This year the Santa Shoebox Project celebrates its 10th birthday. In the 10 years since the project began in a suburban home, it has distributed more than 550 000 personalised shoeboxes to children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds across South Africa and Namibia. More than 50% of those shoeboxes reached children in far-flung rural areas.

The theme for the 2016 campaign is “More Than Just a Shoebox”, focusing on how the donation of a Santa Shoebox not only gifts the recipient child with a personalised shoebox filled with daily necessities, but also instils a sense of self- worth and presents the child with the promise of a better education, improved hygiene and dental health and those simple things that every child should enjoy, sweets and a toy.

“To see so many lives touched by this project every year is simply awe-inspiring,” says Chief Executive Officer Irené Pieters, “especially considering that each one of our 50-or-so drop off locations are run by volunteers who want nothing more than to see delighted and joy-filled smiles on children’s faces at Christmas-time.”

“Some of the most touching moments are the expressions of gratitude from recipient children’s parents who aren’t in the position to buy their children Christmas presents and are so grateful to strangers who are willing to step forward to do so. It’s an annual reminder of the generosity and compassion of South Africans everywhere and we hope to continue this work for another 10 years at the very least.”

As we always do, we will be proving you, our readers with the relevant information very soon as to how you can make up a box which we will collect and drop off at the relevant drop off point. Keep an eye out for further info coming soon.

Fifth round of WP Karting Regional Championships

Mayhem ensued at the fifth round of the Western Provice Karting Regional Championship at Killarney International Raceway on 30 July, when a multicar pileup occurred shortly after the start of the second heat of the Junior Max division.

Above: Andrew Rackstraw (440) looks on at the mayhem unfolding before the start of the second Junior Max heat as Pole man Jason Coetzee (446) gets airborne after being rammed from behind in a multiple Kart pileup. Unphased, after restart, Jason went on to complete his clean sweep of winning all 3 heats.


Peter Smallbones, WO Luan Stears and Anthony Pearson handing over a crime prevention pamphlet to a motorist, Mr Stuart McLachlan at the roadblock in Vrybrger Avenue.

Bothasig SAPS and their partners against crime held a very successful high density crime prevention operation on 27 July.

Under the leadership of Warrant Officer Leon Streicher members from Bothasig police supported by City of Cape Town Law Enforcement, Bothasig and Edgemead Neighbour-hood Watch as well as Swart Security, District Watch and ECP kicked off with a road block in Vryburger Avenue in Bothasig, and later followed up with a vehicle check point in Letchworth Drive in Edgemead. Five traffic fines to the value of four thousand rand were issued for, amongst others, unlicensed motor vehicles and driving without a driver’s license.

Afterwards the focus shifted to crime prevention patrols in hot spot areas. At Edgemead Village Centre participants patrolled on foot and handed out crime prevention pamphlets. This was supported by the SAPS Air Wing who participated in the operation by doing an aerial patrol in Bothasig, Edgemead, Richwood, Burgundy Estate and Kleinbosch. With the “Eye in the sky” patrolling, the precinct was very quiet.

The last part of the operation was focused on Edgemead High School where five classrooms were visited and 61 random searches were executed with the focus on substance abuse. The members also engaged with the learners and informed them about the downside of a criminal record. From their side, the interested learners were not shy to ask questions regarding certain aspects of the law, which were cleared up for them.

Parking Lots: Is motoring etiquette dead?

AUG16-14-1Some of our readers have expressed anger and frustration over the lack of common decency on our roads today. More so is the fact that so many motorists don’t care how poorly they park and how many bays they take up, or the fact that it affects other motorists as they now have to look for a bay elsewhere, if they can even find one.

In one case, poor parking by a motorist, who couldn’t give a care and parked across two bays, one being a yellow demarcated bay and one normal, created a chain affect having the motorist who pulled up next to him also having to park across two bays as the available space was now skewed and affected.

In another case, and one that often comes up with government vehicles or business vehicles somehow thinking they are above the law, or that the law doesn’t apply to them, a cash in transit van took it upon themselves to park in a disabled bay in order to collect cash from a local business. According to one of the shop assistants at one of the businesses at the centre, she noticed that the van also opened its door against her car, parking in the adjacent bay, damaging the paintwork in the process.

According to the shop assistant the cash in transit van pulls up in this bay on a regular basis for its’ cash collection.
Motorists witnessing vehicles illegally parking in disabled bays are urged to report the offence to the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) by taking a photo (ensuring the vehicle registration is clear and the wheelchair parking sign is visible) and WhatsApping it to 073 853 9675, including the location, date and time.

If every motorist on the roads could be less self-absorbed and consider other road and parking area users it would make everyone involved a little happier. And in most cases when poor parking is concerned, it is not even a case of the motorist being unable to park properly, but just too lazy to care or consider the next motorist wanting the bay next door.

AUG16-14-2As for government and business vehicles, if you park in a disabled bay, not only are you breaking the law, but also preventing a disabled motorist from being legally allowed to use the bay.

I could further mention the lack of the use of indicators, motorists not stopping at stop streets or running red lights, or incorrect use of traffic circles, which I encounter on a regular basis, but for now I am just focusing on parking.

What it comes down to is simple. All motorists should bear in mind that there are others on the roads and in parking areas, and just show a little courtesy and consideration for the next motorist.


Front: Kylie Glover, Matthew de Vincenzo. Back: Erin Glover, Keegan Carew, Hannah – Lee Hesque and WO Leon Streicher.

Bothasig SAPS recently surprised the children at the day care at Edgemead Primary school as part of their Safer Children program.

Sector Manager Leon Streicher and Communications officer Warrant Officer Jacques Mostert had the children very inquisitive, when they arrived on site with a police vehicle, as they wanted to know what the police were doing there.
They were very happy to find out that it was actually a friendly visit and they were in fact the ones being visited. With everyone assembled WO Mostert gave a safety awareness talk on child safety and each child was given a pamphlet containing the information that was relayed to them.

When the safety talk was completed the children requested to have a look at the patrol vehicle, especially at the back, with the next request being to try it out themselves. The officers were only too happy to oblige, and most of the children were given the opportunity to sit in the back.

The officers disembarked with a promise to visit the children again and left behind lots of new friends.

Councillor’s Corner

Dear Residents

It is with much gratitude and a humble heart that I thank you for the trust placed in the Democratic Alliance and me to serve as your Ward Councillor for the coming term.  I am indeed excited to be given the opportunity to serve a full term of office, and I intend to do this to the best of my ability.  I would like to thank every one of the voters that made their way to the polls on 3 August and I will confidently move forward with your mandate.

My first order of business will be the transition of the Bothasig Clinic from a City-run facility to that of the Western Province Health Department.  You will recall that this has been a long haul for me and I will be most pleased to announce the transition of this facility to one that renders a full curative package that will benefit every resident in Ward 5 and further.

Another issue that I would like to look into is that of the various lanes in the ward, especially the very troublesome ones that we have in Bothasig.  It is a difficult one to deal with given that many of these lanes were designed to provide access to the main roads.  Unfortunately, over the years, they have been turned into dumping grounds. 

I intend to seek the advice from the various departments and officials as to how we can better maintain these lanes and perhaps look at alternative ways in order to better utilize and upkeep them.

I also intend to liaise with the Roads department in connection with the state of our roads and the constant problem we experience with pot holes.  It is unacceptable to have a pothole fixed and then for it to disintegrate a few weeks later.

Following on from all the door-to-door canvassing and the beautiful gardens I saw in Ward 5, I would like to complement the many residents that have managed to maintain them so beautifully.  It is because of this that I would like to invite residents to take part in a Garden Competition.  Send me your name, address and contact number via Email with the subject Garden Competition to enter.  The winner will be announced in December.  I look forward to receiving many entries as I know there are a number of beautiful gardens out there.

Helen Carstens, Ward 5 Councillor 

Drive for Him and for Her


AUG16-17-1MINI Clubman Cooper S review for her

by Helen Carstens

The Mini Clubman is like a little SUV Mini. No, it is not a SUV, but it is larger than the well-known Mini Cooper.  When climbing behind the steering wheel, the first thing I noticed was the vast distance to the rear of the vehicle.

The 4-and-a-bit door Clubman is snazzy and smart.  The wheel arches are trimmed with black.  The jutting roof has a sporty fin and it appears as though the windows slope from front to rear.

I found everything pertaining to the Clubman circular in design, from the headlights to the dash and dials.

The red detailing alluding to sportiness, including the defined steering wheel which has indents for your thumbs.  The centralised circular dash has a display screen and below are the air-con dials.  Directly below this is another row of dials – unusual – but very functional.  The steering wheel is leather-wrapped, adjustable and includes multifunction controls.

At first, I must admit, the cabin area felt a bit cluttered, with dials and buttons everywhere, but one soon becomes accustomed to it.

The Clubman offers many interesting features that also allude to luxury and refinement.

The list of standard features is extensive, with several others being available as optional extras.  Standard features include electric windows front and rear, electric side mirrors with folding and auto-dimming features optional, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic air-conditioning and climate control for driver and passenger, cruise control with adaptive being offered as an extra.  Rear park distance control is standard, while front pdc and rearview camera are available as optional extras.  Radio with CD player, Aux, USB as well as Bluetooth audio streaming and telephony are standard with voice control and navigation being available as extras.

The Clubman Cooper S includes ABS with EBD and brake assist. Hill hold assist with electric parking brake as well as keyless start and optional keyless entry.

The drive is nippy, sturdy and sporty.  The sport mode offers a whole different experience.

Everyday driving is comfortable with smooth handling and clear, smooth gear changes.

The boot is a fair size. With tailgate consisting of two doors that open outwards.  Rear-seated passengers are afforded space and comfort.

An amazing feature, which clearly sets the Clubman in a different category, is the Mini emblem emanating from the driver’s door that illuminates onto the ground when the door is opened – rather a nice, and unique touch.

The Clubman certainly has many bells and whistles, offers a great drive and most definitely has a refined, sporty and luxurious appeal.


AUG16-17-2Ford Everest 3.2 4WD XLT review for her

by Helen Carstens

The new Ford Everest is big, macho and strong. It is a vehicle of navigating serious terrain.

I must say, as a suburban driver, I found it rather big and heavy, as if it wanted to do more than just drive from stop street to stop street.

But, it is a very nice offering.  Comfortable and spacious, with leather seats and a number of USB and Aux points throughout.

Being high off the ground, there is a hand grip and step rail to aid stepping up into the Everest.  The cabin is spacious with a large central touch display with air-con dials and buttons below.

The multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, adjustable and includes controls for Bluetooth functionality.

A nice feature, and one of my favourites, is auto door locking and drive away.  Auto lights and auto high-beams are both very handy features, as are the lane deviation warning and blind-spot warning indicators in the side mirrors.  Another favourite of mine are the heated seats with various heat settings, all controlled via the central touch display.

The Everest drives well, although I found it to have a very large turning circle, being such a big, muscular, heavy vehicle.  Thank goodness for the reverse camera that displays in the central screen.  This definitely helps with navigating in and out of parking bays and tight spots, should you manage to find yourself in one.

The automatic gearbox shifts smoothly and cleanly and the 3.2l V6 engine provides more than enough power to move this hulking behemoth.

The 7-seater provides plenty of space for the whole family.  Open the tailgate with the push of a button as it raises and you will find buttons to auto fold the last row of seats with one push, to create more boot space.

The lovely double-sunroof provides extra light into the cabin and really adds to the feel of being one with nature, if you decide to take the Everest off the streets and release it into the wild as this is something you really should do as the Everest is a fully-functional off-roader with one touch control for various terrain types.

The Everest is a multi-purpose vehicle that is able to take on many identities, all in great comfort.  It offers luxury, refinement and, at the same time, off-road capabilities that would place this vehicle in a class that is anything but refined.

The large body, arched wheels, curved bonnet, strong front grille, large side mirrors and step bars all point to the Everest being a strong, versatile ride.


Play Pokemon Go responsibly


While not officially available in South Africa yet, Pokemon Go has arrived in the country, and people are already playing this popular game. The need for players to be completely engaged with their screens, is, however, cause for concern, and the Automobile Association (AA) joins local and international road safety campaigners in calling for caution while playing.

VG247 (, a leading UK-based gaming blog, explains that Pokemon Go uses your mobile phone’s satellite GPS system, and built-in clock, to figure out where and when you are while the game is open.

“When you’ve got the game open, the game then populates the world around you with Pokemon. You end up looking at the world through your phone’s screen and camera, and the Pokemon are dropped on top of the real world in a semi-convincing way – this is augmented reality,” VG247 writes.

The effect of this is that many Pokemon Go players are glued to their screens, while walking or driving, concentrating on the screen instead of the road ahead.

“Reports are already coming in from other countries where people have been involved in crashes as Pokemon Go players have not been focussing on the road. There are also reports of road rage incidents involving this game. While we are not calling for anyone to not play the game, we want to urge anyone who is, to play responsibly, and be alert to the roads they are travelling on, whether by car, motorbike or on foot,” the AA said.

The AA said distracted driving, and walking, remains a problem in South Africa with too many people using their mobile devices while they should be concentrating on the core activity they are involved in.

“This is especially true for people who are walking. Statistics from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) show that up to 35 percent of all deaths on our roads are pedestrians. This is extremely worrying, and people who aren’t paying attention while walking and playing Pokemon Go are at risk of being part of this statistic,” the AA warned.

The AA offers the following suggestions to players:

Don’t play while driving, or while walking near traffic;  Pay attention, and be vigilant, when you are playing. Distraction can cause injuries (even death), especially if you walk in traffic;  If possible, take someone with you when you are playing as a second pair of eyes to watch out for possible dangers;  Avoid playing Pokemon Go while boarding or alighting buses, trains or taxis; focus on the road and traffic and get to a safe place before playing

“We urge everyone to enjoy this, or any other gaming experience, but not to sacrifice their, or anyone else’s real life to catch a virtual character,” the AA concluded.



Renault launched their Kadjar crossover in April this year.  Combining the best of both worlds, the Kadjar crossover combines the best of three worlds – SUV, hatch and sportswagon.

Now only a few months later, the Kadjar range has been expanded to include new models featuring Renault-developed EDC transmissions as well as globally acclaimed and proven 1.5 dCi 81kW Turbo diesel engines.

New to the lineup are the: 1.5 (81kW) Turbo dCi 6-speed Manual, 1.5 (81kW) Turbo dCi EDC 6-speed Auto and the 1.2 (96kW) Turbo petrol EDC 7-speed Auto (already available in manual).

The EDC gearbox delivers the driving comfort of an automatic in tandem with the responsiveness and versatility of a manual gearbox.

The result is an excellent, fuel-efficient drive (reductions of up to 17% in fuel consumption and up to 30g/km in CO² emissions) together with seamless, smooth gear changes. Substantial reductions in engine noise have also improved levels of acoustic comfort.

Reliable and robust, the Renault-developed EDC gearbox has a host of advantages. It dispenses with the need for a clutch pedal, while gearshift control is of the ‘P-R-N-D’ type plus an ‘up/down’ shift mode. The ideal gear is selected by an electronic control unit and gearshifts are both automatic and comfortable.

The 1.5 dCi 81kW turbo diesel is the Renault engine most sold worldwide. It is currently available in the Renault Duster, launched here in September 2013, and was recently added to the Renault Captur range.

Developed using technology derived directly from decades-long Renault Formula 1 expertise and substantiated to reduce fuel consumption and CO² emissions by an incredible 35%, the 1.5 dCi 81kW turbo diesel engine is the power behind both the new Renault Kadjar Dynamique 4×2 6-speed manual and Dynamique 4×2 EDC 6-speed auto models.

The new 1.2 (96kW) Turbo petrol Kadjar Dynamique 4 x 2 (previously only available in manual), is paired with Renault’s EDC 7-speed Auto transmission which features an oil-bathed concentric multi-disc dual clutch system (wet clutch). This is a proven combination that delivers optimum ride comfort with seamless gear changes, reduced fuel consumption and CO² emissions.

The 1.5 dCi turbo diesel power plant delivers maximum power output of 81Kw with peak torque rating of 260Nm on the manual reached at 1 750 r/min. The EDC auto derivative delivers maximum torque at 250Nm also at 1 750 r/min.

Fuel and eco-friendly, both fuel consumption (4.6 litres/100km in combined cycle NEDC) and CO² emissions (120 g/km) are low. A second-generation Direct Common Rail + multi-injection fuel system, it ensures that only the minimum amount of fuel is injected into the cylinders for optimized fuel consumption.

The new Renault Kadjar 4×2 models start at R394,900.

The entire Renault Kadjarline-up comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. The range also comes standard with a 5-year/90 000km service plan. Services take place at 15 000km intervals.


SYNERGY (based in Edgemead) offers ‘learner support’ through:

FEB15-14A MENTORSHIP program designed to EMPOWER the learner to better themselves regarding: Attitude towards school / How to approach homework / Identifying learner type & how best to study therefore / Planning for exams, projects, tests & orals / S.M.A.R.T. goal setting for each subject … all done through one on one sessions and teaching how to measure, reflect and be accountable for ones actions.

SUBJECT Choice for Grade 9’s – a program to make sure the subjects chosen support the field(s) of study the learner is likely to follow after school … an important tool to EMPOWER the decision making process.

A TERTIARY Education Program that EMPOWERS the learner to identify his/her TOP 3 possibilities of careers to study post matric, relieving parents and learners of the possibility of ‘dropping out’ in year one due to having chosen the wrong course … this program inspires, informs and brings clarity, and it involves one on one session and each journey is personalised.

What can SYNERGY do for BUSINESS owners?

Are you your own boss / an entrepreneur, trying to cover all aspects of your business?

Do you feel overwhelmed at times, directionless, frustrated?

I understand all of the above, having ‘walked the talk’ myself… Synergy therefore brings you the FAST TRACK program… designed to move you from 1st gear to 5th gear without hitting reverse!

If you don’t change anything, nothing will change, but I urge you to make these changes with support and coaching mythologies… walking the unknown pathway on your own can be most daunting, so:

Let Synergy analyse your business with you, identifying potential ‘grey’ areas.

Let’s reflect on where you are at within all aspects of your business, so that changes can be made for betterment and with purpose .

Let’s PLAN the way forward with structure and purpose.

Let’s get the wheels in motion, auctioning the plan.

Let’s follow this process through over 6 months, and then reflect, re-analyse and make the changes necessary for further success.

For MORE information on any of the above, please feel free to contact me.  I am there to support you in business / your teen in mentorship.

SYNERGY: Working with integrity to fulfil our clients’ needs with purposeful steps building confidence to their decision making process.