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.

Bosmansdam High Knights dominate pre-season

Left wing, Calvin Muller (no.11), tears down the touch-line on his way to score a fantastic team try. The Knights scored four tries in the match.
Left wing, Calvin Muller (no.11), tears down the touch-line on his way to score a fantastic team try. The Knights scored four tries in the match.

The Bosmansdam Knights 1st XV team got their pre-season off to a fantastic start at the recent West Coast Rugby Festival, which was held at Milnerton High School this year. The Knights played two shortened matches (40 minutes each) against Elkanah House and Parklands College. The young Knights were still finding their feet in the first game, but eventually overcame Elkanah 10-0. In the second game, the Knights picked up their intensity and comprehensively beat Parklands 22-0. An impressive feat for the Knights, considering Parklands was the stronger of the two teams faced on the day. Coaches Mr. C. Barnes and Mr. L. De Kock, expressed their satisfaction with the improvement shown on the day. Mr. De Kock added that the team is returning to the style of rugby that Bosmansdam has always been known for. The style is based on a tough, hard-working, never-say-die attitude to forward play, and creative exploitation of the subsequent disruption of the opposition defence by the backline. The team hopes to attract as members of the community as possible to their matches this year.

Holiday Programme at Bothasig Library teaches valuable life skills

The Holiday Programme at the Bothasig Library ran during the school holidays from 22 to 31 March.  The Programme was a joint project between the Department of Social Development, SAPS and the City of Cape Town.

Children from Bothasig and the surrounding areas were treated to an assortment of activities from arts and crafts to cake decorating, an easter egg hunt, storytelling and movies as well as fun and games.  The aim of the programme was to equip children with useful life skills which they were taught through the fun and games relating to everyday activities.  The children were also treated to a visit from Bothasig SAPS to talk to them about safety.

The Holiday Programme was well attended and Ward Councillor Helen Carstens made a stop by to say hi to the kids.  She was very impressed with the turn out and with the content of the programme which left the children with valuable life skills.  “It is wonderful to see the participation of the children in this programme which provides so much more than fun and games,” said Cllr Carstens, “and I would like to commend the staff from the Department of Social Development for the well-presented activities and lessons that they put forward.”