R2-billion Knysna River Reserve gets green light


Expert Member
Jun 28, 2005
Always a tradefoff - job creation, tourism (positive) versus
environment suffers (negative),
Can Knysna infrastructure handle anymore people - few months ago raw sewerage was running down the roads.

Old newspaper article

Looks like it is by the Phantom Pass area by Lightleys cruises


By Francois Rank Garden Route Bureau Chief

PLANS for one of the most ambitious developments ever seen on the Garden Route took a step forward yesterday when Knysna‘s public amenities and housing committee gave the nod to the R2-billion Knysna River Reserve.

Developers say that once completed, the project will create nearly 1 000 full-time jobs and will bring in more than R100-million a year in tourism revenue.

The public amenities and housing committee‘s recommendation that the development go ahead will now go to the mayoral committee before going in front of a full council meeting for final approval on March 29.

The major development on the banks of the Knysna River near Westford will include a luxury resort hotel as well as a golf course and the much-publicised South African Sports Hall of Fame.

It is the brainchild of the land owners, West River, and a company known as the South African Sports Hall of Fame (Sashof), started by former Springbok flyhalf Naas Botha.

Sashof is 30 per cent black-owned and black economic empowerment will be one of the key discussion issues at this month‘s council meeting.

Botha said yesterday funding for the development was in place.

Committee chairman Richard Dawson told the public and media attending yesterday‘s meeting that the committee was fully behind the development.

“This item has been on the table for some time,” Dawson said. “It has been to council and it was decided it should go through the right procedures. We have had a lot of input on this development from officials and the municipality brought in a consultant who had information sessions for councillors on this development.

“We also received a report from the developers on the impact of the development.”

He said according to the report, the economic impact on Knysna would be significant.

In 2004 Wits professor Richard Tomlinson conducted an economic study of the proposed development.

The study found the project‘s short-term impacts would include a minimum of 1 000 jobs during a four-year construction period and a minimum of 678 additional jobs off-site during the same period.

The report also says that because the developers want to finish construction by 2010, the short-term impacts have increased to 1 500 jobs on site during a three-year construction period and an additional 1 670 jobs off-site.

“Prof Tomlinson found that a minimum of 694 full-time permanent jobs would be created on site and at least 265 additional permanent full-time jobs would be created off- site.”

Tomlinson also estimated that the tourism spend in Knysna linked to the development would be R123-million per year.

“This would increase the annual tourism contribution to the Knysna gross geographic product (GGP) by about 23 per cent and would increase the Knysna GGP by 5%,” the report said.

West River developer Greg Metzer said yesterday‘s decision was welcome. “About four years ago we were approached by the Sports Hall of Fame for that development. We thought it was a good resort-based development and we have spent millions to get to this point.” frank@johnnicec.co.za
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