MOSSEL BAY NEWS - The Mossel Bay Municipality says although beaches are still closed, the area offers many other activities.
Mossel Bay is and remains open for business and, with the summer holidays now in full swing, residents and holidaymakers are encouraged to explore and enjoy the many other activities on offer besides the beaches.
Mossel Bay is the adventure capital of the Garden Route with several kilometers of hiking trails in unspoiled nature.
There are still water sports available, and numerous picnic spots, several rivers, the unique and world-famous Dragon Dune (ideal for sandboarding and four-wheel drive excursions) awaits.
There are so many family-friendly facilities, including the new drive-in theater where the children can play outside to their heart's content before the movie starts.
The street and evening markets continue to offer opportunities for bargain buys, and new outdoor markets and the evening markets will, as usual, dish up everything and more.
For adrenaline junkies, the longest zip line over the ocean at the Point is, of course, a bucket list attraction, as are the Jetovator and Freaking Fast Wave Rider in the bay. Fishermen can undertake deep-sea fishing excursions.
There are heaps of world-class and unique eateries and facilities that provide value for money delicious meals.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to declare the Garden Route a hot spot and to implement more drastic measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic must be supported, given the proven second wave of coronavirus infections in the area.
This newsletter will also graphically indicate to what extent the coronavirus infections have increased in the district and Mossel Bay.
Mossel Bay, part of the Garden Route, is subordinate to Chapter 7 of the Covid-19 Regulations published on 15 December.
From 15 December 2020 until the date on which the Command Council reconsiders the situation, the following restrictions will apply:
- The daily curfew in the Garden Route is from 22:00 to 04:00. Restaurants and entertainment facilities such as theaters, whether inside or not, must close their doors by 21:00 so that their staff may comply with the curfew rule.
- No nightclubs may operate.
- It is a punishable offense to be out of doors during the curfew unless you are an essential service official or it is justified by a medical emergency.
- Attendance at indoor events and funerals is limited to 100 or fewer people, provided that 50% of the venue's capacity may not be exceeded; o No night vigil or post-funeral gatherings are allowed;
- Open-air events are limited to a maximum of 250 people, service staff included;
- All beaches in the Garden Route, i.e. from Storms River to Witsand, will be closed to the public from 16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
- The regulations as published on 15 December do not define beaches.
- The regulations as published on 15 December provides for fishing from beaches as long as the fishermen have the relevant permits. There is no restriction on the hours for fishing.
- Public parks open to the public may only be open to the public from 09:00 to 18:00 provided that all precautionary measures are complied with, and all forms of loud music are prohibited.
- The sale of alcohol for consumption outside the premises is restricted from 10:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Thursday.
- No consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed in any public place.
- Registered wine farms may still offer wine tastings, and wine sales from the cellar are allowed.
- The correct wearing of a face mask and proper sanitation is always a requirement. Transport operators and business owners/managers can subsequently be prosecuted if they do not ensure that persons using their services follow the proper precautionary measures such as wearing masks and sanitation on their premises or in their vehicles.
- All initiation practices in the Western Cape are prohibited
- Maintaining 1.5 meters of social distance between people is always a requirement.
The Western Cape Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA & DP) defines a beach as: According to Chapter 1 (1) Definitions of the Integrated Coastal Management Act, 24 of 2008 (ICM Act), a 'beach' can be defined as 'the area between the low water mark and the high watermark'. According to ICM law, the high water mark can, in turn, be defined as' the highest line reached by coastal waters, but excluding any line reached as a result of extraordinary or abnormal floods or storms occurring more than once in ten years, or an estuary closed to the sea ', while the low watermark can be defined as' the lowest line to which coastal waters recede during spring'.
According to the infographic below, the areas defined as coastal can be seen in yellow between the high-water mark (HWM) and the low watermark (LWM).
? All other areas, such as estuaries, lagoons, quays, launch sites, open coastal waters, etc. can therefore be considered as still open to the public.
The Garden Route district extends from the Storms River in the East to Witsand in the West. The regulations pertain to all beaches within this district.
The SA Police, not the municipality, are mandated to enforce the regulations as promulgated. Complaints about non-compliance with these regulations should, therefore, be reported to the SA Police. Residents should note that numerous violations of these regulations have been made punishable offenses.
Mossel Bay Municipality is appealing to residents to comply with the regulations and restrictions. Municipal law enforcers will continue to enforce municipal by-laws, including noise nuisance, the ban of alcohol on beaches, parking areas at beaches, and in parks.
The municipal emergency services will continue to be of service to the community, and the municipal call center is available 24/7 on 044 606 5000 to deal with service delivery complaints.
There is good news evident even in the small successes achieved in the attempts to bring the second wave of infection under control. The new cases per day in Mossel Bay’s municipal area are slowly declining. It brings a glimmer of hope and must be cherished by acting more preventively and with caution.
Residents and visitors should protect themselves and their families by avoiding crowds, by preferably entertaining outdoors and in smaller groups during the festive season, by maintaining a safe distance between people, regularly and effectively sanitising, not only hands but also surfaces used regularly, and the correct use of face masks.
The statistics show that not only in the Garden Route but in the rest of the Western Cape, there was a significant increase in active cases. It is noteworthy that the Garden Route's curve is declining. This decline should be considered positive, but all possible measures should be adhered to for sustained decline and to maintain the trend.
The same downward trend, although still scant, is observable in other municipalities in the Garden Route.
Given the impact on local hospitals, residents and visitors are warned, once again, to take precautionary measures to avoid places where people gather and to take responsibility for their own and their families' safety. However, there is a clear indication that a flattening of the curve occurs in early December.
Mossel Bay really has something for everyone who wants to have a good time and escape the stress of 2020.
Apart from all the adventure activities listed on Mossel Bay Tourism’s Escape Route map, some pocket-friendly activities are listed below as beach alternatives (contact Mossel Bay Tourism 044 691 2202 for more information).
- Dias Museum
- Great Brak River Museum
- ATKV Hartenbos Museum
- Janine Iron & Washing Museum
- Take a walking tour of historic Mossel Bay
- Mossel Bay Ghost Walk & Historic Tour
- Rooster Trails @ Eight Bells Mountain Inn
- St Blaize Hiking Trail
- Wolwedans Dam Trail in Groot Brak Rivier
- Robertson Pass
- Oystercatcher Trail
Waterparks & Indoor Pools
- Diaz Waterpark
- Hartenbos Seefront
- Blasters Family Entertainment Centre
- Hart & Bosch Village - Catch a ride on the mini Blue Train, Tractor Rides, Playground, Quadbike rides, Jumping Pillow, outdoor movies
- Ruiterbosch Lodge – farm life and activities for the children, beautiful scenery, eats and treats
Learn about the Ocean
- SAPREC Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre
- The Shark Lab @ The Point
Learn about our Heritage
- at the St Blaize Cave or book a visit to the Point of Human Origin
Game farms, lodges, inns & wineries
- Reed Valley for lovely outdoor fun for the kids while the grown-ups enjoy good wine & food
- Indalu Game Reserve
- Jakkalsvlei – remember wine tasting and cellar wine sales are allowed
- Gondwana (by appointment only)
- Bergsig Game Farm – view the lions
- Wolwedans Game Farm
- Hartenbos Private Game Reserve
- The Fragrance Route & Shwe Shwe Stop in Friemersheim
- Outeniqua Moon Percheron Stud (horse cart rides, the largest, most beautiful horses imaginable) lovely eats & treats
- Eight Bells Mountain Inn – the most beautiful setting imaginable
Art & Galleries
- The Pink Hound
- Rut Art
- House of Maria
- The Mosel Shipyard
- The Goods Shed
- Enjoy an ice cream or coffee / eats & treats at The Point and work it off in the public play & fitness areas
- Hartenbos Poetry Walk
- Play Putt Putt at The Point or the Hartenbos Seefront
- Hire kayaks from Dune Seven in Voorbaai for some fun in the water
- 4x4 excursions at Bonniedale (mountainous) & Vleesbaai (sand)
- Klipheuwel Mountain Bike Park & Pump Track
- Horse-riding at Botlierskop
- Sail with a local in a dingy with the Garden Route Sailing Academy
- A family rail experience with the Diaz Express
- High tea experiences with Betty`s Boutique Hotel & DejaVu Vintage House
- Ride in a vintage Morris around the Point for some awesome family pictures
- Boat trips with Romonza, Sea Vu Play, The Seven Seas, Kiyana, AquaMarine @ Sea and Freaking Fast Waverider.
'We bring you the latest Mossel Bay, Garden Route news'