Neighbourly Notes – 22 December 2016

DON’T FENCE ME IN: In an effort to prevent revellers wandering across a national road, Ndlambe Municipality decided on Tuesday to place a fence around the edge of the krantz braai area that faces the R72, in anticipation of the parties that will be held there over the Christmas holidays. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

WE would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, advertisers, holiday makers, colleagues, family and friends a blessed Christmas and hopefully you will receive the present that you have been looking forward to.

THERE’S plenty to do and see in Ndlambe this Christmas time. You can start by taking a look at the art exhibition at 7 Campbell Street (between the video shop and Bookends), which is open from 10am-6pm except Sunday. Then there’s the South African version of Tall Stories’ West End hit, The Gruffalo , playing at the Port Alfred High School Hall. From today until the end of the year, why not try your hand at the golf chipping competition at Port Alfred Country Club? Then there’s Held on Till May live at the Lounge, Robin Auld and Wendy Oldfield will appear at The Goatshed in Kenton, and don’t forget the Kenton Capers at the Kenton Town Hall. This is just a taste of what the area has in store for you over the holiday season. For more events and details, see our What’s On section.

IT’S often difficult to understand the inner workings of South African politics. With the announcement of the resignation of the last SABC board member, Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe, political parties have welcomed the news. The ANC said it was long overdue, while the SACP called for further action to be taken. However, wasn’t it the ANC who gave at least tacit (and in the case of former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, overt) approval for the board’s appointment? It makes one wonder how many times political appointees will lose their jobs (Selebi, Nene, Van Rooyen, Cele, Phiyega, to name but a few). Is it the intention of the president to make this country look silly and incompetent? Let’s hope the new SABC board will restore the news so we can all learn what is going on in our country without censorship.

ANOTHER tall story comes from those populists who think it’s clever to make every issue one of race. The municipality of Saldanha Bay closed the roads that provide access to the popular Western Cape beachfront and politicians and the general public are up in arms over the problems it is causing, stating it is an affront to human dignity, that it defies the constitution and that it is every South African’s right to visit any beach they want to. As far as access goes, all the municipality has done is to close the road to everyone except residents. No one is stopping anyone going to the beach. It is the same in Port Alfred when 30 000 to 50 000 people descend on our town on January 1. Roads are closed or made one-way to protect the rights of those who own property in the area (black, white, coloured or Indian). It is about time people woke up to the fact that, if racism is rife in our country, some (if not all) the blame must be firmly laid at the door of those who have led us since the dawn of democracy.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially to Martin Nel, Kelly Wicks, Grace Phillips-Page, Shane Marais, Jean Letley, Christine Holmes, twins Emily and Kate Fella, Ann Tyrrell, Nicole Phillpson, Noeline Kirsten, Kim Fryer, Marie Davies, Noel Stötter, Marianne Stiglingh, Audrey Barnard, Janet Stirk, Deetie Rooke, Shane Minnot, Tristan Rissik, Craig Eaton, Janné Steyn, Michael Wilmot, Lyn Riddin, Clive Williams, Bevan Edwards, Nova Butt, Alan Lubbé, Gerhard Strydom, Jimmy McQuirk, Jacko Vogel, Penny Patterson and Clive Buchanan.

ENDING the year off for business anniversary wishes and with congratulations and wishes for further success in the future are Mooifontein Quarry, Sister Ingrid’s Clinic, and the huge and annual Bathurst Ox Braai, which will be held on Thursday December 29 this year.

CONGRATULATIONS to local postmaster Tommie van Rooyen on his promotion to area manager in Port Elizabeth. His staff at the Post Office said they are proud of him and will miss him when he moves.

IN this, the last notes on finance for the year, we can take a brief look at the financial forecast for South Africa and how we are measuring up. The projected growth rate in Gross Domestic Product (GDP – essentially how much South Africa buys against what it sells) for the last quarter of this year (Q416) was 0.5% versus the actual figure of 0.2%. For Q117 this is anticipated to rise to 0.9% and, by 2020, it is hoped to be at 2.1%, still well below the 6% growth we should have expected. With unemployment having reached a staggering 27.1% (that means that almost three of every 10 people you meet will be without work and, demographically, some categories such as youth have reached over 35%), it is difficult to see how the GDP figures are going to improve. So, here’s the Christmas financial wish: that everything will return to a state of normality in the New Year and South Africa manages to achieve its financial targets and again rejoin the world markets as an equal. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand is at R14.07 to the dollar (R15.09), R17.37 to the pound (R22.48) and R14.59 to the euro (R16.47). Commodities are trading with gold at $1 129.38 per fine ounce ($1 078.73), platinum at $918.50 per ounce ($872.79) with Brent crude oil at $55.25 per barrel ($36.56).

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folks 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, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Malcolm Cock, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards and Brenda Shelton.

WE were sorry to hear of the death of Nora Maud Allen (previously Smith, nee Gibbens), who passed away peacefully on December 16 at age 96.

TO those couples celebrating an anniversary at this time of year, may we add our congratulations and best wishes for your continued happiness, especially Craig and Tori Stowe, Douglas and Melodie Garner and Peter and Val Kilian.

THOUGHT for the week: “Do all the good you can, by all means you can. In all the ways you can, in all the places you can. At all the times to all the people you can, as long as you can” (quote by John Wesley).

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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