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Local Economic Development

13 June 2024 Media Release: Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism exhibited at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024

Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism exhibited at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024

13 June 2024

The Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism recently exhibited at the iconic African leisure trade show known as the Africa Travel Indaba 2024, which took place from 13 to 16 May 2024 at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province.

“This year, we have secured a prominent space on the Cape Town and Western Cape Platform, hosted by our provincial partners, Wesgro. By joining hands with all the regional tourism offices in the Western Cape and two of our Local Tourism Offices – Plett and Visit Knysna Tourism, we sent a strong unified message to tourism and travel markets domestically and internationally,” said Richard Dyantyi, Manager of Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) District Economic Development and Tourism.

As a result of exhibiting on the Western Cape platform, the Garden Route & Klein Karoo region was able to engage directly with tour operators, travel agents, and travel media, bringing in more tourists to the region.  The GRDM responsible for tourism marketing and development, coordinates efforts from its regional tourism office under the brand name Garden Route and Klein Karoo. This office collaborates closely with local tourism bureaus as well as provincial, national, and international tourism organisations to promote the region.

Africa’s Travel Indaba is renowned as one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and ranks among the top three ‘must-visit’ events of its kind globally. Showcasing the best of Africa’s tourism products, the event draws international buyers and media from around the world. It is owned by South African Tourism and organised by Synergy Business Events (Pty) Ltd.

This major event brings together a diverse range of Southern African tourism products and services for the international travel trade. Exhibitors include provincial authorities, accommodation providers, tour operators, game lodges, transport companies, online travel agencies, luxury product vendors, media publications, and industry associations. Outdoor exhibitors feature transport services, camping, and safari companies.

During this four-day event, the Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism team utilised online diaries and set meetings to engage meaningfully with tour operators, travel agents, travel media, and destination marketing companies. Interests spanned a variety of areas, including cuisine, scenic drives, media publications and advertorials, standard and luxury packages, caravan and camping, glamping, museums, the 50+ historical market, familiarisation trips, and general inquiries. Besides scheduled meetings, the tourism office welcomed numerous walk-ins, highlighting the growing interest in reconnecting with tourism destinations. Visitors sought to understand the current tourism landscape, inquire about operational activities and attractions, explore new experiences, and introduce the region to markets such as the United States of America, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada, and Mauritius.

According to Dyantyi, this marketing initiative aligns directly with the Garden Route Growth and Development Strategy. It provides a platform for all participants to attend tourism marketing promotional stands under national, provincial regional and local tourism brands, thereby fostering growth and development for all.

Feature Image Caption:  Officials from the Garden Route District Municipality, who were part of the Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism team that attended the Africa Travel Indaba 2024. FLTR: Richard Dyantyi, Manager of GRDM District Economic Development and Tourism, and Denver Johnson, GRDM Tourism Officer.

Here are a few of the activities and interactions the Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism team engaged in at the stand.


6 June 2024 Update 7: Garden Route Floods 17h00 Update on 6 June 2024

Update 7: Garden Route Floods 17h00 Update on 6 June 2024

Issued by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Joint Operations Centre (JOC) at 17h00


Areas where people are cut-off that have been reported to the GRDM DMC and to whom humanitarian assistance are being provided, include:

1) Varkenskraal, Meiringspoort (4 people)

2) Warmbad (90 families)

3) Muisplaas (30 families)

4) Nel’s River, De Rust (17 people)

5) Middelplaas (30 people)

6) Proefplaas Rooiheuwelpad (26 people)

To access relief offered by the NGO, Gift of the Givers, or if you’d like to contribute to this cause, kindly reach out to Mario Ferreira on 082 490 2752.


The GRDM’s JOC remains active at its Head Office in George. However, the water levels of the rivers are gradually decreasing. Gerhard Otto, GRDM Head of Disaster Management, stated, “The water levels thankfully did not reach the 1996 levels at the Calitzdorp Hot Springs. Although the water spilling from dams in the catchment matched the 1996 level, they did not peak simultaneously. This resulted in the river flow moving south in ‘waves’ rather than as a single, destructive giant wave.”

According to the latest update, water levels are still subsiding and reached the Gouritz and are flowing to sea.

Over the course of the incident, 17 people were rescued. These include four (4) women, nine (9) men and 4 children.


Roads are proactively closed as the water flows to the southern part of the District towards the Gouritz area.


1) De Draai Road – between Albertinia and Riversdale a structure is damaged at km 26.5 (Alternative route available both sides)

2) Slangrivier – Road that provide access to the first community in Slangrivier (Alternative route to both sides)


1) Muiskraal /Herbertsdale road – Gouritzriver in flood (closed since 06/06/2024)
(Alternative routes available to both sides)


1) Kleinspoort Road between , Kamanassie river in flood (No alternative route available)

2) Waaikraal, Olifantsrivier river in flood (Alternative route available both sides)

3) Le Rouxstasie, Olifantsriver in flood (Alternative route via Dysseldorp)

4) Middelplaas, Olifantsrivier river in flood (No alternative route available)

5) Vlakteplaas, Olifantsriver in flood, Road washaways (Locals only)

6) Oude Muragie, Debris on drift (No alternative route)

7) Vergelegen, River in flood gravel wash aways. Locals only (No alternative route available)

8) Paardebond, River in flood (Locals only with 4 x 4)

9) Slangrivier, rift approaches washed away (No alternative route available)

10) Potgieterspoort, Major damage on road (Alternative route available to both sides)

11) Volmoed, Rockfalls (Alternative routes to both sides)

12) Kammanassie dam /Rooiheuwel, River in flood (Alternative route via Dysselsdorp)

13) Rooiloop, Olifants river big waterhole over road
(Alternative routes to both sides)

14) Meiringspoort (remains closed since 04/06/2024)
Alternative Route: Via the N9, Willowmore from Beaufort West.

15) N12 between Oudtshoorn and De Rust where the road crosses the Nel’s river (remains closed since 04/06/2024)
Alternative Route: Access via the Langkloof road.

16) Volmoed Road due to rockfalls (remains closed since 05/06/2024)
Alternative Route: Access via the R328 between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn.

17) Rooiheuwel Road (remains closed since 05/06/2024)
Alternative Route: Via Dysselsdorp.


1) Pietersrivier (Alternative route via Avontuur)

2) Vaalwater, Road washaways (No alternative route)

3) Kammanassie, River in flood (Locals only) (Alternative routes on both sides)

4) Toorwater, River in flood (Locals only)

5) DR1660 Joncksrust Road (or known as Kliprivier Road) (30km from Uniondale) due to rockfalls (remains closed since 04/06/2024)
(Alternative Route: Road is not fully cut-off, but can follow an alternative route via Avontuur)

6) Prince Alfred Pass between Uniondale and Knysna due to rockfalls and flooding (remains closed since 05/06/2024)
Alternative Route: No alternative route for this road.

7) Haarlem access on the west side is restricted (remains closed since 05/06/2024)
Alternative Route: Access possible from the east turn-off.

8) Oshoek, Approaches washed away. (No alternative route)

9) Gwaing, closed @ km 6.5 Structure washed away (Alternative routes on both sides)


1) Gai se middelpad, Gamka river in flood (Alternative route available via Gamka west)

2) Jachtberg, Gamka river in flood (Alternative route available via Gamka west)

3) Doornkloof, Olifantsrivier river in flood (No alternative route available)

4) Vleirivier, Olifantsrivier river in flood (No alternative route available)

5) Middelpad, Olifantsrivier river in flood (No alternative route available)



1) DR1713/R328 adjacent to Raubenheimers Dam (enroute to Bergoord) – OPEN

2) R328 between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn – OPEN

3) Swartberg Pass – OPEN

4) Cango Caves – OPEN (One lane)


1) Geelbeksvlei Road – OPEN


1) Rheenendal Road off the N2 – OPEN

For more roads information, please contact: Japie Strydom at 083 629 0155 / Gert Verwey at 082 882 8886.


People in areas near rivers or those who are considering to cross low-water bridges or structures should avoid doing so at all costs. If a residence is prone to flooding, people should move to higher ground to ensure the safety of family members, pets, and livestock. Do not attempt to walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters, as these can be deeper and faster-moving than what is assumed.

Report weather-related incidents to the Garden Route Emergency Call Centre on 044 805 5071.

Updates are posted to the GRDM Facebook Page,

The next update is planned for 9h00 tomorrow, 7 June 2024.

Issued: GRDM Joint Operation Centre (JOC)

03 May 2024 Media Release: Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities visits beneficiaries of the Tourism Development Fund

Media Release: Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities visits beneficiaries of the Tourism Development Fund

For immediate release
03 May 2024

On Monday, 29 April 2024, the Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Ms Mireille Wenger, paid a visit to some of the beneficiaries of the Tourism Development Fund in the Garden Route, Mossel Bay, namely; Nova Hot Air Balloons  and The Skipper Foundation.

Whilst in Mossel Bay MEC Wenger also paid a visit to The Mossel Bay cruise port to discuss some of the future expansion plans of the Mossel Bay port for cruise tourism with the port management and Mossel Bay Trading Hub. With the Western Cape Governments’ assistance to small businesses at the trading hub in relation to alternative energy solutions to ensure business continuity during loadshedding, the MEC was joined by the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Alderman Memory Booysen, and Mossel Bay Councillor, Cllr Anton Dellemijn.

What is  The Tourism Product Development Fund?

The Tourism Product Development Fund supports the development of new tourism products and experiences and/or major upgrading of existing tourism products and experiences to increase the Western Cape’s destination attractiveness to visitors.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) requested organisations and businesses from both private and public organisations to apply for project funding via the Tourism Product Development Fund.

The Tourism Product Development initiative seeks to develop new or existing tourism products and experiences within the Western Cape. The Fund supported new or existing tourism products and experiences that address gaps and opportunities identified by the draft Tourism Blueprint 2030. A total of R 5 million was made available for disbursement during the 2022/2023 government fiscal year by the Western Cape Government.

Additional: The Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Tourism Growth Fund is open to receive fund applications.

Click here to visit the dedicated web page for DEDAT’s Tourism Growth Fund for more information and to apply online.

The Tourism Growth Fund – APPLY TODAY! 

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism is requesting organisations implementing tourism development projects or programmes in the categories of Tourism Infrastructure Support and Tourism Product Development Support to apply for project funding via the Tourism Growth Fund. The Fund will provide financial support to development programmes and projects that benefit Western Cape-based tourism attractions and businesses. A total of R4 million is available in 2024 for disbursement to successful applicants.

Applications and criteria:

  1. Applicants must complete the online application form and will be required to upload all of the requested supporting documents. The submitted proposals must be structured toward one of the following categories:
  • Category 1: Tourism Infrastructure Support Initiatives with a focus on upgrading high visitor volume attractions.
  • Category 2: Tourism Product Development Support Initiatives with a focus on assisting tourism enterprises (specifically small, medium, and micro enterprises) with tourism product development.
  1. Only applications submitted via the online process will be considered. No emailed or hand-delivered applications will be considered.
  2. Thoroughly read the application guidelines before completing the online application. All sections in the application form are mandatory.
  3. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the online form so that you have the necessary information at hand when completing your application. You can refer to the attached document for an electronic copy of the form, as well as the call for proposals.

There is no closing date, however funds are subject to availability. Don’t delay, apply today!

For more information, contact Lindy Cambouris on  021 483 6527 or


10 April 2024 Media Release:  Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism showcases Region’s vibrant offerings at World Travel Market Africa 2024

Media Release:  Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism showcases Region’s vibrant offerings at World Travel Market Africa 2024

For Immediate Release
10 April 2024

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), responsible for tourism marketing and development, proudly announces its participation in the upcoming World Travel Market Africa 2024 (WTM Africa 2024), scheduled to take place from 10 April to 12 April 2024. As a vital opportunity to position the region on the global stage of travel and tourism, the Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism office will showcase the diverse and enchanting offerings of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.

WTM Africa, a renowned event within the travel industry, gathers over 6000 professionals annually to explore the latest trends and opportunities in both inbound and outbound African travel markets. This year, the physical event promises pre-arranged meetings, buyer speed networking sessions, and an extensive conference program, providing an ideal platform for Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism to connect with industry stakeholders.

Recognising the significance of this opportunity, Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism has secured a prominent 90m2 exhibition space, the largest in the region’s history, to highlight the collective offerings of the region. The platform will feature not only the regional tourism office but also local tourism offices and their respective products, all under the banner of Garden Route & Klein Karoo.

Participating alongside Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism are 19 entities, including 6 local tourism offices and 13 products showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage, natural wonders, and unique experiences. Among them, three products have benefited from the GRDM SMME Support & Development program, underscoring the region’s commitment to nurturing sustainable tourism growth and supporting local businesses.

Tourism employees and product owners promoting and selling Klein Karoo and Garden Route attractions and offerings.

The others products are:

Plett Tourism                                

  • Crags Country Lodge
  • Offshore adventures

Visit Knysna                                      

  • Lithemba Crafts & Tours
  • Vuka Ukhanye Tours

George, Wilderness & Uniondale  

  • Redberry Farm
  • Hawthorn Boutique Hotel
  • Explore our Hood

Oudtshoorn & de Rust Tourism       

  • Cango Caves
  • Surval Boutique Olice estate
  • Swartberg Experience & Kobus se Gat

Explorer’s Garden Route – Hessequa Tourism

Mossel Bay Tourism                         

  • Cape Saint Blaze Artisanal Distillery
  • Eight Bells Mountain Inn

“We are thrilled to represent the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region at WTM Africa 2024,” said Denver Garden Route Johnson, GRDM Tourism Officer. “This platform not only allows us to showcase our breathtaking landscapes and diverse attractions but also highlights our dedication to supporting local businesses and promoting responsible tourism practices.”

Visitors to the Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism stand can expect to discover a wide array of experiences, from thrilling adventures to tranquil escapes, all nestled within the natural beauty of the region. With a focus on forging valuable connections and fostering collaborations, the team is eager to engage with tour operators, travel agents, and travel writers to drive more tourism to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.

Did you know?

World Travel Market Africa delivers the leading global events for the travel industry. One of six shows in the WTM portfolio, the Africa show was launched in 2014 under the Africa Travel Week umbrella to bring the benefits and opportunities of the global industry expertise to travel professionals in South Africa. Traditionally taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, joined by over 6000 travel industry professionals who attend Africa’s leading and only business to business (B2B) exhibition for both the inbound and outbound African travel and tourism markets.

The Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism office coordinated the platform for the region. Local Tourism Offices in the region and their products will have the opportunity to exhibit with the regional tourism office on the collective stand under the banner of Garden Route & Klein Karoo.


22 February 2024 Opportunity: The National Business Initiative (NBI)

Opportunity: The National Business Initiative (NBI)

14 February 2024

The National Business Initiative (NBI) wishes to appoint a professional that will provide Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying services to support the establishment of skills and enterprise development hubs (Installation, Repair and Maintenance Hubs) across various locations across the country. In the initial stages, the PM/QS will work as part of a team of consultants, to deliver concept and viability stages. At the point of handover
during stage 3, their role will shift to act as a client representative and to oversee the work of the professionals appointed to deliver stages 3-6.

The National Business Initiative (NBI) is the Project Executing Agency; for the establishment of 7 IRM Hubs across South Africa.

IRM hubs are multi-functional industrial facilities that act as interfaces between supply and demand of labour. They support all facets of job creation throughout the value chain in different kinds of installation, repair and maintenance businesses. The IRM hub is a public institution (facility) that serves entrepreneurs and SMMEs from the local community: It provides workspaces, technology, business development support and skills training to existing enterprises and start-ups. The hub also serves as a public institution (facility) that supports the delivery of short skills programmes to enable unemployed youth to access employment opportunities in entry level technical roles in installation, repair and maintenance. The IRM hub builds networks of the business community and acts as facilitator for SMMEs to access business opportunities.

Infrastructure-wise, the hubs will consist of a set of workshop spaces for different user groups, a maker space, meeting and training rooms and an entrance area that foresees a hall for multiple purposes as well as a space for selected businesses to open up the hub towards the community.

It is envisaged that the construction programme will be completed in 2028 as such the contract period will be from the 15 th March 2024 until programme completion. Resource allocation will however not be full-time during the project duration. This will be reviewed annually.

We are anticipating that the successful professional will be contracted for at least 10 days per month.

Please provide your response via email to and copy no later than the 1st March 2024, indicating your availability and kindly provide the following for consideration:
• CV with relevant supporting documents.
• Evidence of having completed similar work.
• Proof of registration with the SACPCMP.
• A daily professional fee rate for the Provision of the aforementioned services

Click here to read more.

Issued: National Business Initiative (NBI)

30 August 2023 Media Release: Nominate Exceptional SMMEs for SATSA Tourism Business Incubator (new slots open)

Media Release: Nominate Exceptional SMMEs for SATSA Tourism Business Incubator (new slots open)

For Immediate Release
30 August 2023

As reported back by Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Frost, at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), the impact of our Tourism Business Incubator has echoed throughout our industry, inspiring change, and exemplifying the potential within every Small, Medium and Micro Entrepreneurs (SMME).

We are proud of our achievements, our collaborations with key associations like Association of South African Travel Agency (ASATA) and Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA), the incubation of 32 black owned SMMEs, and our support from well-known members including City Lodge Hotel Group, Europcar, New Frontiers, and more.

SATSA’s Tourism Business Incubator, a Non-Profit Company established to help SATSA members and stakeholders implement enterprise and supplier development, shares the mission with others like Anglo American Zimele, to foster growth beyond boundaries.

Now we’re looking ahead to year two of the project, and with ten places having become available, we invite you to play an essential part in this journey by nominating deserving small businesses (with 51% or more black ownership) for our incubation program. Nominees should have a turnover of less than R50 million and be operating for at least one year. Your nominations can elevate these entrepreneurs, contributing to our entire industry’s prosperity.

To nominate an SMME (or yourself-if you meet the requirements), please send the following details to Hannelie Du Toit ( before close of business 1 September 2023:

  1. Business Name
  2. Owner’s Name
  3. Type of business (this can be any type of business within the tourism value chain including services such as laundry, etc.)
  4. Email Address
  5. Mobile Contact Number

For more information, contact Akash Singh ( from Sigma International.

Issued by: The SATSA Team


8 August 2023 Media Release: GRDM officials engage key stakeholders in Fresh Produce Market development and more

Media Release: GRDM officials engage key stakeholders in Fresh Produce Market development and more

For Immediate Release
8 August 2023

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) officials were invited by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to meet and engage various stakeholders that are key stakeholders in the establishment, financing, and operations of fresh produce markets in South Africa. Various engagements were scheduled between 02 to 05 August 2023. The delegation was led by the GRDM Strategic Manager Thembani Loliwe.

The first meeting was held at the DTIC office in Pretoria where the GRDM delegation presented the status, progress and challenges, thus far, in the establishment of the Garden Route Fresh Produce Market. The main focus areas of these engagements were to look at all compliance requirements, funding sources, and the status of the current fresh produce markets in South Africa.

A very fruitful engagement was also held with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Agricultural Market Council (NAMC). One of the critical matters raised by NAMC was around the ownership and operation of the fresh produce market. It was clear from the findings of various investigations done by this body, that the ownership and the operations are more effective when they are separated i.e. ownership rests with the Municipality but operations are performed via the corporatised model.

“For a state-of-the-art modern National Fresh Produce Market, an investment of between R 250 000 0000 and R 300 000 000 will be required,” said Thembani Loliwe.

It became clear that GRDM will not be in a position to finance such an operation with its own generated revenue. Various funding options were discussed and part of the resolutions of these engagements were to collectively work on a funding proposal that will be bankable and submitted to private and public funders.

Further to the boardroom discussion there were also site visits to some of the establishments and to observe the operations and the technology that is being used to run such businesses. All those involved agreed that there is a case for a Fresh Produce Market in the Garden Route region.

Other than Fresh Produce Market, further discussions were held around the revitalisation of our township economy – to create something similar to Vilikazi Street in Soweto. More discussions are planned to take this priority further with the City of Joburg (CoJ). CoJ showed interest in assisting GRDM in ensuring that it succeeds in empowering and uplifting the region’s township economy.

Collectively the following resolutions were taken:

• Formal feedback to GRDM Council (all stakeholders present at these engagements will be part of that);
• DTIC will provide technical inputs on the designs of the Fresh Produce Market;
• Visit the newly established Kei Bridge Fresh Produce Market;
• DTIC to facilitate a meeting with the HOD of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture;
• DTIC to assist GRDM with funding applications;
• DTIC facilitate a workshop with the possible funder for GRDM projects;
• Planned delegation to the Netherlands Fresh Produce Market in October 2023, possibly led by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.

Site visits were undertaken to CoJ, as well as the City of Tshwane around some of the similar critical infrastructure projects that GRDM is embarking on. These two city cities have been in operation, for decades and running similar projects that GRDM is planning.

GRDM believe that the National Fresh Produce Market can bring much-needed revenue for the GRDM. Such a facility can create much-needed employment for the region. Joburg and Tshwane are making a combined turnover of about R14 billion and employ more than 450 employees.

The visit was a huge success and the Municipal Manager will ensure that the above resolutions will be followed up.

Feature image: The delegation from GRDM during one of their engagements at the City of Johannesburg.



1 August 2023 Media Release: The Garden Route remains a hub of agricultural exports

Media Release: The Garden Route remains a hub of agricultural exports

For Immediate Release
1 August 2023

The Garden Route is a region renowned for its natural beauty and diverse agricultural offerings. According to the latest data available to the District Economic Development Unit of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), the top ten exported products from the district collectively accounted for approximately 72.89% of the region’s total exports.

According to Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor: “A substantial share of exports, 25.05%, includes fresh apples, pears, and quinces”.

“These high-quality fruits are in demand worldwide. Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, and Egypt, for instance, are the largest importers of apples worldwide.”

“Coming in second at 18.76% are fresh or dried citrus fruits. The export of leather further prepared, after tanning or crusting contributes around 7.59% to the district’s export revenue,” said Booysen.

GRDM is also busy with the process to establish a fresh produce market for the Garden Route. At the moment, GRDM is on the lookout for land to purchase. This will be followed by a process of appointing a service provider to design the fresh produce market and drive additional processes. If the GRDM is able to have its own fresh produce market, it will also small-scale farmers to grow their businesses and create a more inclusive agricultural economy. This is in line with GRDM’s Growth and Development Strategy. Local producers will be able to supply produce to the regional market and save a lot of costs on transport and reduce greenhouse emissions.

The Garden Route is already known for its international agricultural footprint. One product, in particular, is the De Rustica Coratina Estate Collection Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The product achieved the prestigious Double Gold award during the 2023 Aurora International Taste Challenge, solidifying its status as the best in the world.
The top exported products also include canola, proteas, macadamia nuts, pomegranate, aloe cosmetic products, barley, wheat, gin, wine from Bitou & Kannaland, and live ostrich birds.

In addition to agriculture, the Garden Route excels in other industries, including boat building and furniture manufacturing, further contributing to the region’s economic growth.

While the Garden Route has achieved remarkable success in its export ventures, there are still challenges that need attention to unlock the district’s full potential. Some of the key challenges faced by industries include:

  1. Veterinary challenges with certification.
  2. Environmental/export Regulations on farming in other countries, such as the UK’s restrictions on citrus.
  3. Lack of value-adding for primary agricultural products despite high crop volumes.
  4. Connection to the power supply with competitive pricing.
  5. Lengthy permitting processes by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Cape Nature.
  6. Logistics to major ports and dry stock locations from the main centre.
  7. Absence of Southern Africa Development Community Free Trade benefits.
  8. Double charges on export and import duties on services, e.g., Botswana.
  9. Limited facilities for launching big boats and yachts.
  10. Challenges in marketing locally manufactured products.

The Garden Route authorities are addressing these challenges through a partnership with Seda, the Western Cape Departments of Agriculture and Local Government, creating platforms for market access at the Pop-Up markets in shopping malls and currently in the process of establishing an Agro-processing facility for honeybush, working towards creating a conducive environment for industries to thrive.

The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism is currently rolling out a provincial-wide export awareness campaign. A session was, as recently as 21 July 2023, held in George with several people interested in exporting.

Other potential commodities and some already growing for export, include but are not limited to honeybush, sceletium, tea, olives, grape juice, kiwifruit, cannabis, and strawberries, along with services in the IT sector.

Feature image: Rows of apple trees laden with fruit in late Autumn in George area of Waboomskraal South Africa.



27 June 2023 Registration for GRIFF now Open!!




  • Industry program includes Broadcasters, Industry Professionals/Film Tourism and Network Functions
  • 30 Films featured in competition from over 20 countries
  • Delegate Pass R200 (See details for other ticked events)
  • Now Gold Status recognition in its 5th year, GRIFF continues to evolve.
  • Proudly supported by NFVF, Wesgro & Mossel Bay Tourism
  • Email: for more information
  • Industry Program to be announced @grifffilmfest

Direct flights to George or just 31/2hrs from Cape Town

For more information, visit the website:  WWW.GRIFF.CO.ZA


GRIFF is a festival for filmmakers, creative expression, education, new technology and media. The GRIFF festival supports emerging and established filmmakers, encourages community participation and learning through innovation. “Experience is everything” remains our mantra with an added online feel “Get your GRIFF on”

26 June 2023 SMME Booster Fund (the Fund) open for Applications

SMME Booster Fund (the Fund) open for Applications

The SMME Booster Fund (the Fund) is a fund that will provide financial support to organisations that implement business development support projects and/or programmes aimed at growing and developing SMMEs. The Fund will focus on projects and/or programmes that support high-growth, Western Cape-based SMMEs. The Fund utilises a co-funding implementation model which encourages collaboration and partnerships.

Business development support includes aspects of support such as training, mentoring, coaching, financial planning, assisting with compliance, providing financial assistance, facilitating access to finance, providing technical support in the form of equipment, specialised software and licensing etc. The financial support from the SMME Booster Fund will focus only on the technical support aspect of the project and/or programme. The rollout of the other aspects such as training, mentoring, coaching, access to market interventions etc. will be funded by the organisation applying for funding. The support provided by the Fund will thus enable the selected organisations to enhance their projects and programmes with an added element of technical support.

The Fund will support projects and programmes that focus on the following categories:

Category 1:  Export Development
Category 2:  Women-owned Business
Category 3:  Youth-owned Businesses
Category 4:  Township-based Businesses

The selection of beneficiaries for the Fund will be initiated through this call for proposals. The proposals received will undergo a pre-qualification check, an evaluation, and an adjudication phase. The proposals will be evaluated and adjudicated against pre-determined criteria.

Click on the link to access the following forms:  SMME Booster Fund Application Guide 2023  and Call for Proposals 2023

To apply please click on the following link:

For more information.  Please contact: or 021 4839112

For assistance on how to navigate the online application system, please click on the following link:  SMME Booster 2023 Online Application Platform Guide

Closing Date: 11 July 2023

Issued: Department of Economic Development and Tourism