About us

Toverview founder Maeder Osler.

TOVERVIEW seeks to provide an independent perspective on life in the northern Karoo town of Colesberg and its surrounding region, thereby serving as a model for exploring new forms of rural communication. It also provides broader perspectives on political, economic, social and environmental issues.

It was founded in 2021 by Maeder Osler, owner of Hanglip Farm east of Colesberg, a former principal of Umso Senior Secondary School, and a long-standing and active member of the broader Colesberg community. It’s a distant relative of and successor to TOVERBERG INDABA, a community newsletter published by Maeder from 1990 to 1997.

TOVERVIEW emerged from a series of discussions between Maeder and other local people with an interest in communication and the development of their town and rural areas in general. They agreed that the prevailing discourse about Colesberg and the broader region was one-sided, and that the need for independent perspectives, reflecting the views of people at the grass roots in particular, was as urgent as ever. This should be adapted to new forms of communication, notably the advent of digital media, in ways that could also be applied to other rural enclaves.

These talks resulted in the founding of three independent websites, namely Toverview; Phakamisa Mayaba’s creative writing site, eParkeni; Janco Piek’s one-stop information hub, Colesberg.info; as well as Mbulelo Kafi’s Facebook page, Sakhisizwe Tours. All these sites have grown steadily over the past two years, demonstrating the need for independent voices in this and other rural areas.

TOVERVIEW has also begun to feature material by a broader circle of Maeder’s friends and associates, many of whom are active in the media, and share a past in political and civic activism as well as ongoing participation in South African liberal / progressive institutions. Maeder’s close friend Riaan de Villiers is consulting to the project, and assisting with editing and web design.

Maeder and his friend Jasper Cook also maintain a blog about Hanglip Farm.