The Cross Cape cycle route - which will eventually join Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay - is finally on a roll.
The Western Cape Government’s Project Khulisa* (isiXhosa: ‘Project Grow’) focuses on creating jobs in three sectors - agri-processing, oil and gas, and tourism - and while the Province knew from the start that one of its aims for tourism was to attract 100,000 cyclists within ten years, it hadn’t yet identified the details of how this would be achieved.
By coincidence, we at Knysna & Partners had commenced with our Cycle Knysna campaign (#TrailTownSA) in 2014 - and when Project Khulisa was launched, we realised immediately that Cycle Knysna was a perfect fit for the Province’s vision.
This made creating a partnership with the Province an easy task - and, since we’d collected the information and made the initial connections (including negotiating international marketing opportunities through Squirt Lube, which was developed here in Knysna), Cycle Knysna effectively became the starting point for the development of the Cross Cape.
For the Cross Cape to succeed, it has to embrace multiple landowners, various government departments (including DEDAT and Wesgro), as well as many business in the region - and, by putting our vision for Cycle Knysna into practice, our office has lead the way in developing the kind of private-public partnerships that will deliver the results.
We’re proud to report that Minister Winde acknowledged this at the launch of the Cross Cape (which took place on 29 June at the Garden Route Trail Park) - and that he went further by announcing that he will be taking our formula through to the other regions along the route. (A real a feather in our cap!)
We’re now into the next phase of development. This requires working closely with neighbouring towns, the Eden District, and regions further afield - as well as with local businesses who are, or want to become, part of the cycling economy.
We’ve established technical groups that will define the route itself, and that will work with the landowners to open the trail - and we will shortly begin engaging with supporting business (such as accommodation providers) to develop the eco-system that will surround the route, and that will help to make the Cross Cape the iconic attraction we know it will become.
Please join us in positioning Knysna as #TrailTownSA.
*Project Khulisa: www.westerncape.gov.za/projectkhulisa