The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival begins on Friday this week, with a jam-packed programme of events guaranteed to keep locals and visitors of all ages entertained. Whilst the 10 day festival brings a much-needed influx of more than 50 000 excited visitors to the area, Garden Route residents certainly don’t shy away from joining in the fun that is happening right here on the doorstep.
Aside from the popular weekend sporting events, such as the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour (2nd and 3rd July) and the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon (9 July), highlights of this year’s Festival include:

Food and drink:-
• Look out for Oyster Hotspots – restaurants in and around Knysna and Sedgefield where you’ll find oyster specials and other interesting dishes over the 10-day period.
• As part of the Best of Brunch promo, local restaurants will serve up delicious takes on everyone’s favourite meal – brunch!
• The Knysna Wine Festival and Night Market will host some of South Africa’s best wine estates on 4 and 5 July where you can meet local winemakers, taste their latest wines and learn about the latest trends in wine-making.
As an extra treat, Heather Walters will perform live on 4 July and Robin Auld on 5 July.
• Seafood Wednesday takes place on 6 July, giving seafood lovers another chance to indulge in all manner of seafood. The event kicks off with a seafood walk-around at participating restaurants during the day; a seafood braai competition takes place in the afternoon, and the ever-popular oyster shucking and eating competition takes centre stage in the early evening.
• Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco Sauce, also part of Seafood Wednesday, will see some of the best local eateries going head to head in the oyster stakes. We hear Sedgefield’s PiliPili (last year’s winnners) will be there to defend their title!
• The Oyster, Bubbly and Chocolate Experience will be hosted at the Simola Hotel at 18:00 on 3 July where visitors can enjoy instructional bubbly tastings from five different estates, paired with the decadent combination of oysters and chocolate.

Live entertainment:-
• The Comedy Shuckle is a Festival must-see, with top comedians Schalk Bezuidenhout and Kagiso Mokgadi ready to have you doubled over in laughter.
• The Exclusive Glenmorangie Whiskey & Live Jazz cruise is a festive addition to this year’s line-up on 3 July at 17:30.
• If the classics are more your cup of tea, then don’t miss the all-new Opera Gala Concerts on 7 and 8 July.

For the little ones:-
• The Pick n Pay Young Oyster Festival presented by Humpty Dumpty Windmeul Eggs will host fun cooking lessons and arts and crafts for two to 10 year olds. This will take place 2 – 9 July from 10:30 to 15:30 and on 3 July from 10:30 to 13:30.
The Young Festival, situated at the Main Festival Pavilion, is open from 09:00 – 15:30 daily, will include lots of entertainment and is ideal for creative kiddies.
• The Momentum Health Kiddies Zone is a fully supervised, secure and fun area for children aged two to twelve, with great age-appropriate activities such as jumping castles, sand art, colouring and drawing as well as jumping rope games. It is also at the Festival Pavilion and runs from 09:00 to 16:00 daily with extended hours on 4 & 5 July until 21:00
• The Dare2Dash obstacle course is situated at the Festival Pavilion and is open from 10:00 to 15:00 daily

Trail runs
• The ELEPHANT Free Range Trail Run offers three of the most beautiful trails in the Knysna area. These are scheduled between 3 – 8 July at 09:00.
• The Momentum Health OatWell DualX, powered by PeptoPro, will be at the Festival for the first time this year and offers the best of both trail running and mountain biking. The start is at the Festival Pavilion on 7 July at 08:00.

A change of pace
• For those who’d like to take things at a slightly more relaxed place, also on the cards are bridge tournaments and bingo on 1 July, a bowls tournament from 4 – 7 July and the all-new Forest Family Dam Ride on 3 July.

For the full programme and details about all events, registration and ticket costs, please visit or follow the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival on Twitter @OysterFestival or on Facebook/KnysnaOysterFestival for daily updates.

Knysna Municipality has announced that Cllr Irene Grootboom, councillor for Knysna’s ward 1 (Sedgefield’s Smutsville, Cola Beach and The Island) announced her resignation from Council earlier today. Cllr Grootboom also served as member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Community Services.

Knysna Executive Mayor expressed her thanks and appreciation to Cllr Grootboom for her service to people of Knysna over the last five years.

Her resignation is effectively immediately. Currently no reason has been given for her resignation.

The controversial renaming of the roads on Sedgefield’s Island suburb is not going to happen, and the old names will remain. This after the Knysna Municipality’s Street Naming Committee received numerous objections to the proposal. The original application to have the names changed was made back in 2012 by the standing Ratepayers committee, but only came up for consideration in January this year. Many local residents were happy with the idea of new road names, but many were against it – calling it a huge waste of tax payers’ money.

According to a release from the offices of Lorraine Botha MPP, Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Development, The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) has lost an estimated R800 million to corrupt practices in the entity and of that amount, a mere R1.5 million has been recovered.

On 31 May SASSA briefed the Standing Committee on Community Development in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP). It was revealed that between April 2015 and March 2016, a total of 18 807 disputes had been logged with SASSA.

In April 2016 alone, a total of 1 846 disputes were logged with SASSA in the Western Cape. It is clear that beneficiaries cannot rely on the Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (DRM), which are meant to resolve cases of beneficiary exploitation.

It was revealed that beneficiaries received falsified SASSA forms that were used by insurance brokers to fraudulently take out insurance on behalf of beneficiaries. It also emerged from the briefing that third parties are obtaining confidential details of beneficiaries from FICA and not necessarily from SASSA.

Here we are again after the run of our annual comedy, this year’s ‘Unnecessary Farce’ by Paul Slade.
With Richard Payn (Winner of the Guineas Award 2016 – as in the best Scottish Piper in the country) setting the tone as the audiences arrived for a night at the theatre – Sedgefield style.

Six nights of laughter rocked the school hall venue as the seven players stomped, sneaked, fell around and got shoved into the boards. The Farce Side theatre group has been at it for three years now and with four shows under their belt the talent is really obvious. This year’s newcomers, Cornel Delafield, Elaine Hannah, Tamsyn Godfrey and Mike Young were buoyed (as we all were) by the laughter and applause from the audiences each night. That is after all, what we do it for!
The generous response from our audiences on all platforms has been overwhelming and extremely positive;
“To the amazingly talented cast of 2016. I went in expecting to giggle or maybe even chuckle. What I didn’t expect was to laugh from my belly again and again. Thank you so much for warming up winter, putting a smile on our faces and blowing us away with your startling talent.” Pam Booth

“… we want to say Thank You so much for your (The Farce Side’s) wonderful production. Congratulations to you and your whole team. We so enjoyed it and all the laughter it brought. Fabulous! You did Sedgefield proud.” Jackie and Peter Weaver

“I was super impressed with the tremendously entertaining and well-executed play, Unnecessary Farce!!! You did great!!” Saskia Vershoor

As with any production by The Farce Side there is a lot of gratitude to our very local supporters! Herewith the list. Without these people, companies and businesses, none of the magic would be possible:
The families and friends of each and every cast and crew member of this production.
Scarab Village who provided rehearsal space for the first two months.
Lemon & Lime – the best box office in town.
Build It, Forest Lodge Nursery, Debbie and Deon Snyders, Twinx Costumes, Pick ‘n Pay and Sergeant Sonja Stander .

Lastly, the announcement that everyone has been waiting for, the raffle winner of the fan memorabilia from the set of ‘Unnecessary Farce’ – the set of Three Flying Ducks from the Claymore Pots Studio goes to Cheryl Ferreira!

Congratulations Cheryl! Enjoy the revival of these classic pieces of décor.

THE MUNICIPAL budget for Knysna for the 2016/17 cycle was tabled yesterday by Executive Mayor Georlene Wolmarans as part of her final State of the Town & Budget address.

During her address on Tuesday 31 May, themed “A prosperous future for Knysna,” Mayor Wolmarans touched on the highlights of the past term and shared her vision for Knysna for the years ahead: “It is my sincere hope that the next council will build on the achievements we have attained during this term in office and will strive to overcome the challenges that faced us over the last five years.”

Mayor Wolmarans touched on the activities and projects of each directorate, while identifying the pertinent challenges that will be addressed during the next financial year. After concluding her review on the wellbeing and future of Knysna, Wolmarans turned to matters of Rands and Cents.

“The budget for the next financial year continues to reflect the strategies and priorities of the town, chief among them the need to address our dire water security issues”, Wolmarans said in her initial remarks.

“The new budget for Knysna Municipality amounts to approximately R912 million comprising of R174 million in capital expenditures and R738 million for operating expenses. This constitutes a considerable increase of 16% on the adjusted budget for 2015/2016 which amounted to a total of R789 million.”