No designated fireworks sites in 2019

No designated fireworks sites in 2019
11 October 2019

Statement by Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The City of Cape Town has decided to forego designated sites for fireworks this year.

The discharging of fireworks is not allowed in terms of the Community Fire Safety By-law, but the City has, for a number of years, made an exception to accommodate this practice for Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Year’s Eve.

However, a number of factors made us change course this year, including:
  • The decreased appetite from subcouncils to approve designated sites
  • The cost associated with running the sites, including deploying staff and resources, including Law Enforcement, Metro Police, Traffic and of course the Fire and Rescue Service
  • Growing public sentiment opposing the use of fireworks
Given that there will be no designated sites this year, the City appeals to residents to please refrain from setting off fireworks.

As we have indicated before, only national government has the legislative competency to ban the import, production and sale of fireworks or restrict usage by age.

We remind residents that, in terms of Section 30 of the Explosives Act of 1956, the use or detonation of any fireworks in any building and public thoroughfare is liable to a R200 fine; selling fireworks to a child or anyone under the age of 16 is liable to a R300 fine; allowing a child or person under the age of 16 to handle fireworks without adult supervision is liable to a R300 fine.

Members of the public with information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks should report this to the City’s Public Emergency Call Centre on 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the South African Police Service on 10111.


Published by:
City of Cape Town, Media Office


Home security is about more than safeguarding your family and your property; it includes the safety of your domestic staff who are often home alone for hours at a time while the family is at work and at school. We urge all homeowners to make sure anyone who works on their property know the basic principles of personal safety, so that they are familiar with how to act in an emergency.

Domestic workers play an integral part in any home security system and it’s critical that they are empowered and equipped to look after their own safety, as well as the safety of anyone else on the property such as children they may be looking after.

Domestic workers need to ask themselves: what would they do if someone tried to break into the house that they are working at? Do they know where the panic buttons are, and how to call for help?

Homeowners should consider enrolling any employees who may be working for them for an extended period of time, into local crime-prevention forums which take place in most neighbourhoods every month. These are often arranged by the SAPS or community members and teach valuable crime-prevention and safety tips.

There are points to remember:

• Be careful of having unguarded conversations about your employer or the property you are working at. You never know who might be listening
• Be observant and speak up if you see something suspicious anywhere in the suburb
• Use the camera on your cell-phone. If you see something or someone that appears to be out of place, take a photo
• Don’t let your phone be a distraction. Pay attention to your surroundings
• Never allow anyone onto the property or indoors unless they have an appointment or if they have a legitimate reason to be there, and your employer confirmed it for you. If you have any doubt about someone trying to gain entry, call your employer or call the police. Don’t fall for impersonators
• Exchange cell phone numbers with other domestic workers at properties adjacent or opposite so that you can alert each other of suspicious people or vehicles
• Talk about security and safety issues with your domestic worker and/or gardener. Teach your domestic worker how to arm and disarm the alarm; ideally they should have their own password and code

We regularly host special training workshops, at which we share valuable tips that can help keep domestic workers safe. Contact Candice Hammond should you have any queries on this or should you need assistance with your home security. Email:  or call 086 12 12 300. 


Domestic Workers Week is 5th – 11th November – a time to celebrate all those people who work hard to keep our Harfield houses (and our minds) in good working order.  So what can neuroscience tell us about having a clean and tidy home?

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

According to a recent article in MindShift Ninja by Ayla Khosroshahi, keeping our homes  clean, tidy and free from clutter reflects a healthy state of mind.  We have all seen or heard about those TV programmes that document hoarders, or how dirty people’s homes can get before they call in the experts to help!  Often, people who allow their homes to descend into extreme untidiness have an underlying mental health issue that needs to be resolved – they might feel too stressed and busy, or depressed by previous unresolved traumas, too tired to clean up.  Piles of dirty laundry, dishes, and papers are endless to-dos for the brain. It’s exhausting, stress maintaining, and inhibits the brain’s ability to focus and make good decisions. This is where domestic workers become more than just cleaners for our homes – after a visit from our domestic worker, pay attention to how good they make us feel and how easier it is to think with a cleaner, tidier home! As such, a domestic worker can almost be regarded in the same light as a therapist! Our home environment can truly set the scene for our mental activity from morning until night every day!   But what can neuroscience and brain processes tell about what is happening when we de-clutter our homes?

Ayla Khosroshahi of MindShift continues, “From your computer desktop, to your car, to your fridge – clutter is clutter and it affects you, whether you consciously see it or not. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) [have] mapped the brain’s responses to organized and disorganized stimuli. The research concluded that optimal focus and information processing requires a clutter-free home and work environment. The research illustrated that a decluttered and organized home and office can help you to be more calm, productive, happier and focused”.  So neuroscience confirms that a clean and tidy home also makes for a clean and tidy brain!  In particular, it is suggested that 5 major things happen in the brain when living with a cluttered, dirty house:

Overload: When things are all over the place and there are piles of dishes to clean, clothes to iron, and many things to finish or tidy up, our brain becomes ‘cognitively overloaded’ with information – conflicting cleaning and fixing goals around the house compete for attention, thus overloading our visual processing system and preventing us from visualising other (better) goals, such as career and life goals, going for a nice meal or planning to have friends over for supper.  According to the ‘bottleneck’ theory of attention, our visual system can attend to only a limited amount of information, so as Ayla Khosroshahi confirms, less clutter around the home definitely means more for the mind.

Stress: Having an untidy home with conflicting tasks that never get done can lead to an increased release of cortisol (the stress hormone), which disrupts normal homeostasis (equilibrium) in the body and mind.  This can lead to unhealthy habits such as eating unheathy food in order to temporarily feel better, oversleeping, binge-watching TV in order to avoid ones household duties or becoming reclusive and anti-social.  Over time, stress can lead to anxiety and depression, with the adoption of unhealthy mental coping strategies, including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Time perception: When there are too many unfinished jobs around the house to pay attention to, it can feel as though there is not enough time to get things done.  Alternatively, if one’s house is ordered, clean and tidy, it will usually feel as though there is extra time to do all the other great things available to do in life – when one feels calm, time seems to pass much slower, and much more pleasantly.

Numbness: Due to the overwhelming nature of a cluttered, dirty house that never gets clean  and tidy, it can sometimes be easier to adopt mental defense mechanisms – avoidance, denial and even ambivalence (“it’s not that bad”).  Norms become shifted in the mind, and soon a person is able to accept the new status quo of a dirty, untidy home. This in turn can affect our own appearance and standards of personal hygiene, and also how we relate and interact with other people. Numbness can lead to shutting down from the outside world and the positive influence of other people in one’s life.

Resistance to change: Living in a dirty, untidy space that becomes the norm can lead a person to resist any form of change.  The world becomes rigid and fixed, and a person can go on living habitually doing the same thing for years without personal growth or self-improvement, and indeed - without the necessary help of a domestic worker – an increasingly untidy, dirty home.  In terms of resistance to changing a dirty, untidy house with unfinished jobs there are three possible categories.  The first is cultural – a person thinks that they can do what they want with their space, who should tell them what to do?  The second is personal – what good will a tidy house do for them, what’s the benefit for them of making any effort?  And finally, intellectual – related to numbness, a person living in a dirty, untidy house might not even make the connection that their house is dirty or untidy.

It is very helpful for personal development and optimal mental health to consider if any of the  above apply!  Reflecting on these issues may help to improve our living environments and lead lives with better all-round mental health.  So what are the ways that one can avoid this downward spiral towards a dirty, disorganised home and mind? According to Ayla Khosroshahi in the article The Neuroscience of Spring Cleaning, we should think in terms of a two-step process: declutter and reorganise.  To declutter, go through everything in your house room by room: clothes in the wardrobe, magazines stacked up in spare rooms, old bits-and-bobs saved for a rainy day, or to fix later on. Then, use post-it-notes to decide whether to keep, trash or donate (maybe to one’s domestic worker, if it’s still good quality). And only keep or donate things that truly add value to your life or to someone elses – don’t try too hard to convince yourself of an item’s value – if you need to convince yourself, it’s probably not so valuable!  After the declutter, look again at your living or working space and don’t fall into the re-clutter trap!  Use your new space to do fresh new things, and spend time reflecting on how the new space makes life feel better and new possibilities possible!

Maybe take time during Domestic Worker’s Week this year to donate more valuable things in your house to your invaluable domestic worker– who has likely been making life better all these years, and perhaps even maintaining sanity!  So let’s remember to say a big thank you to the Domestic Workers of Harfield Village!

Dr Samantha Brooks is a UK neuroscientist in Harfield Village, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction.  For more information you can contact Samantha at:

Click to read all previous articles by Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.


Generation-Z, born between 1995 and about 2010, are the world’s “digital natives” who have been exposed to the internet, social networks and streaming media their whole lives, and they are proving to be very different from the Millennials of the previous generation – especially when it comes to their views on real estate.

Rudi Botha, CEO of SA’s leading bond originator BetterBond*, says a Bank of America survey earlier this year indicated that more than 50% of 18 to 23-year-olds are already saving to purchase their first home and that 59% are actually planning to do so within five years.

“The survey also found that to achieve this dream, these young adults are not only prepared to give up big weddings, shopping expeditions and travel, but also prepared to spend less on tertiary education, take on a second job and move back in (or continue to live) with their parents so they can save a substantial deposit.”

This makes them very different, he notes, from the Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994), who currently make up a large percentage of the population but are also known as “Generation Rent” because of their well-known reluctance – or inability - to commit to home ownership until they have had enough of travelling and/ or paid off a mountain of student debt.

“Our statistics show that due to this Millennial drag, the average age of first-time buyers in SA has risen from 24 to 34 over the past 20 years, but this figure could tumble now if the local members of Gen-Z follow their counterparts elsewhere in the world – and it is highly likely that they will because of the increasing globalisation of trends via social media.

“And this could provide significant impetus to the economy and further boost consumer confidence as the country settles down to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first five-year term in office. As it is, offers to purchase and home loan applications have shown a year-on-year increase of 22% this month in the wake of the successful national and provincial Elections.”

Currently around 38% of the SA population is between 18 and 35 years old, and another large cohort is under-18, so there is huge potential for a Gen-Z boost to the real estate market.

Botha says that one of the reasons that Gen-Z is showing significantly different consumption patterns is that its members are more individualistic and entrepreneurial than earlier generations and thus more likely to start their own businesses after leaving school.

“They are also more willing to self-educate through short courses and online learning and are developing a preference for owning property in rural or suburban areas (unlike the urbanite Millennials) which has caused them to also be referred to as the ‘Homestead Generation’. Many of them work remotely, so they can happily settle anywhere that has a good internet connection, and they tend to be very eco-conscious, with a penchant for growing their own food and making their own products while promoting sustainability though recycling, re-using and reducing.”

However, to achieve their dreams of property ownership before 30, he says, prospective Gen-Z buyers should engage with a reputable bond originator like BetterBond and secure pre-qualification for a home loan before going house-hunting.

“Taking this step will give them a clear idea of their buying power and enable them to focus their home search on properties they can afford, taking into account the additional costs of purchase including transfer duty, legal fees, bond registration and insurance, and additional ongoing costs of ownership including maintenance, property tax and local authority service charges.”

Botha says that bond originators also use a multi-lender submission process for home loan applications which ensures that prospective borrowers obtain the best possible interest rate applicable to their financial circumstances. “This is important because even a relatively small rate concession can result in a significant reduction in the total cost of the property over the lifetime of the bond.

“Currently, the average variation between the best and worst rates offered on each home loan application we submit is 0,5%, and on a 20-year bond of R1,5 million, that translates into a potential saving of more than R120 000 in interest, plus a total of about R6000 a year off the monthly bond instalments.”

To work out how much a lower interest rate could save you, use the BetterBond affordability calculator.

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665


You can't beat spring time in Cape Town! Blossoms, flowers, birds, insects... Life is bountiful in the garden as temperatures and daily sun hours continue to climb. Make sure you are mulching so that the soil doesn't start to dry out as things heat up.

Here's the plant list for November:

Amaranth, Basil, Bush and Climbing beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Butternut, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, Chard, Cape Gooseberry, Carrot, Celery, Chives, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Ginger, Globe Artichoke, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Sweetcorn, Sweet pepper, Sweet potato, Turnip, Tomato, Watercress, Watermelon, Zucchini.

Patchwork Group
Gabriella Garnett
076 2199 849 |


Just a different, delicious and easy way to roast carrots.

  • 750gms slender carrots
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 large crushed garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 200C.  Mix all ingredients together, except parsley.   Place carrots on a greased baking sheet and coat with mixture.  Spread out and roast for 20 – 25 minutes, tossing half way through.  Remove from oven and add parsley.

Lyn Staples, Norgarb Properties Estate Agent
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village



Once a week, I attend a crime forum where role players involved with security meet with SAPS and share information and observations. Based on information provided by SAPS for the period January to August 2019 compared to the same period the previous year, the number of reported incidents remained constant and in some months showed a slight reduction.

Most of the incidents reported are property related crimes, i.e. housebreaking and theft out of motor vehicles, with the latter being one of the biggest contributors.

SAPS have over the past few months arranged several joint operations with Law Enforcement, the Crime Prevention Unit and Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch (“HNW”). It has been proven that visible policing acts as a deterrent to criminals and there is always a reduction in crime after these visible policing operations are held. We would like to thank SAPS and the patrollers of HNW for their dedication and assistance in combatting crime in the Village.

We encourage more residents to report crime to SAPS, no matter how small the incident. SAPS can only react to reported incidents. These statistics affect how and where they deploy their officers and vehicles and the planning of their operations. We have heard residents report some reluctance on the part of certain SAPS officers to take statements in ‘’smaller’’ matters. We encourage residents to take down the name of any officer they deal with for the purposes of reporting bad service delivery. There are procedures set out on how to deal with bad service delivery and as the HVCID Manager, I can assist with these processes. We need to hold SAPS accountable for poor service delivery, as we should commend them on their successes and positive assistance.


HVCID have been involved with several security initiatives during the course of the year.

• As crime continues to be a problem in the Village, several stakeholders got together to discuss the issue. These included representatives of HVCID, Harfield Village Association (“HVA’’), Friends Of Harfield Parks (“FOHP’’) and HNW. Two meetings have been held and points of discussion being followed up include inter alia:

- The capital and running costs of extending the camera footprint
- Revisiting the idea of a local security hub
- Deploying tactical response vehicles in the area to respond to camera alerts
- How role players including SAPS, Law Enforcement and private security companies can assist with reducing crime in the Village
- The possibility of a formal CID to be registered with the City

Once all the relevant information has been gathered and collated a public meeting will be held to present our findings and discuss options.

• Fidelity ADT have assisted in the past year to contributing to the security of the Village. Their assistance includes the following:

- Installation and monitoring of 2 license plate recognition cameras
- Monitoring of the HVCID and HNW license plate recognition cameras
- The deployment of a special response vehicle in the area to support Har-Lyn Watch volunteers when they are patrolling
- The deployment of a trailer in First Avenue for several months, which has now been moved to Purley Park. The cost of a security guard who mans this trailer and who patrols designated areas between 6 am and 6pm every day. The guard has also been deployed at the Montessori School in Second Avenue during drop off and pick up times.

We thank them for their ongoing support.

• The vagrancy issue at the car park near Fat Harrys has become very problematic and residents, business owners and HNW have reported an increase in crime in the area. We are speaking to Councillor Cottle, Councillor Iverson and several other stakeholders in the area on how to manage this situation.

• The City was approached to obtain permission to install a security gate at the entrance to the Harfield Village train station subway which would be locked at night, as the subway is sometimes used by suspects fleeing the scene of a crime. It was established that the land belongs to PRASA who has refused permission for a gate to be installed because of their policy of freedom of movement to people.

• Several residents along First Avenue and Worcester Street have reported prostitution, vagrancy and cable theft along the railway line. We approached PRASA and Metrorail to request more regular security patrols and to ensure the pedestrian gates along Harfield Village Road remain locked. This remains an ongoing issue and we, together with Harfield Pines, the Kenilworth Rate Payers Association and HNW continue to liaise with PRASA to resolve this problem.

• HVCID arranged our second safety awareness course in Surrey Park for child carers in the Village. The event was sponsored by Norgarb Properties. 52 child carers attended. SAPS, HNW and Fidelity ADT spoke to the carers about safety advice and they were given an opportunity to ask questions which was very interactive. A card with important contact numbers was handed out.


An update on the camera installations in the Village

- Several license plate recognition cameras have been installed by Fidelity ADT, HNW, HVCID and the City in and around the Village and we hope that we will be able to raise further funds to increase this footprint. It is difficult to report back on the successes of each individual camera, as the vehicle alerts are, for security and safety purposes, only shared with a few approved role players. It is well known, however, that areas who have a large LPR camera footprint do see a substantial decrease in crime, which is why HVCID would like to find ways to increase the number of cameras in the area.

- HVCID and Fidelity ADT have installed overview cameras at 7 different locations in the Village. As a result, we have been able to provide footage to SAPS about criminal activity which have resulted in several successful arrests.

- We are currently discussing with several service providers the extension of the camera footprint and securing quotes. We have also liaised with SAPS, HNW and other role players to identify the best positions for the various cameras.


- As many of you may know, I send out a weekly newsletter which includes crime statistics and relevant security and community information. If you are not already on our data base, please e-mail me on

- We are wanting to start a community street Whatsapp Group which will be an effective and prompt way to share relevant information with residents. The group will be strictly monitored to prevent chatter. If you are part of a street group, please ask your administrator to get in touch with me to share their details. We also encourage the administrator of Whatsapp groups for blocks of flats or complexes to share their details. You can send you details to me via Whatsapp 081 412 6109 or e-mail me on

Manager - Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID)
Cel: 081 412 6109   E-mail:


FOHP AGM reportback

The Friends of Harfield Parks conducted our AGM on 8 October 2019, at 18:30 at St Ignatius Church Hall, Wade Road, Harfield Village, alongside the HVA and HVCID AGMs. All four of our existing committee members were re-elected, and we are very happy to announce that Ingrid has joined the committee! Please join us in welcoming her to the Friends of Harfield Parks as we look forward to a productive 2020.

Update - SourFig Challenge

The Sour Fig Challenge has now finished its first stage. Thanks again to all the hard work done by Francine in the Froggi Stream area, and for Serena Pictor and Angela Woodward for their work in Matthew Road. We will keep you updated on any new developments in the Sour Fig Challenge when we hear from the organisers.

Request for donations

The Friends of Harfield Park are funded primarily through donations, and the money we are able to raise at the Harfield Village Carnival. While we did indeed raise a lot of money at this year's Carnival, we do have a lot of ongoing projects that require funding and resources. If you are able to donate to us, your money will go to the following:

• Picking up litter and dog waste
• Acquiring new plants and trees for the parks
• Maintaining and improving the pathways
• New large-scale projects, such as purchasing a water tank for additional irrigation during the summer months, and possible water-permeable pathways for the parks

Please consider contributing to our efforts to keep our parks clean and thriving by setting up a monthly donation or donating once-off via the Snapscan below.


Rebates for water wasted as a result of leaks

Properties owners within the jurisdiction of The City of Cape Town may receive a water bill that seems unusually high, and the reason for this may be attributed to underground leaks.

The good news is that the City of Cape Town’s By-Laws allow for owners to get a reduction of their water bill, but only for undetected underground leaks.

The Tariff By-Laws exclude leaks on plumbing to convenience fixtures such as irrigation systems, automatic filling systems to ponds, pools, fountains, and similar, where the disconnection of these systems from the primary erf plumbing installation would have prevented the water wastage in the first instance.

Conditions for a Rebate 

The Tariff Policy makes provision for the cost of the wasted water to be shared equally between the City and the property owner, which means an owner will always have to pay half of the cost of repairing the leak.

The rebate will be calculated by comparing the average consumption over a corresponding period, to the increased consumption due to the leak. For example: if an owners average consumption was 10KL per month, and the leak caused a consumption of 20KL, then the City will share the leak  induced wastage of 10KL with the owner.

Owners can only submit one claim for a leak at a specific property and the City will only consider a rebate for a period covering the last three municipal bills. It remains the responsibility of owners to note any excessive water usage and to take the necessary steps to fix any leaks within that period.

The rebate will also be made conditional on the owner applying for and paying the fee for the installation of an activated Water Management Device (WDM) in order to reduce the risk of further water losses from leaks.

How to apply for a water leak rebate.

In order to apply for a rebate due to an undetected leak, owners can visit their closest walk-in municipal office.

Before the City of Cape Town can consider an application for a rebate however, the leak will need to be repaired by a qualified plumber, who must furnish the owner with a Plumbing Certificate, which contains the following:

Exact location of the leak on the property,
The nature of the leak; and
Steps taken to repair the leak.

Owners should then take this Certificate to their closest walk-in municipal office, in support of their application for a rebate.

STBB Claremont


Our homes are filled with food, plants and chemicals some of which can be toxic to your pet if eaten. We are all aware that some of these items need to be stored out of the reach of children and animals but what about the substances we don’t consider to be harmful but can cause serious problems to your pet’s health. Dogs are usually the culprits when it comes to eating something, they shouldn’t but cats can also be affected. Symptoms can vary from a mild gastrointestinal problem to severe gastric ulcers, neurological symptoms, kidney or liver failure, respiratory or/cardiac distress and sadly sometimes death.  Here are of some of the everyday things you should keep away from your pet.

Remember to inform your whole family including your domestic worker and gardener of the potential hazards too as they may not be aware of the dangers certain products can pose. 


Most of us have some medicines lying around. But even flu remedies containing, paracetamol, aspirin and caffeine can be a danger. Make sure you store them out of reach of your inquisitive pet!

Anti-inflammatories and pain medication – i.e.; ibuprofen, Advil,

Prescription medications – heart pills, anti-depressants, sleeping tablets

Blood pressure medications

Flu remedies


Recreational drugs- yes, we have even seen dogs under the influence of cocaine!


Certain food items are highly palatable but also highly toxic to your pet and can cause serious conditions such as kidney or liver failure. Make sure that these items are stored safely out of the way. Top of the list are:

Xylitol – Please be especially vigilant of xylitol. You may not have this sugar substitute in your cupboard, but it is being included in many prepared foodstuffs including certain peanut butters, biscuits and sugar free chewing gums. If you are purchasing anything that is ‘sugar free’ please check what substitute sweetener is used in the product and store it in a safe place.




Grapes and raisins

Macadamia nuts


Dustbins and recycling bags: please keep your pet away from dustbins and recycling bags!


Spring is here and many of us are out in the garden spraying plants against unwanted pests. For some reason the poisons we use against rats and mice, slugs and snails are highly palatable to our pet and it is probably one of the most common poisons we see ingested. Please be mindful when you use these poisons and try if possible, to choose pet friendly products.

Slug Bait – this is another common poison that we see dogs eat.

*Flea and tick treatment – even products meant for your pet can be toxic if not used according to instructions.

Veterinary Products

Many veterinary products are made to be palatable to your pet in order to make dosing easier for the owner. However, this can backfire, and you may find your pet decides to indulge, eating a month’s supply of deworming, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory tablets!  Please store these medications safely.


Cats seem to be drawn to flower arrangements   plants and love a nibble on a leaf or petal! But some of our favourites can be toxic if eaten so be aware of this for your next purchase.

Cut flowers – particularly lilies (e.g.; St Josephs, Arum) Chrysanthemum, tulips can be highly toxic to your cat.

Indoor plants - Poinsettia, asparagus ferns, marijuana

Click here for a list of potentially toxic plants.

What to do if your pet has been poisoned?

Don’t panic! Follow the steps below:

• Even if you only suspect that your dog or cat has eaten a poisonous substance get them to the vet as soon as possible.

• If possible, take with the remains of what your pet has been eating. This can be invaluable and a great time saver, if the substance can be identified the correct treatment can be given immediately.

• Depending on the type of a poison your pet has eaten, the vet may make your pet vomit in order to remove as much toxin from the stomach as possible.

• Treatments will vary greatly depending on the toxin.

• In some cases, it may take days before symptoms occur. Your vet may want to keep your pet hospitalised for observation whilst giving intravenous fluid support particularly if a nephrotoxic or hepatoxic poison has been ingested.

If you find your pet eating a toxic substance i.e.; Ratex you can try to make them vomit at home. Old fashioned washing soda crystals or a bolus of washing powder dosed usually will do the trick. Even if you manage to make your pet vomit, a trip to the vet will still be necessary for supportive treatment.

However, PLEASE don’t waste time if you are struggling to do this rather head to the vet.


We cannot stop using products that may cause harm to our pets, but we can be responsible by storing them safely and restricting our pets’ access to them. Don’t feed your pet anything that is made for human consumption before checking that it does not contain any harmful ingredients.

Make sure the whole family, visitors and employees know what is okay to feed your pet and what can pose a potential threat.


A poem for Nene.
By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Dear Harfielders - instead of writing a neuroscience article this month, I chose instead to write a poem called The Colour Purple – for Nene, a girl who lived locally - and to appeal to people to wear the colour purple in remembrance of her.  The Colour Purple is also a film based on a fictional book by Alice Walker, about a young black woman who was raped and abused by two men (her father and her arranged husband) in deep South America - the only thing that kept her going (in this fictional story) was the dream that one day she would be reunited with her sister in Africa. I think wearing the colour purple on our clothes can remind us of our dream that one day soon in South Africa, women can be free to move around a city like Cape Town, without fear of violence, abuse or harassment.  This poem, written by me, is to remember the beautiful UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who lived locally with us.

The Colour Purple – for Nene

As I clench my lips tight in anger and fear, they turn the colour purple 
As I hold my breath for the politico to act, my pallor turns the colour purple
The breath-taking sunsets over Camps Bay beach, are the colour purple
The fragile Disa in bloom hidden in the gorge, is the colour purple
The jacaranda tree whose flower blossoms on maturity, is the colour purple

The bruises on the neck of the woman, are the colour purple
As she clutched the parcel, her knuckles were the colour purple
His rage, his thoughts, his words of hate, were the colour purple
This desperate rainbow nation, its colours have bled, fading to the colour purple.

Dr Samantha Brooks is a UK neuroscientist in Harfield Village, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction. For more information you can contact Samantha at:


Better health, higher educational achievement and higher net wealth are among the many socio-economic benefits of home ownership, according to the latest studies by Habitat for Humanity*, and they are certainly strong incentives for the thousands of South Africans who buy new homes each year to accommodate their growing families.

“Everyone wants their children to have a healthy and happy place to grow up and to do well at school or university,” says Rudi Botha, CEO of SA’s biggest bond originator BetterBond, “but it isn’t always easy to find a home that meets the needs of everyone in the family – or future family - and is also within budget.

“However, it is possible, provided that prospective buyers don’t rush things and are prepared to do some research and preparation before making a purchase.”

The first thing family buyers need to establish, he says, is what they can realistically afford to spend – taking into account the additional expenses involved in raising children and saving for long-term goals such as tertiary education or their own retirement.

“Small children may need day-care, for example, and the cost of schooling for older children can be very high. Then there are things like school field trips and sports tours, extramural classes and family holidays to include in the budget, in addition to the bond repayment, utilities like water and electricity, home maintenance, insurance and security.

“This is why we always suggest that buyers consult a reputable bond originator like BetterBond long before they start looking at homes for sale. The affordability calculator on our website will help you work out what size bond you can afford given your income and expenses, and our consultants can also assist you to obtain a home loan pre-qualification certificate.

“This will enable you to focus on homes that are within your budget, signal to sellers that you are a serious buyer and give you leverage in price negotiations that could save you even more on the total cost of your home.”

Second, says Botha, family buyers need to think about where they want to buy, with the most important factors in that decision being:

* Safety and security. Children need safe places to play and to meet or visit with their friends. That’s one of the reasons that gated developments and closed-off neighbourhoods are so popular with family homebuyers.

* Good schools close to home. As well as wanting to provide a quality education, most parents with school-going children would like to save time spent travelling to-and-fro for sporting and other extra-mural activities, and thus don’t want to live too far from the school gates.

* Other families. It’s great to live in an area where many of your neighbours are at a similar stage of life and your children can all grow up together.

* Proximity to work. “Spending more time with their children and less time commuting to and from work is a major consideration for most parents.

The third thing to consider, he says, is a home that will “grow with you” as your family’s needs change, so that you don’t have to sell and buy again too soon. Some features to look for in that regard are:

* Lots of storage: Having children means having more stuff. Make sure the home you choose has long-term storage like a basement or shed as well as plenty of easy-access storage like closets and cabinets. It is also really useful to have an additional room that can be used as a playroom or as a music and computer room for older children.

* The correct floorplan: Some family homes have the master bedroom at the opposite end of the house to the children’s bedrooms, and that may be appealing to the parents of teenagers. However, those with young children will probably feel more secure having all the bedrooms together.

* Family space. You may not be an award-winning chef, but a good kitchen can be a major gathering place for a family. It’s also a good idea to look for a home with a large informal living space that everyone can enjoy together.

* Extra accommodation. Working parents with young children may also need a home with room to accommodate a full-time au-pair or nanny, and those with students still living with them might also prefer that they have their own cottage or “granny flat”.

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665


Our dams are in excellent shape for the Summer - what a relief, and reason to truly celebrate as we head into the heart of Spring. It's the perfect time to get planting while the ground is fertile from the rain, before the temperatures climb more dramatically. 

October's plant list: 

Amaranth, Basil, Bush and Climbing beans, Beetroot, Butternut, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, Chard, Cape Gooseberry, Celery, Chives, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Ginger, Globe Artichoke, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, Onion, Parsnip, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Sweetcorn, Sweet pepper, Sweet potato, Turnip, Tomato, Watercress, Watermelon, Zucchini

October's What's-in-season list:  

Vegetables: Globe artichoke, Beetroot, Green beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Courgettes, Cucumber, Leeks, Garlic, Lettuce, Mealies, Mushrooms, Onion, Parsley, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Spinach, Squash, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Waterblommetjies

Fruit: Apricots, Mulberries, Bananas, Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Naartjies, Guava, Paw-paw, Pineapples, Kiwi, Rhubarb, Strawberries

Happy planting!

Patchwork Group
Gabriella Garnett
076 2199 849 |


These are easy to make but take a little time. They can be frozen for a few weeks, so good to make for guests – who will love them.

I don’t always abide by the exact measurements in the recipe. Use ice trays as moulds – stars and heart shaped ones if you have them. I have only made them in the shaped silicone trays.

  • 400gm melted chocolate
  • 500mls vanilla ice cream.

With a pastry brush, brush the inside of each mould with melted chocolate. Freeze until set and repeat. Place a spoonful of ice cream into each mould and freeze. Pour melted chocolate over the top of each mould to for a lid and freeze again, preferably overnight.

To unmould tap the bottom of the moulds gently. If you are serving them for a dinner party, turn out the kisses beforehand, place on greaseproof paper and freeze until needed.

Lyn Staples, Norgarb Properties Estate Agent
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village


In the wake of the kidnappings which have made headlines over the last few weeks in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Fidelity ADT has issued a general alert to all residents.

Parents have been urged to empower their children, teenagers and varsity-going young adults with all the information necessary to respond to any crisis or act of criminality.

“As parents and guardians, it is our responsibility to not only educate our children about safety but to also give them the necessary tools to deal with a crisis. While we certainly don’t want to live in fear, we do need to have frank conversations about what to do when things go wrong,” explains Charnel Hattingh, National Communications and Marketing Manager at Fidelity ADT.

There are simple actions, she says, which can often keep a child or young adult safe.

 Teach your kids: 

• They must always walk to or from school with a friend or friends. Stick to streets they know and never take short cuts through quiet areas or empty parking lots and never walk with cell phones and iPads in full view.
• If they get picked up at school, they should never leave the premises but always wait inside the school grounds for their lift to arrive.
• Younger children particularly must never get into a stranger’s car; even if the stranger claims that someone they love is hurt and that they have been sent to pick them up. Remind them that you would never send someone they don’t know to fetch them.
• Consider using a password system. If the person coming to collect you from school cannot repeat the password you and your child agreed on, they should not get into the car but immediately ask for help.
• If a stranger approaches your child, they should not talk to them no matter how friendly they may seem. If someone tries to grab them, they need to fight, kick and shout. If your child does encounter any suspicious activity, encourage them to get a good look and memorise their physical details and clothing, as well as the vehicle they are in. Listen for any names or other details that might help identify them later.
• Make sure your children memorise their full names, address and phone number. Using a play phone, teach them when and how to dial 10111. If they are older they should have some emergency numbers programmed into their phone or consider having a safety App such as Fidelity ADT's FindU on their phone.

Remind students: 

• Older children should be reminded to keep their valuables out of sight at all times and not to use headphones because this will dampen their ability to sense their surroundings. “The more you cut your senses off the easier it is for someone to take you by surprise. Stay alert!” says Hattingh.
• Alter their route: If they are walking home or to public transport they need to alter their route. “Even if it takes longer, always use a route that is well lit and populated with houses and other walkers instead of taking shortcuts through less-friendly areas. If you feel threatened, you can at least knock on someone’s door for help if you’re walking through a familiar neighbourhood.”
• If you are using a taxi service, ensure it is a bona fide service provider.
• Be extra cautious to go and meet anyone who befriends you on social media. Always meet in a public space with 2 or 3 friends as backup.
• Be cautious to be lured by people offering you a job or modelling contract. Remember safety in numbers.

“Quite simply, the same rules that apply to adults need to be instilled in children and young adults and if someone cannot be found, it is vital to report this to the authorities immediately,” concludes Hattingh.

Manager - Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID)
Cel: 081 412 6109   E-mail: