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Knysna and the Danes find common ground
Janine Oelofse

KNYSNA municipal officials and Danish Ambassador Dan Frederiksen have identified a number of projects where the European country might help the lagoon town, including sustainable development and water procurement.

Frederiksen met mayor Eleanore Bouw Spies when he visited Simola Estate, where the Danish Dynamos will be based for the duration of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, along with the team from France.

Bouw-Spies said the aim of his visit was to discuss instances where the Knysna Municipality and the Danish Government could assist each other.

“One of the largest desalination plants in South Africa was built in Sedgefield at the end of last year. The Danes are world leaders in this field and the ambassador referred us to the Danish Hydraulic Institute in Johannesburg for future assistance. We hope to learn more about identifying sustainable alternative water sources from them,” she said.

Denmark is also active in the field of wind energy in South Africa and has elaborated on a study mapping the potential for wind energy on the West Coast.

“The embassy has indicated that it would look into the possibility of mapping wind energy in the George and Knysna municipal areas,” Bouw-Spies said.

Knysna municipality will be hosting a so-called Green Summit towards the end of the year on issues including waste management and renewable energy.

Denmark is taking the lead globally in conservation and Knysna asked the embassy to identify companies that might want to attend the summit.

Bouw-Spies said the Danish Embassy would also be given information regarding the town’s plans to establish football pitches in the poorer communities.

The Danes expressed concerns about internet connections available at the media centre at Loerie Park, as well as the hotel where most of the Danish sports journalists were expected to stay.

Councillor Andrew Finn, who was placed in charge of addressing the problem, said it was important that internet capacity was not an obstacle to great coverage of the Danish team or Knysna.

Knysna municipal manager Johnny Douglas said the municipality had expressed interest in establishing contact with the Danish private sector.