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Building approvals are being fast-tracked in areas affected by the recent Garden Route wildfires.
Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde and Public Works MEC Donald Grant met with mayors over the weekend to discuss progress in relation to rebuilding in fire ravaged communities.
Seven people were killed, thousands were evacuated and hundreds of properties were destroyed in fires in and around Knysna and Plettenberg Bay last month.
The Garden Route Rebuild Initiative involves humanitarian relief, as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Winde says further trauma counselling and social support will be made available later this week when a Thusong Mobile will be stationed at the Knysna Town Hall.
There, residents who’ve lost personal documents in the fire will be able to access government services from Home Affairs, the Department of Labour and Sassa.
Winde says a significant amount of public infrastructure has been damaged and preliminary assessments have already been compiled.
He says key challenges are the instability of burned slopes, which create a risk of mudslides and the re-growth of alien vegetation.


A national monument and the oldest building in Plett, The Old Rectory is transformed into a 5-star, luxury hotel whilst maintaining its roots. The hotel opens to the public 15 August, 2017.
There’s no arguing that the idyllic, coastal haven of Plettenberg Bay has seen its fair share of challenges of late with the fires that ravaged the area of the Garden Route. Such is the mettle of the people of this town though, that even amidst very trying circumstances, sustained growth in tourism, both locally and internationally, has seen a marked increase. The tenacity and good will of the people of Plett, shone like a beacon in the night and thanks to the unselfish efforts of many, this beloved tourist destination continues to thrill and delight.
Accommodation occupancy continues to rise, Plett has seen an increase of 12.5% in the earlier months of 2017 in comparison to the same in 2016. The increase of inward tourism, festivals and events, and the launch of new tourism products, have resulted in a positive increase in awareness of Brand Plett. One of these exciting new products is Rare Earth’s latest boutique hotel offering, The Old Rectory Hotel, a high-end accommodation destination, set to become a sought after holiday address indeed. Dating back to 1777, this national monument and the oldest building in Plett, was transformed. With expert skill and optimum sensitivity during restoration, this important heritage site will be a flagship for the area. Choosing a team of architects who would optimise the new whilst respecting the old was critical.
Having morphed a few times over the last 240 years – from school, to blacksmith, to finally a rectory, this unique building presented no small design challenge. Gabriel Fagan Architects, the original firm tasked with the restoration, chose as a reference point the earliest photo they could find, settling finally on a Cape Dutch silhouette. Celebrating said historical context, original features such as Yellowwood floors, trusses and majestic Milkwood trees have been interwoven to create an experience befitting the grand old dame.
Welcoming all ages, the 18 room Cape Vernacular styled hotel, is a feast for the eyes. While each room has been designed slightly differently, they’re all rich in colour and texture, and luxuriously comfortable with a fresh contemporary feel. A stone’s throw from The Wedge Beach, in a quiet cul-de-sac, guests can enjoy the legendary beach experience that is synonymous with Plett. Whether guests choose to relax poolside, soak up the spoil of a massage in the spa or head on down to the beach, summer time holidays will never be the same again. With over 200 activities to view or partake of in the greater Plett area, including fauna, flora, ocean life encounters, wine farm excursions and many more, make this holiday count and start a new tradition of excellence today.

LIFE… with Elsa Why It’s Important to know yourself


1. Make Decisions More Easily
When you completely ‘know’ yourself, you are able to discern what is beneficial to your character and what is not. This is then something that you can determine BEFORE you allow certain things in your life. How many of us made choices in the past that ended up being disasters and at the moment of the decision we were uncertain. To ‘know’ yourself does not by ANY means say you will never make mistakes, but you will certainly be able to approach them differently. This leads to only making a mistake once and then learning from it. Making choices become easy because you are able to focus on the things that you really want and know how to get it. Things become clear, clarity your comfort and peace your compass.

2. Access What You Want In Your Life
Our mind is the MOST powerful tool we will EVER own, and yet we so conveniently underestimate it daily. We all have an AMAZING mind and we experience things in our life based on the way we use our own minds. How often do you experience what you ACTUALLY want?Fully understanding how your mind works (‘knowing’ yourself ) and how you filter things into your life, enables you to change it.

3. Find The Perceptions Blocking Your View
Whatever your perceptions are, that is exactly what you will experience in your life. This is applicable in ANY and EVERY area of your life. When you completely understand your own mind, you can identify old beliefs and perceptions that are no longer serving you and change them. The most potent and difficult beliefs / perceptions to identify are the assumption beliefs. They are so true to us that it seems ridiculous to question or change them. ‘Knowing’ yourself enables the unconscious mind to present these perceptions not serving you, one-by-one and getting rid of them while all the things you want start to filter into your life!

4. Take Responsibility For Your Life
It is easier to just blame others, our situation, the government, God, our parents, and terrible things that happened to us. That’s what we’ve been taught for centuries. Having this approach demonstrates an unconscious victim-like mindset leaving us with feelings of powerlessness, fear, disappointment, resentment, and frustration. This can be changed by completely understanding your own thoughts, beliefs, reactions, and feelings. Understanding leads to taking responsibility meaning you deal with the unconscious cause of your past and learn how do the things on your part to create the life that you want.
Knowing and understanding yourself releases your mind’s ability to serve you the way it’s been created to serve you. Yes, it was created to SERVE you!
Freedom has a different ‘coat’ for everyone; happiness, peace, confidence, financial freedom, time, leadership, healthy relationships…

What is your ‘coat’ for freedom?
Mine is completely being ME with no guilt, never comparing myself, never walking on eggshells and never feeling the need to prove anything.
I STOPPED surviving and started LIVING!




I am not a conformist and I have a rebellious streak, says world stage filmmaker Jahmil Qubeka Winner of six SA Film & Television Awards including Best Feature, for his second film, Of Good Report.
Jahmil will be coming to Plett in October to direct Kings of Kwano, a script 6 years in the making, originated by Clyde Berning and scheduled for production in October in Kwanokuthula.
When you’re young and ambitious, it can sometimes be difficult to overcome all the obstacles life and society throw at you, particularly in the film industry. Sometimes, the younger you are, the fresher your ideas are. One inspirational film production and training organisation based in rural Western Cape that embraces youth is iKasi Media and one exciting filmmaker who is on the verge of taking over.
Jahmil Quebeka didn’t let his age or inexperience hold him back from taking the journey to become a feature film maker. His documentary and feature film work has enjoyed screenings at various prestigious international film festivals – Rotterdam Film Festival, Pusan International Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival, Cannes Film Market and Stockholm Film Festival. Jahmil has a link to Plett by way of local filmmaker Daron Chatz who mentored Jahmil in his early career days, working in Johannesburg at the time. Jahmil took the time to talk to Plett Tourism about his inspiration, working in the industry and shares advice with others who are keen to break into the film world.


Early this morning runners huddled together deep in the Knysna Forest as they waited their turn to get going in the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon.
The excitement and hope in the air was palpable as runners came together at this event to support Knysna in its relief efforts. Dignitaries were up early as well as they joined the runners at the start to wish them well.
As one of South Africa’s most sought-after running events, the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon offers some of the country’s most spectacular natural scenery in and around the Knysna Forest, offering several highlights unique to its location.
Much of the race took place in the famed forest area, with breath-taking views of the lagoon and the spectacular Knysna Heads for inspiration towards the finish at the Festival Grounds.
The full marathon was won in dramatic style by Mzwanele Maphekula in an earth-shattering 2:34.09. In the half marathon Nkosinathi Mdau took the win in the Men’s category in 1:09.52 while Vicky van der Merwe synched the Women’s race in 1:23.03 ahead of Melissa van Rensberg. This is certainly one run that many are eager to return to do again in 2018. Don’t miss your chance and make sure you enter as soon as entries become available, especially as every year the race is oversubscribed and sold out.
The early morning start is bitterly cold, so along with the 2 000 blankets Momentum donates, the runners have a long-standing tradition of bringing warm clothes, which they wear to the start and then, along with the blankets, leave behind to be collected and donated. Literally truck-loads of warm blankets and clothes are then driven to local communities and distributed and donated to those in need.

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