THE National Agricultural Youth Show ended yesterday at the Bathurst Showgrounds and, by all accounts it was a very good show (see page 4). However, problems with accommodation have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many of the competitors, parents and supporters of this rapidly growing sport. Talk of the Town is currently investigating exactly what went wrong, with kids having to bunk in cramped conditions, food that was not up to standard and parents sleeping on couches as there were not enough beds. If the facilities afforded to our visitors (for which they paid top dollar) were inadequate then the chances of any of those disgruntled people ever visiting the Eastern Cape, and specifically Ndlambe, again is remote. If we are going to put on a show of the scale of the National Agricultural Youth Show then everyone must come to the party. There will be a follow-up on this story in next week’s TotT, when we have had an opportunity to speak to those involved and are able to present the facts.
DID you have your animals blessed? St Francis of Assisi, who died on October 3 1226, is the patron saint of animals, and a ceremony took place at St Paul’s Anglican Church yesterday evening as part of the saint’s feast day to bless your pets (or livestock).
THIS coming weekend we have the Sunshine Coast Hospice Cancer Awareness Dinner taking place at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club. Cancer is a very real problem in modern society and it would be difficult to find anyone who has not had a family member or a friend afflicted with this horrendous disease. The speaker on the evening will be Alison Botha, who you will remember was abducted, brutally raped, cut and left to die in the bushes on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. See our diary entry for more information to this worthwhile event.
IT’S all smoke and mirrors as we rapidly approach the ANC National Conference in December, with politicians vying for the party’s top job. Whoever is elected president of the ANC will most likely take up the position of President of the country when the national elections take place in 2019. Front-runners are deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. But already the candidates and their followers have begun throwing mud at each other. Election periods are the times when politicians put on their “good” faces in an attempt to woo the voters, but it is also a time when any dirt found on them is magnified a thousand-fold. We have already heard of Ramaphosa’s infidelities, and the ineffectiveness of Dlamini-Zuma’s reign as head of the African Union. But people, let us stop taking sides based on anything other than the candidate’s ability to get thing done, without corruption. The spectre of Marikana hangs over Ramaphosa’s head, and the fact that Dlamini-Zuma might pardon her ex-husband should he be found guilty of manifold corruption and money laundering offences does not sit well with people. The other candidates for the ANC top job are Former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, Human Settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu, ANC national chairperson and National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete and ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize. Listen out for more scandals which will undoubtedly arise in the coming month or so.
HAPPY birthday greetings and congratulations to everyone celebrating special days in the week ahead, especially Di Cockcroft, Zoë Wille, Ava Beukes, Basil Solz, Penny Maddocks, Calla van Heerden, Barry Griggs, Joan Strachan, Andy Swanepoel, Norma Mysell, Grant Mouton, Bronwyn Murray, Tanja Jacobs, Andrea Kemsley, Chris Avis, Elmien Kew, Eric Garner, Hennie Marais, Lauren Snyman, Lynette Shelton, Jocelyn Kirkup, Monique Hunke, Hallé Hilpert, Nick Sousalis, Dianne Loots, Eric Evezard, Wally Hill, Linda Schlemmer, Joy de Bruin, Gordon Naysmith, James Mpolongwana, Sarah-Jane Taljard, Glenn Bowles, Felix Shepherd, Isobel Taute, Riley Hilpert, Charles Watson, Carla Gailey, Louw Potgieter, Lauren Teixeira, Lucinda de Vos, Margie van Lier, Hennie de Bruin, Elizabeth Vandermeulen, Doreen van Damme, Kerryn van der Walt, Dot Thorburn, Kristy Henderson, Karen Lee, Alf Steck, Lizelle Rielly, Liz Briggs, Nick Howard, Brenda Shelton, Yvonne McDonald, Ola van Niekerk, Fanele Siyolo.
CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses and organisations celebrating another anniversary and good wishes for further success to GBS Mutual Bank (on 140 years), Tectronic, Happy Hours Pre-primary, Top Carpets and Floors (Grahamstown), Postnet, Cosi Home and RD Patternmakers, West Side Assemblies Church and Coastal Car Care.
THE local currency has taken a knock over the last week or so, and is now on a downward trend with the rand hopelessly floundering at over R18 to the British pound. Petrol prices went up last night, and a litre of 95 octane petrol will cost R14.01 inland and R13.52 at the coast. The question must be asked, how do ordinary people who are already living in poverty afford to drive a motor car? Petrol price hikes not only have an effect on driving, but will almost certainly mean that consumer goods including food, will also increase accordingly. At the time of going to press, the rand was trading at R13.59 to the dollar (R13.73), R18.05 to the pound (R17.48) and R16 dead to the euro (R15.40). Gold was trading at $1 277.44 ($1 272.71), platinum at $915.85 ($995.00) and Brent crude oil at $55.77 ($51.31).
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, Dr Jerome Boulle, Howard Dredge.
HAPPY wedding anniversary wishes for many more years ahead of continued happiness, especially to Terry and Sonia Blenkinsop, Jim and Pauline Reynolds, Hans and Jo-Anne Fourie, Dave and Delene Hawkins, Luke and Cindy Charter, Brett and Ingrid Newcombe, Dries and Annatjie Liebenberg, Wayne and Lizelle Rielly, Rob and Dee Joiner, Ronald and Junette Smith, Hans and Jo-Anne Fourie, Rob and Dianna Owsley.
THE Boks take on the All Blacks at DHL Newlands, Cape Town, on Saturday. After the shocking result of their last encounter in New Zealand, everyone is looking to Bok coach Allister Coetzee for an upsurge of activity from the Springboks, and certainly no repeat of the 57 points to nil drubbing we received two weekends ago.
HEARTIEST congratulations to Gilbert and Marlene Coetzee on your sapphire wedding anniversary (45). May you have many healthy happy years ahead.
THOUGHT for the week: “Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something and it’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit”.
BEST regards as always,