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About Knysna

About Knysna

Welcome to Knysna, the beating heart of the Garden Route. Wherever you have come from in the world, Knysna is sure to steal a piece of your heart. Knysna is not only a small and unique town, but it also offers up-to-date and convenient services. From getting around town to excellent medical assistance, you will feel as though you have come to your second home.

Investing in Knysna

Knysna is the ideal location to establish and expand a business. The Knysna economy is the third largest economy in the Eden District with a total Gross Geographical Product of R 2,3 billion in 2011 according to StatsSA (2013). The leading sectors are Finance and Business Services and Wholesale, Retail, Trade and Accommodation.

The key reasons which for investment in the Knysna economy and its people include the following:

  • Good infrastructure and basic services
  • Accessible via road (N2), rail and air (George Airport)
  • World renowned tourist destination
  • Foreign investment opportunities
  • Sufficient housing opportunities
  • Low crime rates
  • Excellent business support services
  • Ample industrial land and commercial space
  • Excellent educational facilities
  • Labour opportunities
  • Sound regulatory environment


Green Business Zone

Knysna Green Business Zone

The Green Economy refers to two inter-linked developmental impacts for the Knysna economy:

  • Increased economic growth (which leads to investment, jobs and competitiveness) in the green industry sector
  • A shift in the Knysna economy as a whole towards cleaner indus­tries and sectors

Key focus areas have been identified to increase the competitive advantage of Knysna as a local economy which is known for its beautiful natural environment and is linking economic opportunity to this through the following initiatives which is aligned to National Government:

Green buildings and the Green business zones: programme includes greening private and public buildings and transforming the industrial area as a green business zone which is geared for green industries.

  1. Sustainable transport and infrastructure: programme includes promoting non-motorised transport
  2. Clean energy and energy efficiency: programme includes -

- Expanding off-grid options in rural and urban
- Solar Water Heater programme
- Solar geysers for all RDP houses

  1. Resource conservation and management: programme includes -
  • Infrastructure resilience and ecosystems
  • Offset programme
  • Biodiversity management
  1. Sustainable waste management practices: programme includes -
  • Naturally Knsyna initiative
  • Waste beneficiation
  • Zero waste community programme (Recycling swop shops)
  1. Agriculture, food production and forestry: programme includes intergrated sustainable hydroponics projects and agricultural beneficiation plants for the industrial area.
  2. Water management: programme includes -
  • Water harvesting
  • Alternative technology for effluent management
  • Comprehensive municipal water metering (Demand side management)
  • Reduce water losses in agriculture, municipalities and mining
  1. Sustainable consumption and production: programme includes -
  • Industry specific production methods
  • Industrial production technology changes
  1. Environmental sustainability: programme includes -
  • Greening large areas
  • Dune rehabilitation
  • Research, awareness and skills development and knowledge management.

A number of initiatives within civil society, private and private sectors are already in implementation i.e. Biowise. The investment potential in Knysna is significant to position the Greater Knysna as a investment destination for clean industries and research to transition the local economy towards a sustainable diversified economic base.

Knysna Basin Project

The beautiful Knysna Estuary is the most important estuary in South Africa in terms of conservation. Home to 42% of all South Africa’s estuarine species, visitors and nature lovers will take pleasure in this diversity hotspot. The estuary is also home to South Africa’s only endemic seahorse species - and the symbol of the Knysna Basin Project - the Knysna seahorse. As such, the estuary is a protected area and part of the Garden Route National Park.

The Knysna Basin Project is a scientifically focused Not for Profit organization based in Knysna. The overarching aim of the Knysna Basin Project is to ensure the future conservation of the Knysna Estuary and the surrounding catchments. We believe that this aim can only be achieved through ongoing scientific research and the education of those that depend on the estuary and surrounding environment. As an organization, we work closely with management authorities and local groups to ensure the implementation of tangible management and conservation actions.

We welcome visitors to the Knysna estuary and encourage users to play a part in its conservation. Please adhere to all fishing and bait collection regulations within the estuary. A copy of our Fishing and Boating Regulations Flyer is available upon purchase of a fishing permit at the Knysna Post Office. Additional visitor and user information is available at the SANParks Offices at Thesen Island Harbour.

Knysna Basin Project has published a revised and expanded second edition of its field guide – A Field Guide to the Shores of the Knysna Estuary – the common creatures, seaweeds and saltmarsh plants. The Guide aims to help the community learn about and appreciate the Estuary and to raise funds for the Project. The field guide is available for purchase at the Leisure Isle library, and Nadine’s Corner on Leisure Isle.

For more information on the Knysna Basin Project and the research currently being conducted within the estuary, please visit our website at www.knysnabasinproject.co.za and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/knysnabasinproject.