Neighbourly Notes – 16 March 2017

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SWINGING HIGH: Two Shaw Park teachers – Annette Laas, left, and Shani Stewart – attended Scifest last weekend with their pupils

IT was good news for Emlyn Culverwell and his fiancée Iryna Nohai when the charges against them were dropped at the Yas court in Abu Dhabi. Culverwell and Nohai were arrested on January 29 after Nohai was taken to the hospital with stomach cramps and it was discovered she was pregnant. Because the couple were not married her pregnancy was regarded as a transgression of the UAE’s sharia law. Fortunately, after the story broke in Talk of the Town two weeks ago, it received national and international exposure, and this may, in part, have been responsible for the sudden change of heart on behalf of the UAE authorities. Well done to our reporter, Louise Carter, who wrote the story and interviewed the heart-sore mother of Culverwell and followed up with reporters from around the country.

THE 19th Annual OD Inggs Memorial Run will be held on this Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19 and is organised by the Albany Vintage and Classic Motor Club. The run is a tribute to OD Inggs, a Grahamstown undertaker and classic motor car enthusiast. With all the stop/go’s and other forms of road reconstruction taking place at the moment, the route will be a challenge to navigators, who receive the route schedule 30 minutes before their scheduled starting time. The race will begin with the first car leaving Rosehill Mall at 9.30am on Saturday. So, if you like to see vintage cars, get to Roseill on Saturday and join in the fun.

IN national news the burning question on the lips of around 17 million recipients is, will the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) be able to deliver on its promise to pay grant monies on April 1. The whole story sounds like one misguided April Foll’s joke, but it a matter of life and death to the hopeful recipients who depend on this grant money in order to survive. The fact that social development minister, Bathabile Dlamini, contends she was not dragging her heels in resolving the situation, and was particularly dismissive of questions asked of her regarding how the issue was to be resolved goes a long way to showing she is unfit to hold office. It seems to be a trend among politicians in the ruling party to ignore Constitutional Court (ConCourt) rulings, and Dlamini’s tendered reason that she believes she complied with a ConCourt instruction to explain herself (even though she didn’t), is just another nail in her political coffin, although that might not be the case. Let us not forget that President Jacob Zuma also failed to comply with a ConCourt ruling, and he is still in office.

IN another scandal by a government minister, despite her protestations to the contrary, transport minister Dipuo Peters has repeatedly denied the allegation that something fishy is going on at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa. There have been allegations of procurement breaches, but Peters seems to have the ANC heavyweights on the portfolio committee in the palm of her hand. On Tuesday, despite overwhelming support for an inquiry to take place, Peters surprised parliament by appointing an interim board to Prassa. Another example of how to get away with corruption?

IF you were waiting for another major sporting event to take place in South Africa, sports minister Fikile Mbalula has some sad news for you. After the city spending an estimated R100 million on a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Mbalula said the government was unwilling to cover costs should the games exceed its R4.6 billion budget.

ANOTHER year has passed, so it is time to wish the following folk having a special day in the week ahead, a very happy and healthy birthday and fortunate year ahead. Good wishes to Bettine Hattingh, Ian Macpherson, Gert van der Merwe, Deon Stander, Jill Mitchell, Dee Jones-Phillipson, Marenna Spieker, John Barnes, Angie Waller, Joan Gane, David Lawson, Pat Bailes, Grant Warren, Lynette Millard, Miemie Golding, Hilda Green, Michael Schnehage, Colleen Fick, Gillian Bowen and her daughter Tamlyn, Pene Devenish, Ollie Davis, Ethan Mahloko, Lana de Aroja, Edna de Villiers, Fanie van den Berg, Melinda Smit, Sheldon Elliott, Danielle Cannon, Abi Cheater, Guy Wessels, Sven Grimbeek, Bradley Fick, Rosalie Hare, Joy Geard, Tricia Border, Melissa Spira, Meagan Alexander, Lauren-Leigh Randall, Anthony Bowdler, Lyn Charter, Merle Thorp, Adele Steck, Onika Ranft, Mark Kieck, Lyn Manning, Phumla Mxuma, Lauren Botha, Jeanette Botha, Mervyn Kanes, Renata Mouton, Meryl Baker.

FURTHER success and congratulations to all businesses who are celebrating an anniversary at this time. Congratulations to Root72 (Beavers Complex), Decadent at the Postmasters Village, Hi-Tech Security.

THE rand is still holding its own against most international currencies, and the price of Brent crude has dropped by almost US$5 over the last week. Still, we must await the results of some of the political scandals and intrigues going on in South Africa as well as around the world before we willknow exactly where we stand financially as a country. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison the Rand was trading at R13.08 (R15.95) to the Dollar, R15.95 to the Pound (R22.50) and R13.901 to the Euro (R17.70). In the commodities department, Gold was trading at 1 201.84 per fine ounce ($1 234.26), Platinum was trading at $940.50 ($946.80) with Brent Crude Oil at of $51.68 ($38.74) 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, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Malcolm Cock, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Brenda Shelton.

SINCERE sympathy goes out to the family and friends of former Port Alfred High School headmaster Keith Howard, who passed away March 9. May happy memories of wonderful times together comfort you all at this sad time in your lives. A tribute will be held upstairs at the Skiboat Club on Saturday March 18 at 11am.

BEST wishes for many more and congratulations to all couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries this week, especially Colin and Louise Wiggett, Schalk and Nicole Voster, Carl and Natasha Haller, Quinton and Paula Fick, Mark and Marizka Burgess.

GOOD luck to the Proteas who take to the oval at Basin Reserve, Wellington, and all you late night TV addicts will be able to watch it live on DSTV from midnight tonight.

THOUGHT for the week: “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.”

BEST regards as always, The Team

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