Part of last week was spent providing training services to a mine and that is why there were no alerts.  It was decided to travel by road rather than by air.  This meant driving from Somerset West to Calvinia for the first stopover.  Bypassing Paarl and Wellington we drove over the spectacular Bainskloof Pass before reaching Ceres.  Unwittingly the gravel road R355 was taken instead of one of the better tarred roads.  The Matroosberg mountains were a sight to behold and we passed the Tankwa Karoo National Park.  On reaching Calvinia late in the afternoon we stopped to consult a map and find the street where we had booked to stay.  A young boy of under ten years of age arrived on his bicycle and asked if he could be of any assistance.  He did not ask for any money!  We were looking for Strauss Street and he ‘instructed’ us to follow him, and off he went.  Within minutes we were in the correct street.  He was ‘rewarded’ for his initiative and enterprise and he is clearly a budding entrepreneur. 

In terms of the Constitution every child has the right not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that are inappropriate for a person of that child’s age.  The 2013 amendments to the BCEA now prohibit not only employment but also all ‘work’ by children under the age of 15 years.  The thought did occur to us that there might be a breach of the BCEA but then it was decided that he was probably just freelancing and not working.

The next day we visited Nieuwoudtville on the Bokkeveld Escarpment and the flower capital of South Africa,  and the Hantam National Botannical Gardens to see the glorious fields of flowers.  We retraced our journey to Calvinia and then headed for Upington via Kenhardt and Keimoes and were amazed by all the vineyards irrigated from the Orange River.  The following day it was on to Postmasburg where we spent the night and conducted two training sessions.  In the  afternoon it was off to Springbok via Pofadder and Kakamas.  We stopped at the Pienk Padstal [see photos below] and bought dried fruit and were told that there are no longer any ‘Kakamas peaches’.

On Thursday we were not required to rush and took our time from Springbok via Vanrhynsdorp and Clanwilliam before turning off at Malmesbury and heading for home.  We covered over 2,400 kilometres in five days and the weather was perfect and all the tarred roads were excellent.  We were lucky not to damage our tyres on the gravel road and would not recommend the R355 unless the vehicle is equipped to handle such a road.