SA Destination Awards – Best Village

Stanford was chosen the Best Village in the SA Destination Awards.

That it’s largely well-managed and maintained is a given, although much more needs to be done at Stanford South, the poorer area.  It’s a village that fiercely guards its architectural heritage, sometimes at loggerheads with the municipality.  It has an exceptionally vibrant and caring community of permanent residents and weekenders, and the balance is switching from weekenders to permanents.

The village’s greatest physical assets are its architectural heritage, the Village Square and the Klein River which runs past it.  Is this the closest navigable river to Cape Town?

Look a little further and you’ll find excellent local wines, beer and cheeses, award-winning restaurants and places that just surprise and delight.  And warm, friendly people.

What would make Stanford even better?  CapeInfo identified four catalysts that would enrich the village:

  • The old Stanford House Hotel which closed several years ago poses a vacuum in the centre of the town. It is for sale and we’ll help find a new owner to bring this gem back to life. Every new job created counts!
  • Many casual visitors to Stanford are unaware of the river that runs through it and provides such an amenity. The planned formalisation of the leisure boat launching area with a riverside boardwalk, user-friendly jetty and further amenities will add immeasurably to the town.
  • Stanford is on the busy tourist route to Gansbaai which sees hundreds of day-visitors in search of Great White Sharks and whales. One of Overstrand Tourism’s biggest shortcomings has been its failure to get these visitors to do more and stay longer in the area.
  • Like most towns, the racial divide has not been overcome. Stanford is of the size where an intervention can be tested and, if successful, replicated elsewhere. A significant sports & IT centre located in Stanford South will give the poorer area a sense of place and purpose, and start driving small towns as places for entrepreneurship and intellectual capital.

Over the next year, this blog will look at the people, events and attractions that make Stanford what it is and we’ll explore the challenges and the opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *