Chairman's Letter


13 July 2020

Well, here we are in the middle of winter with the Covid-19 pandemic about to peak if we listen to and watch the news and all the supposed experts. Yes, everyone, especially the government ministers and their experts, has an opinion on how to prevent catching the dreaded virus and as far as they are concerned how they can restrict us from living our lives normally. Letís make no mistake Covid-19 is a very serious virus and yes it can kill. But hereís the thing; itís our lives and in my opinion, we should take personal responsibility for how we wish to live it.

From my own observations, the majority of people seem to be ignoring most of Madam Dlamini-Zumaís ludicrous lockdown rules and are trying to live their lives as best they can in the ruined economy. I believe everyone should be left to assess their own risk and take the necessary precautions accordingly.
At the Club, the committee has taken the position that we should not break some of the more obvious lockdown rules that can lead to prosecution. Not that Iíve heard of anyone actually being prosecuted in a court of law to date. Yet we should, as far as possible, get the Club up and running again.
We are encouraging you to go to Base 4 and enjoy yourselves; drive the obstacles, have a braai and generally enjoy yourself out in the open. We opened the Club this weekend, although the weather has not been kind. We are planning to have a full Open Weekend in August. This means the Club, including the Club House will be open on Saturday and Sunday so prepare to camp over, weather permitting. We will take all the necessary precautions and follow the rules, so everyone will need to fill in the register, have their temperature read and sanitise. We will send out a reminder nearer the time.

Dave McMurdie had his first Day Outing to Spookspruit 4x4 Trail this past Saturday and we eagerly await his report. We will start doing these Day Outings on a monthly basis in the absence of any extended trips.
Unfortunately, Iíve have had to cancel the Zinave Mozambique Outing which was supposed to take place in the middle of August. The borders for leisure trips are still closed as I write this, and I canít see them opening before the peak of Covid-19 has passed. At this stage we are still on for Marakele long weekend in September.
On a brighter note, we have had a very interesting past week at Base 4. Some two weeks ago we were approached by Revaro (they manufacture and distribute construction equipment) wanting to meet with us and bring one of their ATVs (which they have started importing in kit form and assembling at their premises in Muldersdrift) to Base 4 to test the obstacle course. This resulted in Geoff and myself meeting with Freek Stegmann at Base4 with one of their Falcon ATVs. After a very successful morning with one thing leading to another, Freek asked whether they could use Base 4 for a TV shoot for the 'Racing with Celebs' show which is aired on DSTV channel 189 'Ignition'. We saw this as a great opportunity to showcase the Club and readily agreed to this. As this event was scheduled to take place on Tuesday 7th July, it did not leave much time for preparations, however Geoff, with a bit of help, quickly designed a course which we were able to lay out and mark on the Saturday prior to the event. Kersten filled the mud hole for us on the Monday and we were ready for them.

Early Tuesday morning everyone descended on Base 4 with us putting out our banners and Revaro putting out their displays. The first celebrity duly arrived, was given a quick driver briefing and was strapped into the driverís seat of the Falcon ATV. With Freek Stegmann strapped in next to her, off they went. The director, producer and cameramen followed them around filming each obstacle as they drove through it. This procedure was done twice more with two different drivers. The filming took the whole day and was a lot of fun for me personally as it was the first time that Iíve been involved on a film set. Geoff informs me that it is not the first time the Club has been involved in this sort of thing as he and some other members drove Ford Rangers in the dunes at Witsand when they first launched in S.A. a long time ago. I will leave you to judge the show when it is aired in a couple of months and see if the Club got enough exposure.

Another spin-off is that Freek and the owner of Revaro, Ryno Van Rooyen have joined the Club as fully paid-up members. They want to develop a close association with the FWDCSA whereby they will be able to use Base 4 to demonstrate their ATVs and do basic training, much like Halfway Toyota does. Although these ATVs are also about speed, Iím convinced, as are they, that Base 4 is ideally suited for the training and demonstrating purposes that they have in mind.

I will leave you on that positive note, see you all at Base 4 in August!


Peter Hutchison
Four Wheel Drive Club SA
Cell: 082 825 1893


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