Winter whale season
Hermanus has convinced everyone that the best land based whale watching in South Africa is to be found along thier stretch of coast, and with some luck outstanding encounters are available for those willing to brave the crowds.
Migrating whales arrive in Plett a few weeks after Hermanus, as they make thier way up the coast to breed in the quiet waters of Formosa Bay. Whale watching in Plett is easy, as a recent family trip to Enricos in Keubroomstrand demonstrates, where we were treated to an awesome display of breaching activity while sipping our beers. Beat that Hermanus.
Deputy President comes to town
Our Deputy Presient, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, recentlly visited Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and Sedgefield as part of the governments Imbizo programme.
The goal of the Imbizo programme is to enhance dialogue and interaction between government and the people. It also gives government the opportunity to report back on what progress it has made. To this end some lucky residents of Kwanokuthula were handed title deeds to thier new government funded houses.
The impact on the rest of us was fairly minimal, although I did find the sudden increase in street cleaning activity amusing. A new banner even made an appearance over Main Street proclaiming that we must all strive to keep Plett the cleanest town on the Garden Route. I agree.
Urban Landscape changed
Plett has been earmarked to implement a pilot scheme to reshape the urban landscape. The goal of this scheme is to address the divide between the wealthy and the disadvantaged. It is unclear at this stage exactly what steps will be involved, but moving the municipal offices away from the existing CBD to Ladywood (closer to Kwanokuthula) and upgrading Main Street are both components of this plan.
The total value of sales in Plett rose by 17% in 2005 to R805m. A total of 636 properties were sold, with an average price of R1,3m. In standing with tradition, the largest portion of these sales occurred in the last quarter (December to March).
Illegal Immigrants watch out
A major clampdown on illegal immigrants took place recently in Plett. The raids, which focused on construction sites and informal traders, resulted in approximately 60 foreigners being detained and questioned by police and home affairs officials. Any illegal foreigners will be returned to thier respective countries. Plett has attracted large numbers of migrant labourers who are attracted mainly by the prospect of jobs in the growing construction industry.
Former mayor in trouble again?
Reports have surfaced suggesting that money from the mayoral discretionary fund controlled by former mayor Euan Wildeman were used to pay for the hotel bill of a high ranking ANC official. The official has as yet not been named. The documents have come to light a month before the disciplinary hearings of the former mayor and municipal manager on corruption charges.
20 - 25 September Wave FM Whale Festival. Our next newsletter will contain a more detailed list of events included in this festival.
23 September Autumn Equinox Mardi Gras to be held in Main Street.
24 September Plett Heritage Mountain Bike Race.
The Accommodation Bureau Team