Elrico Pietersen was born in Pniel on the slopes of the Simonsberg and went to Pniel Primary School and then Kylemore High School, a few kilometres up the road. “I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to go away to school — my mother is a baker with two children,” he says.
Elrico Pietersen and Sonny of Bikes at Boschendal. Elrico is the entrepreneur and Sonny is a bike mechanic/tour guide who has done the Cape Epic and rides for South Africa in MTB cycling.
Elrico ran two businesses while he was in high school, both game shops which sold other necessities in “The Scheme”, the part of Pniel where he lived. “Game shops?” I asked. They offered video games for kids with little else to do. Elrico started identifying opportunities early on.
I live close to the villages of Pniel, Lanquedoc and Kylemore outside Stellenbosch. Now that’s not an area where you find a booklet advertising local services — which is what I really needed when I arrived there. If there was, the small businesses there are probably so small they probably wouldn’t be able to afford the advertising costs. So, I ended up using services in Paarl and Stellenbosch.
Then, when my bakkie needed new front disk pads and I really didn’t feel like trekking into Stellenbosch, leaving the bakkie while the repairs are done and collecting it later. So I asked the security company on Boschendal which seems to know the local community if they knew of anybody. Continue reading →