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Welcome to our bi-weekly Greater Knysna Business Chamber update, with the latest news and updates for businesses in Greater Knysna.  In this edition:

In this edition:

Last week's meeting with Mayor and MM - here's the (rather long) report...;
Survey report - now available online too;
Coffee Podium - TOMORROW, Thursday May 27.  It's not too late to RSVP;
After Hours Affair - please diarize: 24th of June;
Annual membership - valid from month after signing up;
Municipal Recycle Center closed - new service provider appointed;
By-laws - these bylaws are available for comments.  Until this Friday!;
Knysna Art Project - time to explore the inspiring creativity all around us!;
Stormsriver Adventures - for friends in tourism.  Here's your invite;
Knysna Alcohol and Drug Center - here to help tackle substance abuse
GREATER KNYSNA BUSINESS CHAMBER NEWS
Last week's meeting with Mayor and Acting Municipal Manager

On May 20, 2021 a delegation of the Greater Knysna Business Chamber (“the Chamber”) consisting of Pierre Gouws (Chair), Richard Sohn (Vice), Andries Fourie (representing Property/Development pillar), Chris Schutte (representing Tourism pillar) and Ypie Kingma (Administrator) met with the Executive Mayor Elrick van Aswegen and Acting Municipal Manager Dawid Adonis.

The aim of the meeting (and forth coming regular meetings) was to build a relationship between the Chamber and the Municipality in order to discuss issues and concerns raised by its members and either assist or guide in finding solutions or help communicate the correct facts as often misconceptions lead to unnecessary frustrations.

Major concerns raised:

Apparent lack of credibility of contractors from outside of Knysna

The upgrading of Grey Street, hole along Waterfront Drive and cable laying in Upper Central are cases in point.

Since the 10/15% procurement advantage for local contractors was challenged and won in 2011, outside contractors have been getting contracts based on their quoted rates.  While these contractors have the required CIBD (Construction Industry Development Board) ratings, cashflow is frequently an issue as is the lack of knowledge of local circumstances.  While local workers will be used, these may not always be qualified and supervised enough.   This has led and will continue to lead to problems.

The Chamber proposed that council employ a suitably qualified project manager to oversee all projects so as to prevent non-delivery or compliance with the contract terms.   There are many retired people in Knysna who would be more than willing to assist to ensure that council is not “short-changed”.

Building Department's perceived inability to process building approval applications and the resultant negative impact on the local building industry and on the  further development of Greater Knysna and resultant loss of employment.

The Mayor's response was that if there are these concerns within specific departments, we need to get Directorates and/or other role players around the table, besides Mayor and MM. 

MM will set up working meeting with the building section / Property pillar of Chamber, MM, PCO, possibly within the next week and will also establish how many building plan approval applications are waiting processing as well as the number of outstanding planning applications that have not been processed.  Once this information is forthcoming it will be shared with the Chamber.

Expected marketing void after the current contract with Wesgro regarding marketing of Knysna lapses at the end of October

At this point R1.2m is budgeted to promote tourism for the coming year.  There will be a Request for Proposals, open to all.  Assuming Wesgro will apply and if that model is successful, then Wesgro will proceed; if not then transition model will come into place beginning of next year.  Whether the current contract may initially be extended will need to go through a Council Resolution. 

MM interested in getting input from industry role players in the preparation of the proposal call document soon to be released and took the names of some individuals who may be able to provide an industry viewpoint to the council.  This will be followed up by the Tourism pillar of the Board.

Perceived waste of time and money on appointed and suspended officials

Several cases including the new Director Community Services, Dr. Sitembele Vatala, and Mr. Lindile Petuna and Mr. Hennie Smit were discussed.  Mr. Adonis reiterated that all legal procedures have and always need to be followed.  Appointments are generally politically influenced and made.   In cases of suspension individuals will generally also oppose their suspension leaving Municipality with protracted costly legal processes .  Costs incurred will however be much higher should the right legal procedures not be followed.  This can be perceived by the public as tedious and even wasteful but cannot be avoided.  

The lack of political will to cooperate across party lines is worrying, as it negatively impacts on the running of the municipal affairs.  The appointments of department heads are political and where the persons appointed lack the necessary skills to run their department this places the municipality at a severe disadvantage.   

Covid danger pay

The recent strikes relating to payment of danger pay were raised and discussed and the Chamber assured that no finality has been reached and that there it is not a given that the council will agree to payments being made: it is an ongoing negotiation.

20% scarce skills allowance – is this still ongoing?

After the initial resolution was taken to pay 20% scarce skills allowance Anton Bredell took Knysna Municipality to court as this was not in line with prescribed renumeration of senior managers.  Outcome is that this has to be paid back.   The Chamber asked that the MM investigate whether or not the excess monies paid to the senior staff has been recovered and if not to take steps to do so before the claims against the individuals prescribe.   The MM confirmed that he will look into it and let the Chamber know the position.

Waste Management issues, recycling centre, town cleanliness

MM: instructions to close the current Waste Disposal site have been given, but he will check that it has been done.  Communication has been sent out with regards to the new site in Industrial Area. (See also below).

Social affairs, homeless and shelters

No solution has been found yet and they will continue to seek a resolution.

Traffic lights on N2 flashing green in all direction at times, reported to traffic department but still no action taken. This is life threatening and needs immediate attention.

Apparently load shedding caused the software to malfunction and a solution is sought for. The Chamber suggested that either individual solar system be placed on top of the robots or that they be turned off and the intersection be used as a 3 way stop until repaired, as this could be life threatening if vehicles from both directions see green lights. 

MM agreed that the interim solution to turn them off is logic and will action.
Survey report - now available online too

Thank you to all who filled in the survey recently held.  We received over 90 responses.  Those who indicated they would like to receive the report have received it by email last week.  It is now also available here and can be downloaded from our homepage.

Good luck to all those businesses who indicated times are tough, and may still get tougher...  It is encouraging to see some businesses are thriving!  May we all get there (again) soon!
Tomorrow's Coffee Podium at Wazy Worx

We still have a few spots available - please RSVP by email on info@gkbc.co.za or by phone/whatsapp on 082 771 1859.  Space - due to social distancing - is limited! 

We have a most varied line-up of companies and organizations from NPO's and events to corporate gifts and solar energy.  A local tour company and soon-to-open skills college will add to the wide spectrum of businesses and opportunities to collaborate around Greater Knysna.
After Hours Business Affair

Our June networking event will be an 'After Hours Affair' from 17h00 for 17h30 - 19h30-ish.  Last Thursday in June being the 24th, at Orchards @ Knysna.  Please diarize now!  Keep an eye out for our facebook updates for more info.
Reminder - annual membership valid from month after signing up

The Greater Knysna Business Chamber strives to be the united voice of business, offering support, networking opportunities and a platform for mutual engagement with other businesses, business chambers and different spheres of government. 

At our last Board Meeting is was resolved that annual memberships will start on the 1st of the month if signed up between the 1st and 15th of the month, and on the 1st of the next month if signed up between the 16th and end of the month.  Memberships are valid for 1 year, and will be automatically renewed.  

Not a member yet?  Please click the button below to download the membership application form to be filled in and returned to info@gkbc.co.za. 

Together we're stronger!
MEMBER APPLICATION FORM
INDUSTRY AND KNYSNA - NEWS AND UPDATES
Municipal Recycle Center closed - new service provider appointed

The Municipal Recycling Centre at Auction Mart Avenue has closed for business!
 
Residents and businesses are encouraged to make use of the newly appointed Service Provider:  DM Recycling Waste Management situated in T21 Hadeda Street in the Industrial Area.  
 
DM Recycling Waste Management Contact details are as follows:
1. Dennis at 072 281 7231,
2. Morné at 060 819 8587 or
3. Stephanie (admin) at 072 102 2354.

Press release issued by Knysna Municipality can be found here.
ICYMI: Invitation to comment on draft by-laws.  Until this Friday!

As seen on the Knysna Municipality website and facebook page:
In terms of Section 12(3)(b) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act (Act No. 32 of 2000), notice is hereby given that the Knysna Municipal Council considers the adoption of the following draft by-laws:
1. Special Rating Areas By-law (This by-law is newly developed by Council);
2. Land Use Planning By-law (This by-law was reviewed and amendments are proposed);
3. Heritage and Aesthetics By-law (This by-law is newly developed and if approved, will replace the current by-law on Outdoor Advertising, Heritage and Building Aesthetics), and
4. Outdoor Advertising By-law (This by-law is newly developed and if approved, will replace the current by-law on Outdoor Advertising, Heritage and Building Aesthetics).
The draft by-laws can be found by clicking on the links provided above and on the Knysna Municipality website.

Written comments or representations addressed to the Acting Municipal Manager may be submitted by post to: Knysna Municipality P.O. Box 21 Knysna, 6570 or hand delivered at the Main Municipal Building, 5 Clyde Street Knysna or e-mailed to: knysna@knysna.gov.za by no later than 28 May 2021.

Any person(s) needing assistance in lodging any comments may contact the following officials during office hours:
1. Special Rating Areas By-law: Ms. Mandisa Siko - (044) 302 6543 / msiko@knysna.gov.za
2. Land Use Planning By-law: Mr. Shaun Madumbo - (044) 302 6268 / smadumbo@knysna.gov.za
3. Outdoor Advertising, Building Heritage & Aesthetics By-laws: Mr. Randolph Daames - (044) 302 6324 / rdaames@knysna.gov.za.
Knysna Art Project - time to explore the inspiring creative all around us!

"The Knysna Art Project has been a year in the planning but will soon be rolled out with the installation of a showstopping 2.2m sculpture of a Rastafarian priest at the iconic Judah Square in Concordia, home to South Africa’s biggest Rastafarian community. Local ceramicist Eugene Lewis is working on the final touches under the mentorship of well-known sculptor and artist Suzanne du Toit.

So far six iconic Knysna sites have been earmarked as spots for unique art installations: the impressive sculpture at Judah Square, a giant nautilus made from stainless steel and indigenous wood at Thesen Harbour Town on Thesen Island, in front of SANParks offices; stainless steel impressions of Knysna fynbos and butterflies at Belvidere and Brenton on Sea; a series of surfboards painted by local artists will create a “boardwalk” at Buffalo Bay, and in Sedgefield a mosaic VW beetle by NPO Masithandane will be the latest addition to the town’s Mosaic Route. In time, Knysna’s CBD will also be cheered with existing “Knysna in Bloom” pots along the Main Road being turned into creative canvases; the initial installations of the latter being outside the Visit Knysna information office."

The full press release – of which above is only a part – can be found here.
Stormsriver Adventures organizes Open Days for tourism industry

Stormsriver Adventures is organizing several Open Days for all Hospitality and Tourism establishments in the vicinity to come and experience a world of diversity in one forest.

The invitation with the different dates available can be found here.

For more info contact Lee-Marque (Mark) Jansen, Marketing & Public Relations for Stormsriver Adventures Pty Ltd. Phone: (0)42 2811 836 / cell: (0)62 343 3959 / email: marketing@stormsriver.com
GETTING INVOLVED
Knysna Alcohol & Drug Centre

Substance abuse may be a problem at home or at your workplace.  The Knysna Alcohol & Drug Centre has been in operation since 1995, and assists individuals to cope with substance abuse and get treatment if needed.  The team of 4 social workers reach out to schools and the broader community with awareness programs regarding prevention and treatment.  Businesses are encouraged to get in touch for staff members too, if and when required. 

Please find more on the Knysna Alcohol  & Drug Centre here.  Of course always more could be done, and to get there, their wishlist can be found here.  The office can be found in Green Street.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
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Directors: Pierre Gouws (Chair) | Richard Sohn (Vice) | Andries Fourie (Treasurer) | Evelyn Pepler | 
Elmay Bouwer | Jason White | Mark Sofianos | Chris Schutte | Hermann Kapp | Martin Hansson | Clifford Elion | Office Administrator: Ypie Kingma






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Greater Knysna Business Chamber · Greater Knysna Business Chamber · Knysna, WC 6570 · South Africa

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