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 Wilderness | Wilderness Improvement Plan : 

Jacques Pratt

Wild News

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THE Wilderness Residents and Ratepayers Association have launched the first project in their Wilderness Improvement Program with the cleaning up of the wall under the N2 in the village.

WRRA vice-chairman Pieter Naude said the association saw the wall playing a key role in the program aimed at addressing “the on-going degradation of the Village and surrounding public spaces, which has occurred over the past 10 years, and its negative impact on the economy of Wilderness”.

The plan for the wall was to use it as a “24/7 walk-to information centre” which would ultimately feature a map of the Village Hub referring to the various businesses in the area.
He said the wall was centrally located and visible to everyone so contributed to the impression that people had of the village. This made it an ideal trial project to help the WRRA create awareness and build support for an improvement program among stakeholders including SANRAL, CBD infrastructure owners & tenants, SANParks, Transnet, the George Municipality and Eden District Council.

One aim of the wall clean-up was to ensure that standards for advertising were established. The WRRA was therefore assisting in the proposed removal of the “prolific and sub-standard ad hoc adverts and notices in the village”.

Naude said the WRRA had launched the Improvement Program because of its belief in the importance of tourism to the village. The association saw tourism as the backbone of the village’s economy, with probably 80 per cent of all trade and most jobs within the area linked to it.

“The Village Hub (CBD), infrastructure and public spaces are an integral and critical part of the Wilderness experience,” he said. “Without the necessary infrastructure and services to support the tourism industry in Wilderness, we will continue to lose tourists and direct investment to destinations such as Mossel Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Whatever improvements we make, in support of tourism, will directly and indirectly benefit the residents and ratepayers of Wilderness.”

He said the next logical step in the Improvement Program was the Caltex Garage area, with its proximity to the wall. The WRRA had held initial discussions with the landlord and tenant, who had both indicated support for the program and had agreed to co-operate as best as they could.

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