Dear Reader

Whiskey, Whales and Jazz Festival
September is tourism month in South Africa, and Plett is getting into the swing of things with our second Whisky, Whales and Jazz Festival to be held from 20 - 24 September 2007.
The Festival offers three distinct activities - music and food, whale watching and sports.
Music and Food
Various restaurants and clubs will host bands and provide whisky tasting. There will be a street party on Saturday 22 Sept from 5 - 9pm with live music and food stalls.
The Heritage Day Beach Jazz Festival will be held on Central Beach from 12:00 - 17:00 on Sunday 23 Sept, and will feature some of South Africa's top jazz musicians, incl MTV award winners Freshly Ground.
Whale Watching
Besides the normal whale watching boat trips, educationals will be presented, and guided land based whale watching walks will be available.
The first Robberg Challenge will be held on Saturday 22 September 2007. It will be a multi-facetted sporting event featuring kayaking, running, cycling and swimming.
A more leisurely family cycling event from Tsitsikamma to Plettenberg Bay will be held on Sunday 23 September.

For full details see Plett Tourism.

Garden Route Webcams
If you want to keep a tab on Garden Route surf and beach conditions, or perhaps are simply feeling nostalgic, then you may want to subscribe to midafricam . This project is the brainchild of a swiss IT entrepreneur living in Victoria Bay, close to George.
This idea is to create a network of cameras providing live coverage of areas that are of interest to locals and visitors. Up to now the service has been free, and has proved very popular with surfers, holidaymakers and expats living overseas.
I will certainly be putting in an effort to see if they can include Plett in thier plans.
In the meantime there is one live webcam of Plett's Central beach looking down from the top of the Beacon Island hotel, operated by Vodacom.

Outeniqua Choo Choo
The popular steam train service between Knysna and George has been out of action since August last year, when a portion of the railway line was washed away after heavy rain. It is estimated that R73 million is needed to repair the track completely.
Transnet who currently owns the train and tracks, are reluctant to submit an insurance claim, because they have been informed that doing so may significantly affect the cost of their cover.
Now it seems like the Western Cape Government may be coming to the rescue. They have expressed interest in purchasing the asset from Transet, recognising it's importance as a tourism icon for the Western Cape. At the moment an action plan is being developed to provide a strategy for a possible purchase. It is still unclear who will foot the bill for the repairs. This is going to be a major stumbling block for any deal.

Will we miss George?
The ANC controlled council in Plett has had a rough past few weeks.  First their municipal manager George Seitisho resigned to 'pursue other employment opportunities', and then they were forced to expell popular local councilor Memory Booysen for not supporting the positions of the council.
The expulsion of Mr Booysen resulted in some unrest in his ward, Kwanokuthula, and police had to be called in to disburse an unruly mob and clear roads of burning tyres.
George Seitisho's employment in the council was marred by charges of misuse of public funds relating to an overseas trip that he and former mayor Euan Wildeman embarked on.  The council has however acknowledged the 'positive contribution' he made to the Bitou municipality.

Coastal and Inland Provinces: 22 - 30 September 2007 school holidays
Heritage Day: Monday 24 September 2007

Until next time
The Accommodation Bureau Team


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