Stilbaai, a relaxed coastal village on the southern Cape coast, just 26 kilometres off the N2 highway that also forms part of the Garden Route, is the first of nine finalists in the Kwêla ‘Town of the Year’ (Dorp van die Jaar) competition that is being broadcasted on Kyknet. Stilbaai has reached the final of this competition in the past and this holiday and retirement village in the Hessequa region is now pulling out all the stops to claim the title.
Stilbaai is probably one of the smallest towns with an estimated figure of between 5 000 and 6 000 permanent residents, but this popular holiday town looks totally different when thousands of holidaymakers visit it during the December summer break. Stilbaai has also been the town where many visitors have been spending their holidays for generations and interesting stories can be told about family holidays from as early as the late 1800’s.
Stilbaai is also a popular retirement village and with a strong, yet relatively small industrial area and various businesses, everyday life in town goes its (relaxed) way.
Some excitement has been added to the daily routines now that Stilbaai stands a chance to be the ‘Town of the Year’. A group of volunteers together with Stilbaai Tourism and Dries de Beer as chairman, got the ball rolling in an effort to get as many votes when the voting lines open on Sunday, 26 May.
Organisations, businesses and residents will be working together during the next few weeks so that when it is time to vote, everyone who loves Stilbaai as well as neighbouring towns in the Hessequa region and even the Western Cape, vote for Stilbaai by sending up to 30 sms’s per phone number. Voting will take place from Sunday evening (26 May) to 12:00 on Friday, 31 May.
Marketing on social media has already played a huge role and the announcement on Sunday (31 March) on Stilbaai Tourism’s Facebook page that Stilbaai is the Western Cape winner, has reached 77 800 people on Facebook while this post were shared 611 times.
The announcement has received positive feedback in general and many people in the tourism and business industry are of the opinion that the extra exposure and additional marketing will be to the benefit of the town and that it will encourage much needed tourism. The cold and wet winter months are only weeks away and these are the most challenging for tourism and businesses in Stilbaai. If the exposure attracts more visitors and tourists especially during these months, it will be a much needed economical boost for the town that will be favourable to all.
Stilbaai Tourism thanks everyone who is involved in the ‘Town of the Year’ voting campaign as well as the Hessequa Municipality for their support.
Various activities are planned for the next few weeks. Visit the Facebook pages of Stilbaai Tourism and Hessequa – The Explorer’s Garden Route to be part of the excitement.


  • The sms voting lines open on 26 May 2019 after the Kwêla ‘Dorp van die Jaar’ program and stays open until Friday, 31 May at 12:00.
  • Sms the word STILBAAI to 33157 (during the voting week only).
  • Up to 30 sms’s per phone number are allowed.
  • Cost per sms is R1.50