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WELCOME TO CITTASLOW AFRICA

The town of Sedgefield in the Garden Route of the Southern Cape, South Africa has been accredited as the first Cittaslow Slow Town in Africa and the headquarters of the slow town movement for the continent.

 

OUR PLEDGE

A quality of life for all
Living a healthy lifestyle
Looking after our elderly
Preserving traditional food
Caring for our environment
Community decision making
Having community networks
Promoting unique town events
Encouraging our young people
Working for a sustainable future
Taking time for leisure & pleasure
Preserving the heritage of our town
Controlled growth and urban planning
Encouraging awareness and education
Promoting local markets & unique products
Our community and council working together
Creating a people friendly urban environment
Supporting our local products and businesses

 

More information is available from André Gauché at +27 (0)44 343 2108 or +27 (0)82 440 0200 or aoa@mweb.co.za

 

Festina Lente – We make haste slowly

 

 

GARDEN ROUTE TOWN BECOMES AFRICA’S FIRST CITTASLOW TOWN

 

SUPER SLOW TOWN…Sedgefield Slow Town representative André Gauché and Sedgefield Ward Councillor Doris Nayler display the Pledge and show off the beauty that has contributed to their town’s accreditation as Africa’s first Cittaslow town. Picture: DESMOND SCHOLTZ
SUPER SLOW TOWN…Sedgefield Slow Town representative André Gauché and Sedgefield Ward Councillor Doris Nayler display the Pledge and show off the beauty that has contributed to their town’s accreditation as Africa’s first Cittaslow town.
Picture: DESMOND SCHOLTZ

 

Sedgefield, the Garden Route town situated between Knysna and George in the Western Cape of South Africa, has just been confirmed as Africa’s first Cittaslow Town. Inspired by the concept of ‘slow food’, Cittaslow is a worldwide membership organisation promoting quality of life and resisting fast-lane lifestyle.

 

The picturesque seaside town will also serve as headquarters of the slow town movement in Africa and will be the go-to town for others wanting to join this worldwide cultural trend and membership organisation.

 

Cittaslow (which literally means ‘slow city’) originated in Italy in 1999 and represents nearly 100 towns across the world. Abiding by a list of values aimed at improving quality of life, registered Cittaslow towns celebrate diversity of cultures and promote the specialties of their own people and surroundings.

 

“Slow Towns look after their people, their visitors and the environment. Supported by its highest municipal representative – in our case Knysna Executive Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies and Sedgefield Ward Councillor Doris Nayler – Slow Town residents make a commitment to continually strive towards the kind of improvement that benefits its community and environment. It is not a fundraising organisation, but rather initiates projects for the betterment of the town,” said Sedgefield Slow Town founding member, resident and businessman André Gauché.

 

Gauché said the concept was first introduced to him by a friend who had visited several slow towns in Italy. “I immediately realised that Sedgefield might qualify according to the 50 goals and principles that the Cittaslow organisation ascribes to. Following an in-depth investigation into the movement and its requirements, it was clear that, although not perfectly, Sedgefield was already ticking off all the boxes.

 

“The town already has the tortoise as its logo and slow living comes naturally to its residents. It has natural breathtaking beauty, friendly people, active environmentally conscious residents, a small sustainable population, no heavy industry, limited urban expansion possibilities and a caring community,” he said.

 

Cittaslow towns’ population may not exceed 50 000. Landlocked between expansive lakes, nature reserves and the Indian Ocean, Sedgefield’s population is expected to settle at around 15 000. The town has made several efforts to establish the town’s Slow Town identity including the building of several Tortoise Towers – cement pillars, topped with a sculpture of a tortoise and prominently displaying the Slow Town Pledge at local landmarks and main street intersections – and the establishment of an annual Sedgefield Slow Festival, which was held for the first time this past April (2010). ”The Pledge is self-explanatory and effectively acts as a guideline to retain the cultural identity of our town and to promote ourselves to visitors as a town that cares for its people and the environment.” The town also has a Facebook identity and a Sedgefield Slow Town website is being developed.

 

Other qualities that motivated the Slow Town accreditation included the town’s successful farmers’ and craft markets, strong adventure and outdoor tourism identity and several community upliftment programmes – specifically a mosaic project in which previously disadvantaged residents have been trained to decorate town landmarks, outdoor furniture and signage with mosaic tiles.

 

In July this year (2010), Cittaslow headquarters representative Mario Castellari visited Sedgefield and confirmed that the town qualified for inclusion. The movement officially accepted and accredited the town in early October. A town representative will travel to Perth, Scotland at the end of November to attend the certification ceremony and formal welcoming function.

 

Gauché said the Cittaslow accreditation would become a strong part of the town’s brand marketing and serve as a basis to expand its activities, functions and events. “As Africa’s headquarters, the town will also receive significant international exposure that will ultimately benefit local tourism and supporting business.

 

“Locally, we continue to promote and establish the ethos of Slow Town values among all our residents and pursue projects that will better the qualities that have earned us our status. We intend promoting the concept to as many eligible towns in the Garden Route, southern Cape, South Africa and ultimately Africa.”

 

Situated 25km from Knysna and 40km from George, Sedgefield was founded in 1929 and is known as a relaxed village with a temperate climate and strong outdoors tourism industry. It boasts unspoilt beaches, the Swartvlei River estuary, several smaller lakes, nature reserves, indigenous forests, plantations and a wide array of outdoor activities including paragliding, birdwatching, mountainbiking, fishing, sailing, surfing, kite surfing, rowing and more. The town is home to talented artists, crafters and artisans while the multi award-winning Wild Oats Community Farmers Market and Scarab Craft Market have established the town as a favourite weekend destination.

 

The Sedgefield Slow Town Pledge

A quality of life for all
Living a healthy lifestyle
Looking after our elderly
Preserving traditional food
Caring for our environment
Community decision making
Having community networks
Promoting unique town events
Encouraging our young people
Working for a sustainable future
Preserving the heritage of our town
Taking time for leisure and pleasure
Controlled growth and urban planning
Encouraging awareness and education
Our community and council working together
Creating a people friendly urban environment
Promoting local markets and unique products
Supporting our local products and businesses

 

More information is available from André Gauché at +27 (0)44 343 2108 or +27 (0)82 440 0200 or aoa@mweb.co.za

 

Please direct media queries to: André Gauché

Tel: +27 (0)44 343 2108
Fax: +27 (0)44 343 2937
Mobile: +27 (0)82 440 0200
Email: aoa@mweb.co.za
www.africasafariinfo.com

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