Neighbourly Notes – 24 August 2017

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SPECIAL BLESSINGS: It was a happy 75th birthday for John Cooper of D’vine Deli at Postmaster’s Village, who welcomed a kiss from his wife Renate last Saturday. Picture: LOUISE CARTER

TRAGICALLY, Ndlambe residents have recently witnessed a number of deaths at sea. First, Dave Fraser died while scuba diving in Port Elizabeth and, this weekend, two crew members aboard the stricken fishing boat, Hawaii, drowned while exiting the mouth of the Kowie River. We send our condolences to the families concerned. All of these men were aware of the dangers they faced and were experienced at what they did. But the sea is an untamed mistress and should always be treated with respect. This is why police, sea rescue and other emergency service organisations are so adamant that bathers take special precautions when entering the sea, particularly over the holiday periods. Although the circumstances are different, both incidents prove that even experienced people can get into trouble in the sea, and highlight the need for special attention when bathers enter the water. NEWS from the Statistician-General, Pali Lehohla, released on Tuesday is that 55% of South Africans, representing 30.4 million people, lived below the upper poverty line of R992 per person per month. The report is the result of a long investigation from 2006 to 2015 and is an indictment of government policies over this period. It is clear that something is seriously wrong when poverty figures in 2002 had been reduced to 29.3%. In the report, Lehohla wrote that the problem stemmed from, “a combination of international and domestic factors such as low and anaemic economic growth, continuing unemployment levels, low commodity prices, higher consumer prices, lower investment levels, greater household dependency on credit and policy uncertainty”. Surely, after all this time, we should be further along on the road to the ANC’s plan to abolish poverty by 2030.

OH dear, will the corruption ever end? The latest dodgy deal was announced recently with former ANC spin doctor turned entrepreneur, Jimmy Manyi, “buying” Gupta-owned Oakbay Investment’s media outlets – ANN7 TV news channel and The New Age newspaper. In fact, Manyi is borrowing the money from the Guptas and will pay it back over a period. Reports from the Guptas is that over 7000 jobs will be saved (as opposed to the alternative of closing both businesses), but this is patently untrue. The New Age only employs around 280 people and all the Gupta-owned companies together only employ 3000 people. With the economy in a downward spiral, and both companies losing money, it is difficult to see how Manyi expects to make a living from his purchase. Never mind, he probably has a one-way ticket to the UAE in his back pocket and will be joining (by then, ex-president) Jacob Zuma when they fall over.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone enjoying a special day in the week ahead, especially Neville Hope, Carel Marais, Jacqui Krige, Tracey Wright, Christina Chitsiga, Minnie Jacobs, Alison Colville Reeves, Ettienne Marais, Jill Macregor, John Potter-Sayman, Ross Elliott, Tina Hon, Burnette Pieterse, Zonke Williams, Jayden Wilson, Sheila Timothy, Marion Kelly, Jake Lacey, Mollie Seeney, Wendalyn Kelbrick, Reay Squires, Megan Hobson, Lionel Timm, Mandla Hendele, Luke Charter, Harvey Pike, Bobby Cheetham, Elna Barnard, Charlene Oosthuizen, Errol Jacobs, Bronwyn Fick, Dawn Hains, Br Mario Colussi.

SPECIAL milestone birthday congratulations to Sheila Wilson who will be celebrating her 100th birthday on Wednesday August 30. We hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends.

BELATED milestone birthday greetings and congratulations to Len Bohnen, on his 60th birthday on August 22. We hope you enjoyed your day and may there be many happy and healthy years ahead.

ANNIVERSARY congratulations and continued success to all businesses or organisations celebrating an anniversary at this time of the year, especially to Falcon Crest Self Catering Cottage and B&B in Port Alfred on their 12th anniversary, Damant Lodge (43) The Sandbar Restaurant, Quest, Standerwick Nursery, Green Fountain Farm, Root 72, The Kidd Co, Nemato Sunshine Spar, Sea Flight Fish and Chip Shop, The Grace and Truth Church, Kenton-on-Sea Primary School and Sunshine Coast Hospice.

WITH all the political machinations taking place in South Africa, it is perhaps surprising that there has been little change in the way in which South Africa is regarded in the international marketplace. Sure, we are now at “junk” status (below investment grade) by two of the major ratings agencies (S&P and Fitch) but are still clinging onto the one-above-junk rating of Moody’s. On the more positive side, platinum is slowly regainng 2015 levels, and gold has remained fairly stable. The cost of Brent Crude has elevated a little from its sojourn below $50 per barrel but, unlike currency, oil is a tightly-controlled commodity and prices depend on how the monopoly of oil producing nations sets the price. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, gold was trading at $1 287.15 per ounce ($1337.09), platinum at $984.75/oz ($1 106.50) and Brent crude oil at $51.87/barrel ($49.28). The rand was trading at R13.24/$ (R14.08), R16.94/£ (R18.54) and R15.59/à (R15.91).

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, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Barbara Tee, Dr Jerome Boulle.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations to all couples enjoying this wonderful occasion, especially Brian and Sheila Penny, Neville and Rita Hope, Bob and Mary Hobbs, Wesley and Janine Sparg, Rudi and Ava Beukes, Lynn and Janet Stirk.

WELL done to the Springboks on their convincing win over Argentina, 37-15, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Saturday. At one point it appeared Los Pumas might even overtake the Boks’ 6-0 lead after they scored the first try. However, Nicolas Sanchez failed to convert (he didn’t have a good kicking day) and the Boks never looked back. This weekend the two teams play again, this time in Salta, Argentina. Let’s hope the Springboks can keep up their current form.

THOUGHT for the week: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”.

BEST regards as
The Team

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