Neighbourly Notes – 12 October 2017

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GOOD CHRISTIAN MEN: John Champion, left, and Brian Hammond attended the Christian Men’s Association breakfast on Saturday morning and learnt about the revival and transformation of the church. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

THE first thing to talk about this week is the horrendous storms that hit Johannesburg and Durban on Tuesday. After writing about the hurricanes hitting the Americas in a previous week’s opinion column, it was quite a coincidence that storms hit South Africa without much warning shortly thereafter. As an avid watcher of the weather forecasts broadcast on the TV news, as well as over the web, the intensity of the storms came as a surprise, with hail the size of golf balls falling on Johannesburg residents while, at the same time, flash floods spilled onto the freeways, and children were being swept up in the storms. The extent of the damage is still to be calculated, but we hope that residents are able to rebuild their lives now that the storms appear to have passed. THIS week we have a number of interesting events in the area, including the SAPS parade on Thursday at the Civic Centre from 10am. Then there is the Settlers Park Quiz Evening on Friday, starting at 6pm for 6.30pm at the Don Powis Hall. Next, one of the big races of the year, the Buco/Kowie Striders’ 27km and 10km race, finishing at the Port Alfred Country Club at around 10am.

LET’S not forget that it’s Garden Day SA this Sunday. On Saturday, the kids are invited to join in the fun at Red Leaf Nursery where they will be taught how to make a floral crown.

WITH less than two months remaining before the ANC’s national elective conference where a new leader for the party will be declared, things are hotting up on the political front. Blade Mzimande of the South African Communist Party (an ANC alliance partner) is declaring Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is the natural successor to Jacob Zuma, while others prefer other candidates. If you are following the saga in the news, you will be aware there are many ANC members holding up their hands for a chance of becoming the country’s No 1 citizen. Insults are flying and secrets (such as Ramaphosa’s extramarital affairs) are being revealed and, to be fair, it’s all a giant mess at the moment. In fact, looking at the list of candidates, all have been embroiled in controversy over the years, so it might be a matter for ANC members to choose the best from a soiled bunch.

AS for public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, her recent gaffes regarding changes in the constitution, as well as her inaction over state capture (first promulgated by her predecessor Thuli Madonsela), have rendered her office redundant, according to her detractors. A commission of inquiry has been established by parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, requested by the DA to ascertain if Mkhwebane is fit to hold the office. The ANC has slammed the move, claiming it is political shenanigans and there is no basis for the inquiry.

BUT it could be worse. Recently a Zimbabwean activist and leader of a street trader’s union was arrested for calling President Robert Mugabe a “dead man walking”, and saying that the 93-year-old president was “old” and “day dreaming”. Mugabe recently insulted his contemporary, Nelson Mandela, saying that the South African icon had been “too soft on whites” after the abolition of apartheid. Well, Mugabe’s regime certainly set the bar low in respect of peaceful transitions. His wife also recently went WWF with a telephone cord on a young South African model in a Johannesburg hotel, but was awarded diplomatic immunity (in retrospect) to prevent her being arrested for assault, allowing her time to escape prosecution. Let’s not learn any lessons from Zimbabwe on the right way to do things, please.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone enjoying a special day, especially Kristin Bunge, Carla Gailey, Lucinda de Vos, Chris Johnston, Rosita Winter, Ben Kember, Greta Buisson-Street, Dorothy Bowen, Doreen McCarthy, René Denis, Benji Jurgensen, Joani Stötter, Dax Wilmot, Nicole Flanagan, Chantell Saunders, Nadia Harris, Pat Soine, Pieter Bezuidenhout, Johan Potgieter, Arno Strohm, Joan Purdon, Kim Wilson, Doreen McCarthy, Arabella Sponneck, Tamara Yete, Terence McCarthy, Eve Wallace, Brendan Walker, Jenivie Grune, Sarah Ford, Samantha Costa, Rodney Gradwell, Neil de Villiers, Ray Davidson, Alfred Scheepers, Shaun Elms, David Drennan, Arthur Manning, Andrew Warren, Mick Tuck, Jan Simpson and Denis Stirk.

BEST wishes and congratulations to all the businesses having an anniversary and here’s wishing you all continued success, especially to Remax Kowie, Thospark, Sparrow Pools, Paws and Claws.

SPECIAL wishes to Feathers Farm who are celebrating their 70th anniversary. See the feature on page 11. THE rand is still taking strain and, as we go to press, Brent crude seems to have stabilised but the currency is facing a major problem in that unemployment, poverty and a lack of confidence in state-owned enterprises (SOEs such as Prasa, Eskom and Sapo). The rand was trading at R13.58 to the dollar (R14.43), R17.91 to the pound (R17.69) and R16.06 to the euro (R15.91). Commodities were trading with gold at $1 292.32 per fine ounce ($1 253.84), Platinum at $935.10 per ounce ($963.90) and Brent crude oil $56.68 per barrel ($52.69).

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 and Howard Dredge.

MAY continuing happiness be with the following couples as they celebrate their wedding anniversaries. Congratulations to Peter and Gill Wansell, Warwick and Leonie Beetge, Peter and Elaine Collins, Hans and Jo-Anne Fourie, Brenda and Russell Shelton, Owen and Colleen Moore, Ronald and Junette Smith, Norman and Greta Levine, Bill and Hazel Whitham, Robert and Jenne Boyce, Mauritz and Ria van der Merwe,

BELATED wedding anniversary wishes to Simtha and Khusta Dama who celebrated their wedding anniversary on Monday October 9. May you have many more healthy, happy years together.

WELL done to Bafana Bafana for their win over Burkina Faso in football on the weekend, as well as to the Proteas for their demolition of Bangladesh in the cricket. Commiserations to the Springboks for their narrow loss to the All Blacks last Saturday, you almost did it.

AND finally, October 16, we want to wish all the bosses all the very best on Boss’s Day and thank them for everything they do, especially when they make our working lives more pleasant.

THOUGHT for the week: “Time is that fleeting moment when the future passes into the past. So use every moment; grab it, embrace it and make it into your own memories”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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