Add up all the forgotten, small towns in South Africa and you get millions fighting for survival.
The economic danger to small places such as Knysna, where i stay, is far more intense than in the cities yet the situation and consequent challenges are mostly absent from the media and the verbal diarrhea of politicians without action. I may use my home as an example but maybe there are many of you out there who can relate to the situations i present to you.
I am in love with Knysna, the prettiest town in South Africa. She is my lover, sister, friend and confidant. She can’t be my mother for she is in need of fathering. She is a child to be loved and nurtured.
Knysna’s personality is the sum of many things but the most important is the collective heart of her citizens and her natural splendour. The form is a catch-22 but the latter is easy to boast about:
None can deny the beauty of a low-tide walk from Brenton-On-Lake to the Western Head where, along the way, you delight in storks, cormorants, Egyptian geese and small beaches with their own identities offering a unique view of the Knysna Waterfront, Thesen Island and Leisure Island. Summer sundowners at Bollard Bay, clambering the ragged rocks of Coney Glen, riding a boat on Knysna Estuary, sand in my toes at Gericke’s Point or Buffalo Bay, watching fish jump out of the river in Sedgefield, pastoral wonders on the 7 Passes Road, the Outeniqua Mountains peering like grandfather down on Karatara and fresh water lakes, buck at Featherbed and startlingly beautiful (yet shy) Loerie birds red-winging between the trees in search of yellow berries make Knysna almost fantasy, a setting for an Enid Blyton adventure or a playground for Harry Potter and his friends. It’s made painters, musicians and retirees plant their roots here.
My gushiness above is true but not an advert. It makes for the perfect holiday but what does it mean to the people who live here? What troubles do we face?
Read Part 2 here tomorrow.