Neighbourly Notes – 8 February 2018

TAPPING YOUR FEET: The newly-formed tap dance school, with instructor Belinda Prince, second from left, was attended by students, from left, Ronel Hough, Prince, Crystal Bester and Sonia Reynolds, and is held at Red Leaf Nursery. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

SO far this weekend seems to be devoid of activity, so we can look ahead to next week for some interesting events. On Tuesday next week we have a Probus Club of Port Alfred meeting at the Ski-boat Club, where the guest speaker will be Shona Bell with her presentation, “Living a happier life through adventure”. And don’t forget the Soup Kitchen
Fun Run from the Port Alfred Country Club in the late afternoon. See our Diarise This section, below, for more information.

LOCALLY, this week will be remembered as the time when the Mantis Collection took over the caretaker-ship of the former Fish River Sun (see our front page story). After years of speculation over the fate of the former Fish River Sun, Sun International pulled out of the deal in November last year after the three Xhosa clans (AmaZizi, Tharfield and Prudhoe)
who had laid claim to the land chose to refuse a proposed settlement in which a new investor would manage the resort on the new owners’ behalf. Sun International would have vacated the premises only after having trained and handed over to new staff. It may be a cynical approach, but there is certainly no imperative for the advocates representing the
clans, not to mention the hotel group and various other stakeholders, to push for the court
case to be finalised as they are being paid tens of thousands a rand each day the case continues – all funded from government coffers (ie the taxpayers’ pockets). Now, the Mantis Collection has a year of caretaker-ship and to prove that the hotel, now named the Fish River Resort, is sustainable. Initially they will be ensuring that everything is kept in order, including the hotel building, its amenities and its grounds while, over time, they are due to open up the Gary Player-designed golf course once more and encourage development by introducing a golfing academy using international partners who
specialise in these things. In fact, education and training as well as development of the area are some of the Mantis Collection’s key drivers, and its grouping of international and local service providers should enable them to at least hit the ground running. We wish the Fish River Resort the very best over the coming months as it helps to increase the number
of tourists to the Sunshine Coast.

OF course, nationally the big news is whether President Jacob Zuma is in or out. The opposition parties should be revelling in the breakdown and factionalism of the ANC, but the DA seems to be suffering from its own factionalism, certainly in Cape Town, where
mayor Patricia de Lille is battling for her political life having been charged by her party on allegations of corruption. The only likely big winner of these events is Julius Malema’s EFF, and they are the ones who are driving many of the actions about state capture, corruption and the removal of Zuma. Watching what is happening in parliament is like one of e.tv’s or
SABC’s daily soapies where, just when you thought you understood what was going on it’s all-change, and then we start all over again. You gotta love South Africa.

CONGRATULATIONS and greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead. Happy birthday, especially to Juan Bessinger, Rocky Rowe, Jessica Bohnen, Hillary Bryant, Graham Pearce, Des Wright, Suzanne Fitchet, Fay Smith, Rowen Loretz, Roy Bowles, Jack Malan, Blessing Nkosi, Melanie Noel, Jenny le Roux, Michelle Swanepoel, Leonie Fourie, Brandon Wicks, Jeremy Elliott, Megan Walwyn, John-Luke Collyer, Frikkie Coetzee, Marlene Wiese, Eben Groenewald, Jenny Waters, John Forster, Greg Timm,
Matt van Eeden, Wendy Pieterse, Gloria Kamkam, Ryan Heathcote, Sylvia Gwebile, Joy Smith, Hendrik Koekemoer, Sandy Thomas, Mike Neave, Magda Loubser, Edmund Hall, Marilyn Michau, Sally Thompson, Linda Smuts, Russell Kearney.

BUSINESS and service organisation anniversary congratulations with wishes for further success for the future to Jumbo Store, The Jewellery Shop, The Child Welfare Foster Home Project, 2nd Time Around, The Port Alfred Hospital and Woollgar Attorneys.

THE rand appears stronger now than in a long time, and this is mainly due to a renewed
confidence in South Africa since Cyril Ramaphosa took over leadership of the ANC. News that President Jacob Zuma might have resigned (with conditions) and that might have been confirmed (or denied) by the time you ready this week’s NN. However, stalling the issue will not assist the ANC, the country, or investor confidence, so action needs to be taken without delay if we are to realise the benefits of a stronger currency. Also, the price of petrol was due to decrease as from midnight last night. The Energy Department announced a decrease in the fuel price this month. Motorists will pay 30 cents less for petrol, while
diesel will be 17 cents cheaper per litre. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against the Rand was trading at R11.97 (R13.45) to the US Dollar, R16.62 (R14.32) to
the British Pound and R14.78 (R16.79) to the Euro. Gold was trading at $1 327.12 ($1 236.89) per fine ounce and Platinum was trading at a $999.10 ($1 006.80), Brent Crude was $66.90 ($57.87).

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.

WITH the hint of romance in the air and the celebration that another year of marriage is lovingly added, it’s congratulations to all couples on their anniversaries. Best wishes
for many more great years ahead to Lance and Rose Parker, Warren and Kate Venter, Ken and Margaret Schroder, Andre and Meryl Uys, Vaughn and Carla de la Mare, Terry
and Helen Lansdell, Johny and Astrid Sacks, Warren and Lisa Tarr, Allen and Helen Thompson.

TO all romantics – have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. To those who are not (romantics) – enjoy all the special offers provided by the many businesses, who are trying to make the world a more loving place!

THOUGHT for the week: “The greatest healing therapy in life is friendship and love”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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