Neighbourly Notes – 6 April 2017

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: Arnold Rudolph is a precision woodworker who used to restore antique furniture and reconstitute tables, chairs and other items to pristine condition. Recently he has been seeing shapes and ideas within driftwood and, after sanding and polishing he has entitled his creation, Dream Woods. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

LET’S start out with some good news, and the 109th Bathurst Agricultural Show took place over the weekend. It was a highly successful show that emphasised the fellowship and cooperation of locals who organised, volunteered and attended the event, together with highlighting the agricultural excellence available in our area. Thousands of locals as well as visitors, flocked to the Bathurst Showgrounds to see the animals, watch the equestrian events, marvel at the exhibitions, taste the food and beverages and generally have a great time. The weather played its part and remained sunny and warm throughout the weekend. Overall, it was a great show so thanks to all the organisers and volunteers for all their hard work, and we all look forward to next year’s event.

ALSO let’s mention the Karate Championship that took place at the Fish River Sun Hotel last weekend. It was a great affair, as the karate competitions always are, and thanks must go to Gary Grapentin and his team for all the effort staging the UWKSA event in the Eastern Province, for the second time.

AND, if drug-free body building is your thing, then you should not have missed the EP Natural Body Building Championships that took place at the Titi Jonas centre in Nemato last weekend. It was a brilliant show of just how fit you can get without recourse to drugs. Well done to the organisers, but might we suggest more advertising of the event in the future?

THERE was also the Build It U13 soccer tournament, held in Kenton last Saturday. This is another important event in the local soccer calendar, and was good to see so many youngsters enjoying the game together. Teamwork is the key in not only sport, but in all areas of life, and teaching kids discipline and teamwork is an important part of their development. Well done to Eric Jacobs and his team for organising another great event.

SOME more good news is that the price of petrol dropped at midnight on Tuesday. At the coast we are now paying 25 cents less for 95 octane petrol. Diesel also dropped by 10.8c and the price of illuminating paraffin dropped by 65c. The Automobile Association reported the price drop was due to a steady and strengthening rand in March as well as a drop in the price of Brent crude. Don’t get your hopes up, however, as the price of Brent crude has been steadily increasing over the last few weeks, and the rand has plummeted following President Jacob’s Zuma’s reshuffle of his cabinet and the subsequent downgrade of our currency to junk status by ratings agency Standard and Poors. It therefore seems likely we are in for a significant increase in petrol prices in the very near future.

A PROTEST in the form of a gathering is scheduled to take place on Friday at the Port Alfred Magistrate’s Court from 10am. The protest is part of an attempt to let politicians know that what is currently happening in South African politics is unacceptable, and that President Jacob Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle has seriously affected the integrity of our currency and prejudiced the poor. Further to this, the “Zuma must fall” campaign is attempting to motivate a recall of the president and a replacement of his cabinet who allowed the reshuffle in the first place. Similar protests are planned for Bathurst (a march from Nolukhanyo), and Joc Guest is organising a protest on the R72 at Kenton. These are reported to be non-partisan protests, not taking a lead from any political party, and it is assumed that they will remain peaceful. Hopefully, no one gets injured on Friday, but it is asked that everyone who is disappointed/disgruntled/in disagreement with the current presidency of Zuma should join and show solidarity and unity.

MAY everyone having a birthday in the week ahead enjoy a very happy one and lots more happy years ahead for all, especially, Robyn Clayton, Grace Kloppers, Georgie Shelver, Linda Buchanan, Barbara Matthews, Bernard du Plessis, Jenny Moodie, Wendy Gregory, Beauty Matomela, Darrel Botha, Bradley Ford, Malcolm Cock, Georgie Neumann, Jean Rodgerson, Anne Roos, Danica Kukard, Hannah Charter, Ronnie Slaughter, Eve van Rooyen, Brian Burnette, Colin Purdon, Morgan Hunke, Lara Heny, Jean Wright, Charlene Palmer, Alroy Taai, Diana Lardner-Burke, twins Kate and Rachel Grimbeek, Brian Meyer, Lynette Wilson, Jandré Terblanche, Charlene Foster, Melissa Bowles, Jenre du Plessis, Jacques Hilpert, Karl Badenhorst, Irene Tawse, Brent Thorp, Derick Bamber, Valerie Chalker, Kudu Pancoust, Bianca Steenkamp, Abenathi Stuurnman, Gerhald Scholz, Rachel Kohler, Trevor Langley, Shireen Hilpert, Ragel van der Merwe, Rose Daweti, Taylor Biggs.

CONTINUED success and best wishes for many more to the following businesses celebrating another anniversary, especially Volcanik (Biscay Road), 2nd Best (Campbell Street) and Port Alfred Service Centre.

THE cabinet reshuffle initiated by Jacob Zuma last week has had a massive impact on the local currency. At a time when South Africa was recovering from one of the longest recessions in recent times, with the rand managing a respectable less than R13/$, this seemed like a rather silly thing to do, and Zuma must be well aware of what happened the last time (when Nhlanhla Nene was replaced by Des van Rooyen). Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s reaction was to immediately downgrade the currency taking it to junk status (non-investment grade), meaning investors will be discouraged from pumping money into the country, leading to business closures and job losses. Imports will become much more expensive and the profits of those companies remaining will drop, forcing them to increase prices to accommodate higher material costs. This will lead to an increased inflation and probably an increase in the prime lending rate. This, in turn, will mean the poorest in the country will have a hard time making ends meet. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was at R13.81/$ (R15.23), R17.25/£, (R21.48) and R14.73/ to the Euro (R17.30). Gold is trading at $1 252.43 per fine ounce ($1 224.67), platinum is at $963.50 ($957.60) with Brent crude oil at $54.85/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, Malcolm Cock, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Brenda Shelton.

MAY your love and happiness continue as you celebrate a wedding anniversary to all couples enjoy such, especially Dave and Arlene Young, George and Claire Meiring, Burg and Arleen Naude, Warren and Trish Solz, Bruce and Kelly McNicol, Olly and Bianca Kirby, Kevyn and Lindsay Letley, Alfred and Jacqui Weyer, Shirley and Hennie Marais, Jan and Raymond Pearson.

THOUGHT for the week: “To become a thoroughly good man is the best prescription for keeping a sound mind and a sound body”.

BEST regards as always,
The team

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