Neighbourly Notes – 8 December 2016

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Bill O’Connell, right, who is 80 years young, has lived in Perth for the last 30 years. His brother, Terry, who is 78, lives in Johannesburg and recently visited Port Alfred. He recalled that when they were at QASS – Queen Alexander Secondary School, the principal was Tubby Stuart. The boys left at the beginning of 1951 to attend Marist Brothers in Uitenhage and subsequently Rondebosch. Billy was taught by Jock Killian and Piet Snyman and Terry by Joyce Heny

THE Schools Boat Race takes place at the Kowie River this Friday and Saturday, and the excitement is mounting as pupils from schools all over the country congregate at the Halyards Hotel to take part in this prestigious event. The youngsters and their supporters began to arrive during the week, and practise on the river. The weather forecast for Friday is 26°C and for Saturday it’s 21°C, with a little morning rain – perfect conditions for the rowers. Let’s hope this year’s Schools Boat Race, to be hosted at the Halyards Hotel for the first time, will prove a success and attract many more people to our town.

THE stop/go on Southwell Road is causing some concerns for locals who are attempting to avoid the area by using back roads to get to their destinations. However, a bigger question is whether the road will be finished in time for the Christmas rush, or continued work would mean massive traffic jams over the holidays. Talk of the Town has been told by Murray and Roberts that work on the road will cease on Southwell Road at midday today, and that the entire road works will stop for the holidays on December 14, to resume again on January 10.

HOORAY! The price of petrol decreased by 20c per litre on Tuesday this week, and diesel decreased by 32.04c per litre. The reasons given by government are the low price of Brent Crude oil, as well as a strengthening of the Rand. However, the strength of the local currency will not necessarily be a permanent factor as the world markets still await decisions on Brexit and the swearing-in of president-elect Donald Trump in January. So, as has happened before, the relief for motorists may be short-lived.

HIGH Court rulings, the Supreme Court of Appeal and a disastrous culling of the news are the factors that the new inquiry of the SABC board will have to contend with as it commences its work on the embattled public broadcaster this week. Despite previous adverse court rulings that he is unfit to hold office, former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng was re-appointed as chief executive for corporate affairs, and this will undoubtedly come under scrutiny. Mbulaheni Maguvhe, the current chairman (at the moment the only remaining board member), has no longer any ability to make any decisions as he cannot form a quorum. How communications Minister Faith Muthambi has allowed this to happen is not only a mystery but her ability to hold such an office should also be a major thrust of the inquiry.

FORMER police commissioner Mangwashi Victoria “Riah” Phiyega is unfit to hold office. That was the finding of the Claassen inquiry which was released last weekend and was a damning finding that she failed to disclose the two crime scenes at which 34 mine workers were gunned down in August 2012. This is the third national police commissioner in a row to have not completed a term of office, including Bheki Cele and Jackie Selebi. With all the problems associated with the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority and the police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko, South Africa is not looking good to the outside world.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Dylan Brown, Nicholas Dempers, David Steck, Brad Taljard, Annie Pike, Riekert Moller, Janine Groenewald, Paul Griffiths, Roy Leming, Daniel Drennan, Stewart Evans, Rudi van der Merwe, Loren Hilpert, Merna Philips-Page, Gary Jones-Phillipson, Denise Gunn, Mike Loewe, Nico Scheepers, Carol Behrman, Daniel Ross, Gregory Gudmanz, Mia Mary de Aroujo, Jean Botma, Donné Piquet, Jeanne Cloete, Vivienne Reid, Renette Marx and Akhona Qunta.

WELL done and continued success to all businesses celebrating another anniversary. Good luck for the future to The Postmaster’s Village (in Steward Road), Beavers Bakery and Kenny’s Sports Bar.

SOUTH Africa breathed a sigh of relief after receiving a reprieve from credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings last week. The agency held South Africa’s foreign currency sovereign credit rating at BBB-‚ the lowest investment-grade rating‚ and kept its outlook negative. S & P was the last of the big three agencies to make an announcement in this round of rating reviews‚ and was the most important as it was the only agency that had South Africa’s foreign currency rating one notch above junk with a negative outlook – meaning it was the most likely to downgrade South Africa to junk. With the unemployment figures steadily rising, and with fewer jobs in the market, a bad S&P rating could have caused further damage to an already beleaguered economy. The producing industries, such as mining and manufacturing, are all showing market declines. With last year’s figures in brackets the rand it is trading at R13.57 to the dollar (R14.61), R17.14 to the pound (R21.98) and R14.56 to the euro (R15.94). Commodities are trading with gold at $1 171.75 per fine ounce ($1 076.44), with platinum at $937.20 ($847.25) and Brent crude oil at $53.86 ($40.63).

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 Harry Thackwray, Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, June Hart, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Linda Hulley, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Malcolm Cock, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards, Jonathan Walker and Brenda Shelton.

OUR heartiest congratulations and good wishes for continued happiness to the following couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries in the week ahead, especially Neville and Tilly Handley, Mike and June Jones, Eben and Janine Groenewald, Chris and Irene Snyman, Jonathan and Lisinda Hanstein, Russell and Kerry Bartlett, Derick and Dominique Bamber, Des and Sybil Kopke, Clayton and Kim Lloyd, Keith and Sherle Hackart, Brandon and Alexa Calitz, Andrew and Carlyn Smith, Ray and Glenda Hicks, Marcel and Laurie-Ann Raven-Fabe and Michael and Kathryn Kimberley.

AN annual special event which should not be missed, is the switch-on of the Hospice Tree of Lights and Carols by Candlelight service which will be held at the Hospital grounds on Thursday, December 15 at 5.30pm, and which is a wonderful outing for the entire family. Bulbs may be purchased in memory of loved ones at R20 each from Sunshine Coast Hospice offices at 1 Alfred Road (behind the Magistrate’s Court), Halyards Hotel and at the door on the night.

THOUGHT for the week: “If you want a limitless, abundant, loving life, make sure that all that you believe is limitless, abundant, compassionate and loving.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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