The new regional Garden Route Port Festival will not be launched in April as speculated earlier, but during the weekend of 2 and 3 November 2019. The Port of Mossel Bay will also continue to support the annual Dias Festival.
Port of Mossel Bay Corporate Affairs Manager, Sithembiso Soyaya, said TNPA had been in engagement with the district and local municipalities, which led to an expanded view that the Port Festival should be developed into a regional event that will boost tourism and social cohesion not only in Mossel Bay, but in the entire Garden Route Region.
"The Garden Route community can look forward to a weekend of spectacular harbour highlights in November, as Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) firms up 2 and 3 November as the dates for its new-look Port Festival in Mossel Bay.
There was some speculation that the restructured Port Festival could take place at the end of April, but this would not be the case.
This means that the port landlord will continue to support the Mossel Bay Municipality’s annual Dias Festival in February with various waterside activities, but will now also stage a bigger port festival separately going forward."
Port of Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange said: “The Port of Mossel Bay has not withdrawn its support of the Dias Festival. As part of its long-term strategic port-city integration strategy, the Port will continue to align itself with the Mossel Bay Municipality’s value proposition of positioning Mossel Bay as a festival and tourism city, by hosting waterside activities at the port during the event to expose the public to the maritime sector.”
However, the regional approach to the upcoming standalone port festival will include the participation, partnership and collaboration of all port stakeholders, including the Garden Route District Municipality, the Mossel Bay Municipality and other public and private partners.
“The port looks forward to delivering a quality event in collaboration with its partners, that embraces transformation and provides business opportunities to previously disadvantaged communities within the Garden Route District,” said Tshikalange.
Showcasing portside fun for all ages, the two-day Port Festival in November aims to help TNPA to bring communities closer to the port, in line with its ‘People’s Port’ focus.
The public can look forward to an array of family-friendly entertainment including tours of ships, boat rides, a careers and business exhibition, a sailing regatta, sea rescue displays, a special kids’ zone, craft and food markets, live music and entertainment by crowd pullers and emerging artists, plus an array of other waterside and landside activities.
Further details will be revealed in due course. Watch the press and social media for information.