IT HAS been another week of protest action, specifically along the R67, where community members from New Rest and surrounding areas have been protesting for housing or land promised to them 17 years ago. As is always the way with such protests, people get hurt as frustration creeps in, but the protests over the last few weeks have witnessed live rounds being fired from the protesters and a car destroyed by fire. People are frustrated and do not believe their voices are being heard. This escalates tensions and inspires the more radical members of the community to take matters into their own hands. Preventing people from travelling along a public road is illegal but a good way to get the larger community to recognise and empathise with your concerns. Yet, there is a limit. Attacking people, threatening to burn down houses if people go to work, stopping children from going to school, burning cars, firing live rounds and disrupting businesses gets you into the paper for all the wrong reasons and, eventually, you will lose any support you have. Please people, this is not a racial issue as many believe. Do not get caught up in fighting racial battles as this simply deflects from a very real and important issue; that of housing and security. The ANC have been in power for almost two-and-a-half decades, but white people are still blamed for the lack of action by a predominantly black-controlled government. Direct your concerns to the right people, and don’t buy into racial bigotry. THIS Friday (tomorrow), why not “build a burger” at the Port Alfred High School? It starts at the clubhouse at 6.30pm. And don’t forget the blood drive at Heritage Mall on Saturday between 11am and 4pm. Entry to this one is free, and you even get a cup of orange juice and a biscuit. Sunday is the annual South African Air force Association memorial service at 43 Air School at 11am.
ON TO national news, and the Gupta family is again implicated in more scandalous business dealings, including the leaked e-mails from various businessmen and politicians who knowingly received favours form the Guptas. And then deputy finance minister and former Prasa boss Sfiso Buthelezi awarded a R100-million contract to his brother Nkanyiso to import trains from Spain. Nkanyiso said, in a television interview, that there was nothing illegal about the transaction and that it was a plot to discredit his brother. But really? It is incumbent on members of any board, council or other body (particularly a state-owned enterprise) to recuse themselves when decisions about awarding contracts to a family member or close friend are made. To argue that Buthelezi and his brother never discussed business is as unbelievable as when a few weeks ago, Eskom CEO Matshela Koko denied being aware that his stepdaughter (who lives with him) did not discuss the R1-billion worth of contracts awarded. Will the corruption ever end?
SOME good news is that the price of petrol should have fallen by about 25c per litre yesterday. The reasons given are the rand strengthening against the US dollar, as well as lower Brent crude prices. This could mean a saving of approximately R10 on a tank of petrol for a medium-sized car.
GREETINGS and congratulations to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Happy birthday and many more, especially to Charlton Hilpert, June Sheasby, Lynne Nettleton, Devon de Bruin, Colleen Venter, Gareth Kilian, Hannah Robinson, Brian Webber, Alice Were, Leeanne Lombard, Daniel Kieck, Jonathan Hanstein, Di Thorp, Trish Solz, Erna Light, Penny Noel, Jean Burnside, Mel Bradfield, Dave Rodgerson, Barbara Welsh, Allen Thompson, Peter Kilian, Popeye Steyn, Scott Elliott, Bryan Robinson, Lynne Kirk, Charlene Brown, Dawie van Wyk, Bee Tarr, Chris Els, Gail Halforty, Ava Peet, Audrey Kuhlane, Dana Pullen, Pat Whitfield, Sue Steenkamp, Basil Were and Dianna Tarr.
BEST wishes for many more happy years of trading – may success always be close to the following businesses, clubs and churches – The Ploughman Pub, R72 Port to Port Courier Services, Kenton Bowling Club, Kuyasa Interact Club and Port Alfred Celebration Centre.
WITH the fragile hope that the current recession will not last too long, international investors will be side-lining South Africa for the time being, meaning even more job losses are expected. With an official unemployment rate of more than 27%, with 60% of those unemployed under 25 years of age, the immediate future for the country seems bleak. Government targets have not been met and have, quite frankly, not been worth the paper they have been written on. We do not need catch phrases such as “radical economic transformation”. This is simply a misnomer perpetrated by those in power who wish to deflect the issues of their own abject failure to secure jobs, houses, sanitation and security to its citizens. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R12.86/$ (R14.93), R16.60/£ (R21.73) and R14.48/ß (R16.98). Gold is trading at $1 292.69 per fine ounce ($1252.51), platinum at $964.30 per fine ounce ($981.47) and only Brent crude oil at $49.77 per barrel ($51.73).
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, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Brenda Shelton.
OUR condolences to the family and friends of Pamila Difford , who passed away peacefully on June 6 while visiting in London.
OUR heartiest congratulations to all couples enjoying a wedding anniversary with good wishes for many more to Ernest and Nikki Bendeman, Tony and Sharon Dove, Kenny and Toezie Turner, Neville and Anne Williamson, Dale and Kyle Coates.
ON a personal note, I would like to thank Eden Ndoro for the beautiful colouring book she gave me, all about Jesus. It is something I will always keep with me. Thank you so much.
IT’S a full weekend for all our senior sports teams this weekend. Good luck to the Proteas who will be playing France at Loftus Versveld on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Bafana Bafana play Nigeria in an Afcon qualifying match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Nigeria. Also the Proteas play India on Sunday in the ICC Champios Trophy game at the Kensington Oval in London (and played Pakistan yesterday (Wednesday) but too late to give the result in this week’s edition). May our teams win their matches and make the country proud.
THOUGHT for the week: “When we are not honest, we are cut off from a significant resource of ourselves, a vital dimension that is necessary for unity and wholeness.”
BEST regards as always,