THE local government elections are over, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that they went ahead without any reported incidents of violence or intimidation. Talk of the Town visited many of the local voting stations last Wednesday morning and witnessed the calm and relaxed atmosphere, despite the bitter cold and often driving rain. Kuyasa was pumping, as was Memorial Hall and Nomzamo, but there were probably more officials present at Titi Jonas than electorate, where the main hall remained fairly empty from around 8am to 10.30am.
YOUR new councilors for each of the 10 wards in Ndlambe are as follows: Ward 1 – Nkosincedile Ngamlashe (ANC), Ward 2 – Thembekile Mbunge (ANC), Ward 3 – Cinthia Boniswa (ANC), Ward 4 – Ayanda Nqosha (ANC), Ward 5 – Andile Marasi (ANC), Ward 6 – Mkhululi Raco (ANC), Ward 7 – Mbuyiseli Yali (ANC), Ward 8 – Thembani Mazana (ANC), Ward 9 – Mbulelo Njibana (ANC), Ward 10 – Raymond Schenk (DA). The names of PR councilors will be published as they become available.
SHOULD education be free? That is the question a new commission is currently deliberating in Pretoria this week. The commission began its work yesterday (Wednesday). President Jacob Zuma established it in January following violent protests at many South African tertiary educational institutions by students (and others) who believe that education should be free to all. While there is nothing wrong with the concept of free education (and, heaven knows, we need more educated youth if the country is to prosper), the truth is that when you get something for nothing, how much is it worth? Will we be lowering the pass marks, as we have at schools, to give our youth higher (but ultimately worthless) qualifications. Very few countries in the world can afford free education, so it will be interesting to learn the scope of the commission and what their ultimate recommendations will be.
THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is currently on strike over wage negotiations with Eskom, and this threatens the supply of electricity to all coal-burning power stations should the strike continue for any length of time. With 15 000 NUM members currently having downed tools at Eskom and many other affiliated union members also joining in the strike action, it seems that Eskom’s self-congratulatory announcement last week as to there being no scheduled load-shedding incidents in the past year may have been a little premature. NUM is demanding a 13% wage increase for some workers and a R5 000 housing allowance. Eskom is offering 7%, so the gap is considerable, but let’s hope the matter is resolved before it causes too many problems for consumers.
BIRTHDAY congratulations and very best wishes for the year ahead to everyone having a special day this week, especially Lynda Clarke, Hannah Coetzee, Megan Waddington, Jimmy Joubert, Barbara Spencer, Josh Harvey, Alan Hulley, Bill Whitham, Sandy Maclaghlan, Joyce Cunningham, Daphne MacLachlan, Arleen Naude, Marjorie Henley, Pat Cummings, Travis Dell, Bet Justus, Matthew Steck, Muriel Macgregor, Juane Dorfling, Niki Smuts, Nompilo Njibana, Callum Timm, Colin Smithers, Allan Sheridon, Caylee Snyman, Gordon Emslie, Gavin Ormandy, Marion Bartlett, Hester Voster, Gordon Todd, George Morgan, Ian Macpherson, Una Webber, Jay Williams, Jenna Rowe, Tracy Lloyd, Campbell Westcott, Neil de Villiers, Roger Coates, Thelma de Waal, Brian Hayward, Eric Strydom, Janene Lynn Turner, Hikash Maharaj, Michael Swanepoel, Yvonne Mackenzie and Jenni Muller.
CONGRATULATIONS on your big six-0 to Sandy Birch, who celebrates this milestone on August 13. May you have many more happy years ahead.
SPECIAL congratulations to Burg Naudia, a Settlers Park resident, who recently passed his 80th milestone and still looks like he could be 20 years younger. He took friends and family up the Kowie River on Sunday to mark his special day.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and all the best for your continued success to Bushman’s Bar and Grill (BBG’s 8th anniversary), Xtreme Styrene and Hendri Frankenveld’s office at Rosehill Mall.
NOW, on to money matters where the Rand has improved significantly against all major international currencies over the past few weeks. The increase in the value of our currency, together with the much lower oil price might seem a good thing for the time being, but may readjust significantly when the problems of Brexit and the US elections have taken place. Nevertheless, we can feel happy at the fact that our election results have not weakened the currency, and that bodes well for future credit rating assessments. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R13.31 to the Dollar (R12.86), R17.39 to the Euro (R14.21), R14.88 to the Pound (R20.00). Commodities were trading at Gold $1 352.44 per fine ounce ($1 117.40), Platinum was trading at $1 588.80 per fine ounce ($991.60) and Brent Crude Oil price of $44.63 ($49.49) per barrel.
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, who are having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. “Sterkte” to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, June Hart, Linda Hulley, Val Kilian, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards and Brenda Shelton.
WITH great sadness we bid farewell to Melissa Woods who passed away so suddenly on Sunday August 7. Her memorial service will take place at 11am on Friday (August 12) at
The Kingdom hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Campbell Street.
SINCERE heartfelt sympathy and kind thoughts to the family and many friends of Erica Whitehead who passed away recently at Damant Lodge. May the peace which comes from memories of love shared, and the support of friends, comfort you all now and in your bereavement.
WE were saddened to learn of the passing of Harold Holt, who died peacefully on Wednesday morning after having struggled with health issues recently. Commiserations to his wife, Sankie, and family Llewelen, Len, Joanie and family.
WEDDING anniversary greetings, congratulations and best wishes for many more years ahead to all couples having an anniversary, especially Jan and Pippa Sowtus, Dean and Juanita Jakins and David and Jean McCowen.
SPECIAL congratulations to Peggy and Geoff Southey on your 57th wedding anniversary, and may the Lord grant you more to come.
THE Springboks will face Argentina at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday as the first match in the 2016 Rugby Championships. This game is a do or die new coach Alister Coetzee who would like to tighten up some of the defensive gaps the Boks showed in their previous games against Ireland.
AND, as far as the Rio Olympics are concerned, at the time of going to press South Africa Chad le Clos has just won the country’s second silver medal in the 200 freestyle, adding to Cameron van der Burg’s silver in the 100m breaststroke, and placing the country in 26th position overall in the medals tally.
THOUGHT for the week: “A happy life consists in tranquility of mind”
BEST regards as always,