boasts a variety of textures with leather suede and thick plastic blending in black, dark grey and red. The red inserts particularly highlight the sport aspect.
The clean and neat interior is designed with a minimalistic approach, with an uncluttered dash that has a LED display and aircon dials. The controls are located between the front seats next to the hand-brake.
The steering wheel is stitched in leather and features a host of multi-function controls. When driving your speed is displayed as a floating digital readout thanks to the active driver display. This is a lovely feature as your eyes stay on the road and in front of you at all times.
There is no conventional speed dial, only a second digital speed display in the main driver instrument cluster and an analogue rev counter centre of the instrument cluster.
The CX-3 is keyless with push button start. This is one of those features that I absolutely adore – no keys in the hands at all means one thing less to worry about.
Features include LED daytime running lights and auto lights, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, Bluetooth telephone and streaming, power windows, power mirrors with folding, reverse camera, radio with aux, 2 USB and iPod ports and a CD player. I enjoy having a conventional CD player because time to transfer music to USB does not exist for someone like me, and my phone is for work purposes, not music!
On the road the CX-3 is a comfortable and smooth drive. A higher ride height adds visibility. The auto gears change smoothly and efficiently and if you prefer a more manual approach simply slide the gear lever across and you can manually change up and down with a flick of the lever.
The CX-3 can comfortably seat 5 occupants and the boot, while not the largest, is adequate.
The CX-3 is a sporty, sleek and comfortable drive, perfectly suited to those who want it, but not all of it.


The stalwart of SUV’s and some will say the creator of the SUV segment, is the Toyota Fortuner. The history takes you back a number of years with a subtle change here and there however now, we welcome the new Fortuner.
Toyota have just launched the all-new Fortuner and it has a new look both on the exterior as well as the interior. The exterior boast new shapes with sloping detailed defined back windows, new bi-halogen head lights that wrap around the front of the bonnet; new accentuated rear lights with detail that wrap around the back; thicker seats for more comfort; roof racks and a shark fin; improved body, style and core performance aspects.
The interior boasts a combination of leather, soft materials, wood grain and gloss that creates a new look for the dash area with a Tablet-style 7 inch display screen with DVD compatibility.
The 7-seater provides more space for all passengers with even the back row able to carry adult passengers. More space was created by thickening the seats and keeping the backing thinner, thereby creating more leg room. The one-touch-tumble back seats fold to the side in the boot area.
New colours have been introduced to the lineup including Sporty Blue and Chestnut Brown. There are 6 diesel variants with a new 6-speed auto transmission diesel and 2 petrol variants. Prices start at R429 400.

From my Kitchen



  • 250ml flour
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 15ml cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 90ml milk
  • 45ml sugar
  • 15ml oil
  • 125ml mashed banana


Sift the flour, baking powder, cornflour and salt into a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, sugar and oil together and add the dry ingredients together with the mashed banana. Mix with a spoon until smooth.

Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot oil and fry until golden brown in colour.

Remove the fritters from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel.  Serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Variation: The mashed banana can be substituted with mashed cooked and cooled pumpkin or apple.

Congratulations to Carol Bosman (left), the winner of our February Competition. She entered via SMS with the correct answer, Blindspot Warning Indicators, and won a R200 gift voucher from Victor’s Pizza & Pasta in Bothasig. Carol received her prize from Victor Treu (right) of Victor’s Pizza & Pasta.

To enter our March competition and win a prize contact us via Twitter, Facebook or our Webpage or SMS 0218018487 and you could be a winner. To stand a chance to win, simply find the answer to the following question in this edition of The Guardian and send it to us via facebook, twitter, our website or SMS it to us along with your name and contact number.

Question: Read the article on page 6 about the new Limited Edition Opel Adam S then simply name one of the three distinctive ‘Twisted’ colour combos that it is available in.

Competition closes 28 March and entries received after this date will not be accepted. The March winner will be placed in the April edition of The Guardian. Please note you must provide us with your first and last names as well as your contact number in order to go into the draw for the monthly prize. You must be able to collect the prize to enter. Entrants who have won a prize in our competition must wait three months before they are able to enter again. Only one entry per person.

PRIZE UP FOR GRABS:vic_new-logo

Bothasig Clinic to Undergo Changes

The Bothasig Clinic has come under much negative discussion over the past number of years due mainly to the perceived lack of services provided, explained Ward Councillor Helen Carstens.

Bothasig Clinic is a City run facility providing primary health care and the call for many years has been that there should be a doctor and pharmacist at the facility. This was put in place a number of years ago but due to legislation both had to be removed. This caused much distress in the community as patients then had to travel to Dirkie Uys in Goodwood for their doctor visits and prescriptions. This in turn, produced many challenges.

“I have been aware of all the unhappiness about this,” says Cllr Carstens, “and I have been working on a way to provide an expanded package of services at the Clinic. This is not a simple thing to change as there are different spheres of government involved and service level agreements that cannot simply be ignored.”

“However, I understood the needs of the community, especially the elderly and vulnerable in our community and was to a point relentless in pursuing alternatives and additional services at the Bothasig Clinic.”

“I am happy to announce that all the pursuing has finally paid off and the Bothasig Clinic will be taken over by the Western Cape Department of Health. What this means is that the facility will be run by Province and it will provide an expanded package of services that will include a doctor permanently at the facility as well as a fully operational Pharmacy and full curative care,” explained Cllr Carstens.

On 2 March, a public meeting was held in the Bothasig Community Hall where representatives from Provincial Government and the City were present. It was at this meeting that the MEC for Health, Minister Mbombo said, “Bothasig Clinic is being upgraded from primary school to high school.”

“I would like to ask residents to please be patient during this change over, as it will not happen overnight as there are many things that need to be brought in line with legislation, but they can be confident in the knowledge that it is happening,” said Carstens.

Cllr Carstens said that she was very pleased that the facility will soon be able to service all the residents of the ward and that this change would also take much pressure off Dirkie Uys.

My Viewpoint – March

It truly amazes me how every single person walking this great wide Earth each has their very own opinion on any number of matters. What tends to happen is that people gravitate to those who are of the same or similar opinion to themselves and when this happens, it increases the likelihood – to them – that their opinion is the correct one.

This, of course, can be a rather delusional outlook because it is not in essence the correct way/answer etc.

However, we are surrounded by many individuals (and their like-minded groups) who believe that they are correct and it is usually this group of individuals who are in the minority but who are also the loudest about making their argument or their point.

My thoughts and attention have wavered in this direction due largely to the political activity we see around us lately. Not being politically involved or associated, I see it from an outside point and at times, simply have to laugh.

I am not going as high as the President here as I might have a laughing fit, but just keeping it local where people, it appears, are vying for positions believing they are the perfect person for the position. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Where varying belief systems come into play that actually form that perception, it turns it towards many options that could be described.

In any event, as they say in the classics, let the show go on – there can only be one person in the end and as the classics further say – let the best man win!

I say that if a community is open to suggestions and opinions it makes it a lot easier for all, but when we get stuck in whatever era we come from and become dogmatic in our opinions, it simply makes it harder for things to materialize smoothly.

In my concerted opinion I think we should live and let live and we should not sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff).

Until next month…

See ya, Nats