WALVIS BAY - Walvis Bay ended fifth in the popular “Dorp van die Jaar” competition that is hosted every year by the South African-based newspaper Rapport and Kwêla - an entertainment programme of KykNet fame.
Every year the competition identifies towns in South Africa and Namibia to compete against each other for the “Dorp van die Jaar” competition. This year nine towns competed against each other by means of voting through an SMS system.
Sabie - in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa was identified as the winner with 71 901 points followed by Lady Grey with 64 677.
Walvis Bay claimed the fifth spot with 47 643 points. According to the Municipality of Walvis Bay, a considerable amount of marketing exposure has been gained and valuable lessons learnt during the competition although the town ended in fifth position.
Apart from that the town only had one week to implement a campaign strategy.
“Given the circumstances therefore, we did rather well to manage more than 47,000 votes,” said Gert Kruger, the manager of economic development, whose division played an important role in mobilising Namibians to vote for their town. Kruger added that the amount of exposure Walvis Bay had enjoyed on KykNet (Kwêla) and in Rapport would be difficult to express in monetary terms, and said that the publicity could be N$500 000 or even more in dollar terms.
Kruger said he never had any doubt that Walvis Bay would perform well. “If only there was more time to mobilise the local community and Namibians in general and to garner support among South Africans.”
According to the Mayor, Councillor Derek Klazen, the competition played a big role in bringing the diverse community of Walvis Bay together. “Such opportunities should be cherished as they do not happen very often,” Klazen said.