The Great Garden Route Quality of Life
Maintaining the Garden Route Quality of Life
The Numbeo organisation recently (beginning of March 2019) released the Quality of Life index rankings for South African cities and towns which placed George and Knysna in the first and second positions in the country.
For residents on the Garden Route it is quite apparent that the Quality of Life being experienced is superior to other parts of the country. The Numbeo index is determined on a number of factors that impact the lifestyle of a city’s residents.
The factors that are the determinants should be evaluated by not only residents, but also importantly local government, the business sector and civil society to ensure that the positions secured by this ranking are defended to ensure that continued high rankings are maintained. The factors are: (1) Purchasing power; (2) Safety; (3) Health care; (4) Climate; (5) Cost of living; (6) Property to Income ratio; (7) Pollution; (8) Traffic.
It was stated that George did particularly well in respect of Safety, Climate, an affordable Cost of Living, Pollution and Traffic.
Factors such as Safety, Health care (where both George and Knysna should do well), Pollution and Traffic can consciously be worked on to maintain the high standards. Climate is a given but there needs to be a constant awareness of the environmental surroundings to manage the negative impact of climate change on the region.
The Cost of Living, Purchasing Power and Property to Income ratio factors are more complex as they relate to the state of the economy, the ability to ensure that levels of economic activity and growth are maintained. The regions’ leaders should pro-actively be seeking to facilitate collaboration between economic stakeholders and driving policy and infrastructure improvements that will attract economic activity and increased levels of employment. Sustainable quality of life should be at the forefront of all planning by role-players and investors as they seek to promote the Garden Route. These “economy-related” factors need to remain in balance to enhance quality of life.
The factors mentioned above are measureable. However there are the subjective, intangible factors that also play a key role in determining quality of life. These include the natural beauty, green environment, closeness to forests, mountains, the ocean, beaches, rivers and lakes, the availability of numerous sporting, recreational, leisure and cultural activities, a caring community, numerous excellent educational facilities, tourism attractions and hospitality facilities.