Neighbourly Notes – 30 November 2017

CHEERS! Talk of the Town staff enjoyed a relaxing breakfast at the Fish River Sun last Friday and took a well-deserved break from work. Seated, from left, are Anneli Hanstein, Mitch Haupt, Bryan Smith, Louise Carter, Noxolo Blouw, Kim van Belkum and Pumla Pase with, standing from left, Jon Houzet, Rob Knowles, Hayden Hanstein and Jessie Bohnen. Mauneen Charter was unable to join the team for the celebration.

AS the festive season approaches, there are more events to entertain locals and visitors alike. From Thursday through Saturday it’s the Grahamstown Christmas Market at PJ Olivier High School Hall. Tonight don’t forget the Port Alfred Lions Fellowship Trivia Evening at the PAHS clubhouse. On Friday, it’s Latino Live #Fresh Fish Friday at the Goatshed, Kenton-on-Sea. And running from Friday to Sunday it’s the Bonsai Show by the Sunshine Coast Bonsai Club at the Port Alfred Girl Guide Hall. If you have ever been fascinated by the miniature trees and wonder how they are grown or want to create your own tiny arboreal forest, get yourself to the Girl Guide Hall, receive some expert advice and see bonsais up-close. On Saturday, it’s the CMA breakfast with Reddie Ndoro talking about her conversion from ancestral worship to Christianity. It’s also the St Paul’s Anglican Church fete and the Kleinemonde Morning Market, as well as the Rosehill Mall Arts and Crafters Market. And, to round off the weekend, why not attend the craft market at the Duck Pond and finish off with ”opera found” at the end-of-year Classics at the Castle? For more event details, see our Diarise This section.

ROAD works continue on the R72, and the section  through Port Alfred has never before witnessed long queues of stationary vehicles piled up across the Nico Malan Bridge and along Southwell Road, or backed up the hill along Albany Road. The work is obviously necessary due to the large and ever-increasing traffic volumes now experienced along the R72. The upgrade programme seems to be a little behind schedule which does not bode well over the festive season when we welcome thousands of visitors to our town. Although work will stop, there is some rehabilitation to the flora that needs to be done to make our town look more inviting, and that cannot be started until the work is complete.

WHILE on the subject of roads, we were at least informed that the R72 would not be completed before this Christmas. Another issue is around the Southwell/Main Street and the Main Street/Biscay Road intersections. Firstly, are businesses allowed to build so close to the road? Next, how did the municipality (or whoever approved it) expect large, often articulated, trucks to make deliveries to the businesses and, worse, actually get back onto the R72? Those delivery people who have previously attempted the often fruitless multi-point turn at the intersection of West Street and Biscay Road have now decided to rather travel down Van der Riet Street, turn left on West Street and then tackle what looks like a daytime parking lot at the top of Biscay Road. But the expensive paving on Van der Riet Street is being torn up by heavy vehicles, and West Street was never meant to experience such traffic volumes. Likewise, the top of Campbell Street is a nightmare when cars are parked there during the day. Come on Ndlambe Municipality, let’s get these “accidents waiting to happen” sorted out to prevent any more wasteful expenditure in the future.

ELECTRICITY supply in the area was cut on Tuesday when a switch blew and had to be replaced. That was the explanation given by Manelec when they were contacted. Sitting in the dark with no computers was a frustrating reminder of the rolling blackouts (or, load-shedding) we experienced a few years back. Let’s hope that bringing 794 megawatts to the grid at Medupi Power Station will mean we will never experience load-shedding again. Unit 4 at the drastically behind-schedule and over-expended Medupi Power Station went online on Tuesday (surprisingly, this time more than six months ahead of schedule). Let’s hope the second half of the project (the remaining three of six units) does not take another 10 years to complete.

HAPPY birthday greetings, congratulations and all good wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead, especially Fanna Vogel, Mike Legg, Helen Dell, Jessie Muller, Sally Anne Robertson, Dave Wilson, Mary Brendenkamp, Derick Moll, Leo Rossouw, Malcolm Nel, Lynn Stirk, Solly Faroa, Nola Timm, Diana Tremeer, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Rob Edlmann, Willie van Gass, Darron Beetge, Nick Donaghy, Tyler van Breda, Jenny Kieck, Candida Oosthuizen, George Bax, Marianne Fryer, Orme Burn, Ilse Wicks, Anita Thompson, Jen Elliott, Mary Lloyd, Ryan Reynolds, John Moss, Garner Rieger, Fred Dragsund, Deyzel Burger, Declan de la Mare, Jean Brummer, Derek Phillips, twins Keagen and Ross Coetzee, Elton Marney, Charidene Malan, Janine Groenewald, Wanda Kelbrick, Koleta Nkwinti, Cleo Black, Shauna-Lee Stephens, Podge Wansbury, Dave Young, Carla Fryer, Glynnis Pike, Elsabe Badenhorst, Colleen Thorp, Charmaine Pauls, Kaylin van Heerden, Jenni Schoeman, Mike Warren, Onica Mukharbuli, Peter Watson, Maire Holhausen, Inge Schlemmer, Isobella Mitten, Shaun Botha, Mark Deenik, Ethne Barnard, Rosemary Cawse, Vivienne Reid, Caleb Bouwer, Pam Wilmot, Amanda Funani, Janine Collins, Andrea Elliott, Kathy Botha, Adelina Snyman, Dennis Woest, Andy Nel, Beuhlah Meyer and Jane Denton.

SPECIAL birthday greetings and congratulations to Louise Carter, on her 30th milestone on December 1.

BELATED wishes to Pru Bradfield who celebrated another birthday last weekend.

CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses celebrating their anniversaries and may you enjoy even more success in the future, especially Pick n Pay Clothing, Lady Biscay Kowie Cruises, Audie Attorneys, Bikes, Boats and Cars, LP Gaz and Bliss Beauty Treatments.

DESPITE Moody’s ratings agency having given South Africa a four-month reprieve in the form of a review to a downgrade to non-investment grade (junk status), the country’s fiscal performance is seen internationally as poor with no improvement and, with S&P Global‘s recent further downgrade it is inevitable that Moody’s will follow suit early this month. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand is trading at R13.65/$ (R13.97), R18.29/£ (R17.45) and R16.20/ß (R14.89). Commodities are trading with Gold at $1 294.89 per fine ounce ($1 187.76), Platinum at $952.20 per ounce ($919.70) and Brent Crude Oil at $63.19 per barrel ($46.45).

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, Howard Dredge.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations with best wishes for many more happy years ahead to all couples celebrating such an occasion. Many more memory-making years ahead to Gerry and Wanda Loxton, Sizwe and Julia Mvunelwa, Trevor and Melinda Linforth, Basil and Agnes Wormald, Gavin and Annie Muir, Michael and Kathryn Kimberley.

CONGRATULATIONS to Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters who was crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas on Sunday – the first SA winner of the contest in 39 years. Well done.

THOUGHT for the week: “The world is full of abundance and opportunity but far too many people come to the fountain of life with . . . a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.”

BEST regards as always,

The Team

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