It may be named the Knysna Seahorse, but Sedgefield is where you will now find the most impressive tribute to the tiny creature that makes the town’s estuaries its home. On Tuesday, 18 April, local NPO Masithandane unveiled their latest mosaic masterpiece at the foot of the dune that beach-lovers climb to reach the magnificent Myoli Beach.

“Sedgefield, here, at last, is the seahorse you’ve been asking for!” Jacky Weaver, Chairperson of Masithandane, introduced their latest addition to the Sedgefield Mosaic Route before Ward 1 Councillor Levael Davis and mosaic artist Hyla Hartlief removed the “wrapping” to reveal the stunning artwork underneath.

The towering two-metre-high installation comprises a giant sparkling mosaic statue of the Knysna Seahorse mounted on one of the original fishing boats used at Gericke’s Point, donated by Christopher Fredericks. For more than 40 years, many community members’ lives depended on this boat. The historically significant Gericke’s Point provides the distinctive, distant western backdrop to Myoli Beach.

The shimmering seahorse sculpture is Masithandane’s second contribution to the #KnysnaArtProject, a collaboration between Visit Knysna (the Greater Knysna area’s destination marketing organisation), the Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Art Society. It is also the last installation in the funded #KnysnaArtProject, aimed at encouraging visitors to branch out and explore some of the area’s lesser-known gems by creating interactive outdoor artworks. These installations also provide the basis for the Knysna Art Route, which maps out all the galleries, artist studios, ‘makerspaces’ and more that can be explored by art enthusiasts visiting the Greater Knysna area.

Jacky says the idea for the seahorse came from the community. At the launch of the Love Bug mosaic in 2021, she met Christopher Fredericks and heard the story of the fishing boat, which he later donated. The Fredericks’ boat, which had lay hidden in his backyard for over a decade and was beginning to decay, has now been given new life as the impressive base for the giant concrete seahorse.

The resin “starfish” steps up to the boat are also significant. They incorporate metal sinkers collected along the coastline as part of the Strandloper Project. Mark Dixon, the project’s founder, approached Jacky with the idea of including the sinkers in one of their installations to draw attention to these environmental hazards.

Sedgefield’s Mosaic Art Route now includes more than 65 mosaic works worthy of the 90 minutes it takes to complete a self-drive tour. Aside from the Sedgefield1 Love Bug, the route takes you past several other iconic sculptures worthy of a selfie pic or two – among them the Slow Papa Tortoise and Heartbeat of Sedgefield heart on the Main Rd, Marinara with its view of Gericke’s Point, and the interactive Octopus Garden at the Scarab Market on the outskirts of town.

Jacky would like to pay tribute to the artists who made this latest creation a reality. Christo Pieterse, the man who is responsible for creating the Seahorse form and the design and making of the chock on which the boat rests, Sophia Nguma who has been part of the team from the beginning and says the art of mosaic is now a part of her, Ricardo Baadjies, who learned to mosaic nine years ago, Petrus Kiewiets, who lives in Karatara, is a born artist and passionate about his mosaic work, and last but by no means least, the design artist and leader of the team Hyla Hartlief.
“She has such talents and gifts and gives of them and of herself so freely –– an absolute dynamo when it comes to mosaics,” says Jacky, “We thank God for all these wonderful folk he has blessed us with, and their amazing gifts and talents.”

(picture: World #1 David Morgan Smith (left) training with fellow walker Nic Brummer)

Sedgefielder Dave Morgan-Smith has been ranked the fasted race walker in the world for his age group.
Dave, who recently turned 85, had previously been ranked 3rd in the 80-85 age category, but now, according to current World Master Athletics Rankings, he has the fastest time worldwide for racewalkers 85+.
Dave was something of an athlete in his early years; at one time he even held the Eastern Province record for 880 Yards. But when his children came along, he retired from running to attend to their sporting achievements.
In 2002 a somewhat older Dave started race walking and has been an outstanding competitor ever since. He has successfully competed in countless provincial and national championships for which Sedgefield residents will doubtless have seen him training – pounding the streets at an admirable pace.
Race walking is believed to have originated in the Victorian era (1837-1901), when noblemen used to bet on their footmen as they walked alongside the horse-driven coaches. Subsequently, it became an official athletics event and is now permanently featured in the Olympics.
Race walking differs from running (where an athlete often has both feet off the ground during a sprint), in that competitive walkers must have one foot in contact with the ground at all times.
Dave comfortably walks at 7.5 min per km during his training sessions; that is 8 km per hour!
In a recent race over 10km, he finished in just over 72 minutes. If one were to adjust this time to compare it with that of a 20 to 30-year-old, his time would equate to 41min 37 seconds; truly world-class! It is no wonder he’s the fastest in the world.
Dave, we salute you!

Our local acting protégé Llewellyn Bond has done it again – winning ‘Best Actor’ at the annual DCAS (Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport) Theatre Competition held at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, on 25 February. Furthermore, his Knysna drama group ‘Art Attack’ scooped ‘Best Production’ for their show, ‘Delwersdorp’.For the first time since 2020, this theatre competition was a combined event for the districts of Eden and The Winelands.

Llewellyn (22) has won the Best Actor accolade no less than five times in a row and is over the moon to share his glory with long-time mentor, friend and fellow actor Samuel Jamut, who has gone on to shine in the realm of theatre direction.

The young men say that special mention must also be made of Michaela Whaites, the scriptwriter of ‘Delwersdorp’, who is another Garden Route success story in the world of theatre. The trio started out together, and each one of them looks set to move on to greater things.

The play, ‘Delwersdorp’, is based in the 1930s. It is a fictional story of two brothers who grow up to be miners, following in their father’s footsteps. Bond’s lively depiction of the older brother stands as a catalyst for the events that unfold within the home of a family with an absent father.

This award-winning show will go on to participate in the Zabalaza Festival on the 25 March – also at The Baxter.

Bond is now a well-rehearsed, professional actor who rose to TV fame in the television series ‘Suidooster’. Indeed the grapevine hints that he has creative projects in the pipeline for both stage and screen, so be sure to watch this space as we follow the upward trajectory of this incredibly talented and focused young man.

Whilst Knysna police are still investigating the tragic murder of a man in Sedgefield yesterday (Tuesday, 24 Jan), there is speculation that his death was the result of mob justice.
At around 7 am, residents of Disa and Agapanthus streets heard much shouting and screaming as a group of between ten and fifteen men chased another man as he ran from the dune stairs, down Aloe Street and onto Disa Street.
One resident (name withheld) was out walking with children in the area but quickly returned home on seeing the angry crowd running towards them along the road.
When the noise had subsided, another resident (name withheld) went to the scene to investigate the reason for the commotion and discovered a body on an empty plot in Agapanthus Street. By this time, the crowd had disappeared.
The resident contacted Sedgefield’s SAPS office, and members came to the scene to investigate.
In answer to our enquiries about the incident, Media Information Officer Sergeant Chris Spies said that the officers had received the alert at approximately 07:20 and were informed that a group had fatally assaulted a man by hurling stones and bricks at him.
“Upon arrival, they found the body of a man, believed to be in his early thirties, with several wounds inflicted to his head,” he stated, adding that after paramedics had declared the man dead on the scene, a murder docket was opened.
Whilst circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation, and the motive for the killing is yet to be formally established by SAPS, reliable sources have reported that minutes before his death, the man had attacked another man on the stairway that leads over the dune, stabbing him in the arm in an attempt to rob him. Thereafter, his injured victim had reportedly given chase, with at least ten others joining him along the way – hence the shouting that ensued.
Residents in the area described how, in a seemingly desperate effort to escape the angry mob, the man had run into a property on Disa Street, then started jumping from garden to garden, over walls and fences. However, he was unable to elude his pursuers for too long as they caught up with him on Agapanthus Street.
It is unknown if anyone – other than those chasing him – witnessed the fatal assault on the man, so who and how many men took part will be left to SAPS to investigate.
At time of going to press, the name of the deceased had not been released, and those responsible for his death were still at large.

These three good friends have really flown the Sedgefield flag high, as the recently published results saw them matriculating with seven distinctions each! They are (pictured from left to right) DJ Hoffmann, Amani Lamprecht and Leith Wardlaw – all from York High and graduates from Laerskool Sedgefield Primary’s class of 2017.

Amani – whose marks included a 100% for Dance – scored a 94,1% average in her seven subjects. This was the third highest in York High School, with the first and second-placed students also achieving averages around 94%. In other words, she was less than 1% behind the first place! This year Amani will be heading off to Stellenbosch to study medicine.

Leith, who was just behind Amani in fourth place, achieved a 90,29% average and will soon begin studying for a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.

DJ’s average of 88,43% meant he took sixth place at York, but he won’t be continuing his studies right away – he is taking a gap year and heading off to Europe!

(Picture by the very talented Luana Laubscher)

As the sun begins to set on the 2022/2023 holiday season and annual visitors start making their way back to the bigger centres, it is wonderful to get positive feedback from local businesses that it has indeed been a much-needed bumper season.
Reports received by The EDGE show that, with only a few exceptions, business boomed to new heights in December and early January, with so many folk arriving to spend their (hopefully happy) holidays in Sedgefield.
The Sedgefield Spar’s management responded to our ‘Successful Season?’ enquiry with the report of a hefty turnover increase of about 20%.
All the local restaurants we managed to speak to also reported really good numbers of ‘bums in seats’ – some calling this season their best yet.
One popular point of call for most visitors – and indeed a good measuring stick for numbers – is Sedgefield’s trio of markets, all of which came back to us with very positive comments.
Scarab Market’s co-owner Jean Wright was very happy to report that most of her crafters had experienced a fabulous season. Indeed one of her Scarab Village tenants said it was the best he had had in 15 years of trading. “And it was great to see all the new faces visiting us, too,” Jean enthused.
Cliff Elion, the owner of Mosaic Market, reflected that it was the first season showing growth like pre-pandemic times. “It’s as if the COVID years have been erased from our trajectory,” he said, “The crowds were very well behaved too – it really was a great season from a hospitality point of view.” His assistant Elaine Hannah reported that most traders had their best days ever over the season.
The Wild Oats team says that their Farmers’ Market was absolutely bustling, with five to six thousand visitors each Saturday. “Both local and from abroad – they braved the inclement weather knowing that the market stallholders, local farmers and producers make sure that the market stays open, come rain or shine!” said Charlene Blacker.
So whilst some locals will understandably be happy to have their home town return to normal, a huge vote of thanks must go to our visitors – simply for keeping our economy running!

OUR LAST EDITION OF 2022 IS DONE!

With a year behind us that has been filled with moments both light and dark, it’s important to relax for a while, and try to shed any load 2022 may have left on your shoulders.

So… this holiday, hit the ‘off switch’ and take time to generate happy memories with your family and friends as you recharge those drained batteries.

Perhaps, at some stage, you might even fit in a ‘power nap’ or two?
(Somebody stop me!)

Please remember – Christmas shouldn’t be about rushing around trying to remember everyone on your present list. Christmas should be a time to celebrate, with others, the awesome gift that we were given 2000 or so years ago. The gift of Jesus Christ, born to bring life and hope and freedom to all. (And it’s a genuinely free gift – no credit card details or eft required, there’s no queue at the till and you don’t even have to stress that the courier finds your house!)

And it’s even available during load-shedding!

Here’s wishing all our readers, writers, advertisers, and ‘friends of the EDGE’ the true blessing and real joy of Christmas.

And a light-filled 2023!

A STATEMENT FROM SEDGEFIELD RATEPAYERS AND RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Over two months ago, on 3 October 2022, the SRRA sent a formal letter to Knysna Municipality detailing key concerns as well as a list of related By-Laws that are being breached with little, or in most cases, no action being taken by the Municipality.
The continued lack of action sets a tone of acceptance which leads to the devaluing of properties in Sedgefield. To date, the SRRA still awaits a formal response to its letter, which tabled reasonable questions as to the responsibilities for ensuring conformance to the related By-Laws and by when the Municipality plans to deal with all the related important development planning aspects.
Many Sedgefield and Smutsville residents have waited patiently for Knysna Municipality to share updated details of the provision of housing projects and the required services. There have been unexplained delays with no real progress being achieved in the provision of housing where it is most needed in the Sedgefield community. Apparently, there are four ‘approved in principle’ housing projects which could accommodate approximately 300 Sedgefield/Smutsville families. The actual number is dependent on eventual site layout plans. Knysna Municipality has not yet brought these projects to fruition.
After receiving many queries from its members and several other interested parties, the SR&RA investigated why the housing projects appear to be stuck in a permanent hiatus.
Several cycles of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) have clearly listed housing as a top and urgent priority; however, nothing tangible has materialised other than various formal documentation of these needs for the community.
These delays have had consequences, including the large growth in informal settlers in the Sedgefield sensitive dune areas. These areas are not appropriately zoned or serviced. Further serious concerns caused by the land occupation are due to the topology, which is not suitable for the economic development of subsidised housing.
Examples of some of these By-Laws and queries are provided below.
• Municipal Planning Tribunal resolution 29 September 2020 where it was resolved that an amended General Plan (showing the rezoned land, erven 3861, 3865, 3866, 3917, 3918(A), for proposed mixed housing development) to be prepared by a Land Surveyor shall be submitted for approval to the office of the Surveyor General.
Query: Has the General Plan been amended? If so, was this sent to the Surveyor General and if formally approved, by what date was this done?
• Provision of formal Site Development Plans.
Query: If not done, who is responsible for this and by when will this work be completed?
• Provision of a Landscaping Plan on the land zoned for open space purposes and to the effect of creating a buffer shall be submitted to the satisfaction of the Director: Community Services.
Query: Who is responsible for this Landscaping Plan, and has it been completed for discussion with and approval of the Director: Community Services? If so, when was this done?
• Development shall not be undertaken before the Environmental Impact Assessment authorisation has been obtained.
Query: Who is responsible for obtaining this EIA authorisation, and by what date was this achieved?
• High-Density flat type dwellings. Although the SR&RA and other interested and affected public have made known that it doesn’t agree that the construction of low-cost higher-density flats will be suitable anywhere in Sedgefield,
Query: Has consideration been given to this type of development and discussed in public forums? What was the outcome of such consideration?
Public Safety: Veld fire prevention through firebreaks. For any informal settlement area, minimum safety requirements must comply. A safety distance of three metres between informal structures shall be maintained, and any settlement must be divided into blocks of not more than 20 structures, with a minimum distance of six metres between blocks. Additionally, a safety height of four metres from normal ground level free from any overhead obstructions shall be maintained.
Query: Who is responsible for ensuring and enforcing that these compliances are adhered to and when last were the Sedgefield informal dune areas checked that these compliances are being maintained? What process will be followed with “excess” structures/dwellings if the mandatory minimum spacing and blocks of informal structures have not been properly implemented?
Guidelines and parameters for buildings within the urban conservation area and critical biodiversity areas. The development or external aesthetic alteration of land or buildings on a scenic ridge line or within a core, buffer or agricultural area of a critical biodiversity area where it will be visible from the N2 National road are to be substantially compliant, to the satisfaction of the Aesthetics and Heritage Committee.
Query: Has Knysna Municipality or Council ever considered any draft plans for the development or the external aesthetic alteration of land or buildings located on this scenic ridge line?
These queries are but a sample of many that reference By-Laws and which are itemised in detail in SR&RA’s letter to the Acting Municipal Manager sent over two months ago. Not having received any formal reply from the Acting Municipal Manager, the SRRA followed up with another letter dated 28 November 2022 requesting that the Association be advised when the various queries will be answered. It was indicated in the second letter that some delay might be attributable to the change of Municipal managers, with Mr R Butler replacing Mr J Jonkers, who resigned rather suddenly during November. This more recent letter also indicates that once a formal reply answering their questions has been received, SR&RA Executive Committee representatives are very willing to meet with the AMM and other senior Municipal management for any discussions that may be necessary. Failing a substantive follow-up by KM, the SRRA will contact Province to see if they can assist with the process deadlock.
This issue is not about finger-pointing or blame; it is a simple endeavour to provide solutions for our residents and ratepayers. Sedgefield deserves better!

Barrington resident Ritchie Morris opened a very necessary can of worms this week when he tried to find out what was happening with waste disposal in the Greater Knysna area.
This was after discovering a huge mess at the Sedgefield site previously used for the storage of recycling. This area is on the left-hand side of the main road coming into Sedgefield, adjacent to the large billboard saying ‘Welcome’ to visitors.
In an email originally sent to his farm group but quickly gaining traction in wider circles, Morris said, “There seem to be big problems with disposal of municipal waste from most of the S-Cape towns at present.”
He went on to explain the health nightmare he had found when dropping off his household waste at the Sedgefield collection depot on the morning of Monday, 21 November.
“The place is chock-full and piled high with waste – stinks like crazy, rats and flies feasting to their delight,” he said.
But as he explained to us later on the phone, he is not a man who simply wishes to complain, but rather one who wants to find out what is wrong and then try to assist in finding a solution.
Having attempted to raise local authorities with no joy, he decided to contact the Western Cape Provincial Government, eventually leaving a message for Lance McBain-Charles, the Deputy Director in charge of waste
When the director returned his call, he told Morris that there had been a fire at the PetroSA Gourikwa landfill last week, which meant that it had to close and would not be accepting any municipal waste.
The result of this closure would be waste piling up at the various municipalities in the Southern Cape that use this site. Furthermore, the site’s agreement and license to accept the municipalities’ waste ends at the end of 2022.
When we contacted the Garden Route District Municipality, they confirmed that the information in Morris’s email was indeed correct. They also sent comment from Waste Manager Johan Gie, as follows:
“Local municipalities could not dump their waste at PetroSA because of the fire. PetroSA did get a new compactor today and is hard at work to prep the area for local municipalities to dispose of their waste from tomorrow (Wednesday) onwards. PetroSA will also be open on Saturday to accommodate the backlog of waste piled up at local municipalities.”
Meanwhile, our enquiry to Knysna Municipality garnered the following response from Randall Bower, their Manager of Waste Management.
“The fire at PetroSA impacted all the municipalities along the Garden Route. Knysna Municipality has not been spared, and, as a result, the Municipality had to store excess waste at the waste transfer station in Knysna and the recycling centre in Sedgefield. Whilst we were permitted to offload earlier today, the problem has not yet been averted. The delays at PetroSA again highlight the importance of waste minimisation. We can all play our part by reducing the waste we generate at home and the office.”
But the Barrington man’s biggest beef is the various authorities’ ‘radio silence’ about a matter that clearly could have a huge impact on local communities.
“The info dissemination is non-existent,” he said. “One would think that at least some waste skips could be placed at the municipal storage places and covered with netting or builder’s plastic. Or, at minimum, a newsflash email could be sent to all Greater Knysna area residents informing them of the status quo and how they could assist.”
Sedgefield Ratepayers and Residents Association Chair LilIth Seals also weighed in.
“The overfull refuse dump on the North side of the N2 – the entrance to Sedgefield – is in a terrible state,” she stated, “And it is obviously not coping with the waste generated by the town. Once again, we will contact the Director of Technical Services, asking for an explanation and, more importantly, how we, the residents of Sedgefield, can assist in managing the waste. It has been suggested that residents keep their rubbish until the matter is sorted, but this is a problem to be managed by the Knysna Municipality. It has been an ongoing problem for many years, and often it seems as if it is only sorted out before the visitors arrive in December. We need a permanent long-term solution. We need the Municipality to take a more active interest in the basic needs of Sedgefield.”

…AND READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN 2023

Lance Kime, Kelvin Trautman, Tracey Campbell and John Collins will definitely be a team to be reckoned with in the 2023 Adventure Racing World Championships. Picture by Shirleen Olivier

Team Merrell Songlines have been crowned the Adventure Racing Africa Regional Champions and are more than ready to take on the best of the rest on home soil next year. This weekend saw the fabulous four – local sporting legend John Collins and teammates Kelvin Trautman (captain), Tracey Campbell and Lance Kime – cementing their entry into the 2023 AR World Championships when they won the Clocolan 120 km race, the final event in the Expedition Africa Regional Championship, in 12hours and 33minutes.

Part of their prize for winning the Africa Series is free entry for the 2023 Adventure Racing World Championships, to be held in the Kouga region of the Eastern Cape in October. The race, hosted by Expedition Africa, will be the 18th Adventure Racing World Championship and the first to be held on the African continent. The 700 km event will be the culmination of the 2023 Adventure Racing World Series, which unites in competition the world’s best endurance athletes at the premier expedition adventure races around the world.

Songlines’ road to the 2023 ARWS has been well-calculated and more than a little determined. They finished 8th in this year’s World Champs held in Paraguay, this after suggesting they were using it to ‘sus out the competition’. There is absolutely no doubt they will be a team to contend with in next year’s competition!

Watch this space …