Neighbourly Notes – 4 January 2018

ENGAGED IN LIFE: Travis Dell and his fiancé Rene Chan from Canada were engaged recently. We wish the young couple every happiness for their future together

A VERY happy New Year to you all. We hope that the year ahead brings you success and
happiness and that you have enjoyed the holiday season, whether you are a local or a
visitor.

FOR those who have already travelled back home we hope you had a safe journey, and to those yet to leave, may your travels be without incident.

THE holiday season is always a hectic timefor the town with about 25 000 visitors descending on the beaches having a holiday while many of the businesses in town are busy providing services to them. Yet this is the way of many businesses, with a feast of
activity over the two holiday periods of Christmas and Easter and famine for the rest of the year. So, despite a few who might criticise there be no parking available in town and at the mall, or that there is too much noise or that there are just too many people, our visitors are the life blood of many local economy. Just one thing is worth mentioning: please guys, leave the beach as you found it and take your litter home with you or, at least, find one of the many rubbish bins provided. And, once again, thank you for visiting our beautiful town.

CRIME is a big factor over the holiday season, with thieves taking the opportunity of residents taking a holiday and leaving their homes essentially unguarded. And our visitors can also be targets for criminals so please keep to safe places and do not walk by yourself, particularly at night. Be safe, keep you valuable under lock and key and out of sight of potential robbers and burglars. Be extra vigilant of suspicious strangers. Report these things to the police and allow them to make sure everything is safe. Better to be safe than sorry and, if they are genuine visitors and come from major centres like Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town or any other city, they will understand your caution..

ON to national news. After several house were destroyed and lives were lost in recent high winds in Johannesburg, metro mayor Herman Mashaba has threatened to come down heavily on builders if the construct houses of inferior quality and/or use inferior materials. This all sounds fine except for one thing; who was responsible for approving the building for occupation? You see, most (if not all) municipalities have a building inspectorate whose job is to inspect building work from the initially approval of the plans to signing off occupational certificates. More, the National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC, has an obligation to ensure that those who build homes conform to its strict code of practice and have passed its examinations. Like the municipal building inspectors they are
expected to sign-off the build at each stage (including roof, structure, plumbing and
electrical work). Why is Mashaba therefore looking at the builders and not those who were supposed to inspect these buildings from the outset in his own municipality?

AND, as a parting shot to his presidency of the ANC, Jacob Zuma announced free
university admission to the poor and, with an upper limit of in excess of R350 000 per
annum for a family’s gross income, the not so poor. Now government needs to sort out
this problem as universities around the country are claiming foul that they were not
consulted. Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle saw the replacement of South African
Communist Party chairman Blade Mzimande with relative newcomer to the cabinet
Hlengiwe Mkhize as Higher Education minister who insists that all university bursars were informed and in agreement with the new no-paying system. Mkhize is either wrong or not experienced enough for the post or the universities are not telling the truth. Watch out for more fireworks in he coming month or so.

HAPPY birthday greetings and best wishes to everyone celebrating this special occasion in the week ahead, especially Willem Horn, Glenda Huxtable, Bradley van Zyl, Sophie Bessinger, Ryan Vermaak, Chris Shaddock, Jacques van Wyk, Justine Hulley, Devon Coetzee, Tony Tarr, Angela Fourie, Ian Hattingh, Audrey Barnard, Averil Oosthuizen,
Daniel Paterson, Maxi Mclellan, Tracey Butt, John Butt, Ross & Clayton Lloyd, Kelly Avis,
Shaun Botha, Gift Wallace, Jurie Wessels, Michael Gardner, Debbi Reed, Michelle Jones-Phillipson, Myrtle Flemming, Margie Siegers, James Charter, Dominicue Averbuch, Ivy Gulliford, Jo Wilmot, Vanessa Hilton-Barber, Russell Shelton, Anina Blouw.

ANOTHER business anniversary and our congratulations and wishes for more future
success to Winston Vermaak’s Colin’s Garden Service, The Wharf Street Tab, Historic Pig & Whistle.

AS the western stock exchanges close for some period over the CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS
(including the FTSE, the NYSE and others), trading has been slow since December 22.
However, following the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the African National Congress the markets that are open have reacted favourably to the news, assuming Ramaphosa will become the next president of South Africa. While that is not necessarily the case, Ramaphosa’s must first focus on reuniting the ANC and its alliance partners before contesting the 2019 general elections. His task will not be easy while Jacob Zuma still holds the position of President of South Africa but, with almost 400 criminal charges against him pending, he might not be in that position for very mush longer. At the time of going to press the Rand was and trading at R12.37 to the Dollar (R13.74), R16.78 to the Pound (R16.83) and R14.87 to the Euro (R14.31). Commodities such as Gold at $1 316.00 ($1
162.01) per fine ounce and Platinum at $933.70 ($904.50) with only Brent Crude Oil at $67.04 per barrel ($55.89). Despite an alarming increase in the price of Brent Crude, the stronger rand means that petrol prices are due to decrease next Wednesday by around R0.70 per litre.

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.

WISHING all couples celebrating wedding anniversaries congratulations and continued
happiness for many happy times ahead. Good luck to Lou and Annette Coetzee, Willem and Marlene van Rensburg, Alan and Brenda Hulley, Phil and Pam Hopper, Chris and Cindy de Wet Steyn, Tom and Liz Webb and Grant and Tricia Campbell.

THOUGHT for the week: “As we start the year, be kinder than necessary. Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle and you never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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