The Death of Crab’s Creek — 13 Comments

  1. In response to above comments on Buffalo Bay Backpackers – you can put the blame on the demise of that premises squarely on the shoulders of the Knysna municipality. It was a thriving business attracting thousands of travelers to the area annually, all of whom contributed greatly to the local Knysna economy.
    The municipality never took responsibility as landlord in terms of the maintenance of that old building.
    After the 5 year lease expired(previous owners did not get “hoofed out”) they were also not interested in an extensive proposal to invest in the property to make it sustainable in the long term.

    • Thanks for giving your input, Johann. The topic has come up in conversation several times and the general consensus is to point the finger squarely at the Knysna Municipality. The latter’s attitude seems to be to point the finger somewhere else which doesn’t get the job done. The Knysna Munciplaity needs to act as leaders to be leaders. They should fight like hell against urban degradation and the loss of businesses.

      • Thank you Mike – I should clarify that my wife and I owned and managed Buffalo Bay Backpackers for 5 years until the lease expired. It was a very sad day for us to leave that place, we put our heart and soul into the business. The challenges with the infrastructure was too much in the end – you can only deal with faulty septic tanks, dodgy electricity or fix a roof so many times……
        I tried extremely hard to push for an extension of the lease in exchange for a substantial investment in the property but without any success.
        The latest news I have on that property is that the Knysna municipality and Eden district municipality are now arguing over who owns that premises – in the mean time it is going further down the dumps and until they come to an agreement they will not put out a tender on the place.

        • I’m sure that there are many others that will agree with me when i say that we miss you. Every couple of months, some mates and i would go through with braaipacks and pay ‘rental’ for your braai and wood. Was very convenient and in a beautiful setting. And if luck were in, we’d bump into interesting tourists. And it’s the latter where the town really losers. You want tourists to have that lovely experience to take back with them. Doubt that there are that many backpackers on beaches left. And yours was the only one for our town.

          Yes, it’s true that they are tussling but the Munciplaity may have found a loophole through by-laws. Was mentioned regards an issue on George Rex Drive. If they win, they can hopefully broaden their usage of it.

          Keep well.

  2. Given the vandalism, I’m amazed that the ‘pool soccer’ table has survived the interest of the perpetrators. Gone with the business of course, are the jobs that went with it. But I fear, in spite of the good times that Mike and others remember, the place has been in terminal decline for at least a decade, pointing to a malaise which goes beyond current economic difficulties. Belvidere residents speak with heavy hearts about a cozy pub atmosphere which once existed, and an owner who took pride in serving excellent food (I think we lost him to Barrydale). Perhaps as it then was, it didn’t generate enough profit and a ‘sports bar’ was judged to be a better bet for a succession of new owners. Whatever, indifferent food, often dozy service, and sorry, poor management, were factors over and above claims of a ‘greedy landlord’ as one commentator put it. My guess is that Crabs Creek will probably never amount to anything again until some clever businessperson buys the freehold and starts from scratch, turning it into a top notch restaurant. Meanwhile, Mike might add to his list of places in decay, the blue-roofed backpacker’s hostel along Buffels Bay road. The Municipality own this site, and apparently hoofed out the occupants a couple of years ago. Plans for its redevelopment have so far come to nought. Another minor scandal given that the property is so strategically located for a potentially thriving business.

    • I have mentioned the backpacker’s before. No use closing a place down if you have no alternative plan. I’d rather rent a building for R1 a month than have it empty and express Knysna’s downside to all.

      Crab’s Creek and others have had their problems. Agreed, not all problems are accounted for by the economic return to reality, the government etc. but the greater context which i’ve tried to present in this blog is overall decay which has not sufficiently being addressed.

        • I can’t generalize landlords. Some are in trouble too. Some have been astute. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a landlord or a developer or a municipal manger or a –

          BUT there is something wrong with deliberately hurting Knysna for profit.

  3. This is a very sad list of pictures, the destruction and vandalism is horrific, one wonders where this wonderful country of our will end up. We too had many happy hours …

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