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Bittersweet moment as Jeffreys Bay wins ‘town of the year’ title

Jeffreys Bay
Jeffreys Bay
Image: Google Maps

Jeffreys Bay may have the best waves in the world, but it is the town’s people that secured it a title as Town of the Year.

This is according to Kouga mayor Horatio Hendricks, speaking to The Herald last night shortly after the town was announced as the winner of the television programme Kwêla’s town of the year competition.

Jeffreys Bay was previously announced as the provincial winner in the competition in April, and beat St Lucia and Namibia’s Mariental in the top three round to come out on top in the final.

Hendricks said the title meant absolutely everything to him as it showed the support of the townspeople in voting.

“[It shows] we can come together as a town, that we are better together than we are apart, and that is the greatest win,” he said.

Hendricks believes it is the people of Jeffreys Bay that clinched the victory for the town.

“We have the best waves in the world, but it isn’t about what we have; it’s about the people who are warm and welcoming, and the atmosphere they create here,” he said.

Hendricks hoped that the prize for the competition – marketing on the television programme to the value of R1-million – would bring more people to the town.

“It will put Jeffreys Bay on the map and introduce it to people all over the country,” he said.

“Then people will come and enjoy our warm [residents] and [perhaps choose to] stay. The ripple effect is amazing.”

Though he was overjoyed by the title, the victory was bittersweet as the campaign was started by his predecessor, Elza van Lingen.

Van Lingen, who was elected as mayor in 2016, died of cancer in April at the age of 68.

Hendricks believed she would have been “quite chuffed” with the announcement.

“It was Elza’s dream for Kouga to be the best municipality in the country, I think she is smiling down from heaven about this.”