AS WE approach the holiday season, it’s another busy weekend. Among other events, the new Engage Arts Centre (formerly the Wiles Gallery) in Bathurst is holding its grand opening on Friday evening. On Saturday, it’s the Methodist fete, the annual Kaskar-dag at Kenton Primary School, the Bathurst Arts Fair and an auction for the Blake Squires cancer fund at the Postmaster’s Village. The Lions are also providing free sugar testing in their “white cane for a donation” event at Rosehill all in aid of national sight month.
FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered his medium-term budget yesterday and, at the time of writing, the country is hoping he has done enough to convince the ratings agencies not to drop our currency to junk status. Unfortunately, with the threat of a court case against him looming, Gordhan will have more to balance than the budget over the coming weeks, but looking after the country must be his first priority.
VIOLENCE is still prevalent at many of the tertiary institutions in the country. Statistician general Pali Lehohla said on Tuesday the state could not afford to offer free education, pointing out that nothing was ever “free”. He suggested that a special tax be applied to postgraduate students that would allow them to repay the cost of their degrees and diplomas when they begin work. However, while Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande argued that a way must be found to fund the concept of free education for the poor, it was pointed out in parliament on Tuesday that ANC posters displayed during the recent government elections declared openly that a vote for their party was a vote for free education.
HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating and enjoying a special day in the week ahead. Congratulations to all with wishes for many more, especially Kadekile Nosilda, Kyle Menin, Jeremy Briscoe, Heine Aylward, Gail Elliott, John Elliott, Chadley Alexandre, Rebecca Simes, Claudine Riddle, Alma Surmon, Val van der Bergh, Clinton Schultz, Benita Gibb, Janine van der Merwe, Maude Cannon, Andre Mahne, Patrick Moran, Erin Paige Bowker, Laura Mileham, Rose Ryan, Gwen Laubscher, Tarryn Purdon, Bryant Letley, Peter de la Rey, Kaelene Hilpert, Olive Skipper, Joy Coster, Amorette Oosthuizen, Merwyn Jones.
BEST wishes for your continued success to all businesses or organisations having or adding another anniversary to their score, especially Graeme and Wanda Kelbrick of the Ski-boat Club, The Kowie Museum, Pig ‘n Whistle (when they reopened in 2008), Sew Smart, Village Gossip Hairstylists (at the Heritage Mall), The River Church (who launched their services 16 years ago), Lala Lapa Restaurant and Accommodation in Kleinemonde, Wharf Street Brew Pub and Kowie Sounds (Biscay Road).
AS MENTIONED earlier, Gordhan presented his junk-status-saving medium term budget in parliament yesterday, and this will hopefully stave off the pessimists who believe the country’s currency will be relegated to junk status in the coming month when Moody’s reassesses our credit-worthiness. The rand, however, seems to be holding its own in the international markets but, as previously stated, this might be more a case of instability in the British and US markets due to domestic issues like Brexit and the upcoming US elections. Brent crude is stabilising after fluctuating from its low of around $40 per barrel to a steady $50, but there are still considerable market fluctuations due to fiscal uncertainty all around the world. As we go to press, with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R13.80 to the dollar (R13.68), R16.85 to the pound (R20.95) and R15.07 to the euro (R15.12). Gold was trading at $1 271.08 per fine ounce ($1 171.02), platinum at $964.00 per fine ounce ($991.10) and Brent crude oil at $50.28 per barrel ($46.87).
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, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards, Jonathan Walker and Brenda Shelton. OUR love and condolences go to Terence and the whole Foster Family. Such extremely sad news about Lorraine who passed away at 4.45am on October 20. She had an infection in her heart and was told if the antibiotics don’t work quickly, then it would be a major problem.
SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Eddie Mitchell who passed away on October 20 at the age of 84. Much-loved dad of Anton, Anne and grandfather (Bagdad) of Alastair and Claire. A remembrance service will be held at the Presbyterian Church on Friday November 11 at 10.30am. Donations to Settlers Park Retirement Village and Port Alfred Bowling Club.
WEDDING anniversary greetings and our congratulations to all couples celebrating an anniversary, especially Ray and Moira Pitout, Sidney and Dawn Alder, Greg and Elzette Reed, Rico and Belinda Viljoen, Christo and Deirdre Muller, Emil and Wilma Jurgenson, Trevor and Sue Langley, Colin and Joan Purdon, David and Lauren Drennan and Athol and Elaine Waters.
WELL done to Mamelodi Sundowns for winning the African Champions League against Egyptian side Zamalek by beating them 3-1 on aggregate at the Borg El Arab Stadium on Sunday. Zamalek’s chairman, Mortada Mansour, has reportedly blamed the use of witchcraft for Sundowns win. Perhaps it was rather the result of hard work by the players, and especially coach Pitso Mosimane, who is now being hailed as the best coach ever in the South African football league.
THOUGHT for the week: “Many good minds working together are always better than one working alone – teamwork certainly makes the dream work!”
BEST regards as always,