Neighbourly Notes –1 February 2018

DEVOTED COUPLE, IN BLACK AND WHITE: Angus and Margret Barnard were married at the Grahamstown Presbyterian Church on February 3 1968, and are celebrating 50 years as husband and wife this year. We wish the couple every happiness for at least the next 50 years.

FIRSTLY, let me apologise for a mistake in last week’s Neighbourly Notes. The Bathurst
Agricultural Show, the Eastern Cape’s premier agricultural show, will run over the weekend
of April 6 to 8, and not as I stated. It is, however, nice to know that so many people read Neighbourlies. Thanks for your observations and comments.

THINGS are always a little quieter following the festive season madness. The Christian Men’s Association breakfast, which starts early on Saturday morning, 7am for 7.30am at
the Celebration Centre (Old Vic Hotel), will feature the testimony of Sandile Kapela. There
is also a Rotary Swimathon to raise money for polio at 10am on Saturday at the Port Alfred
High School pool, and you are asked to enter a team. Also at the school on Saturday, the
PAHS 1st XI and U15A will face off against St Dominic’s Priory at the school fields.

ON Tuesday, the Ndlambe councillors met to discuss, among other things, the Auditor-
General’s (AG) report for 2016/2017. However, as in previous years, the report was hardly
discussed. Perhaps no one had read it prior to the meeting as it certainly contained some
disturbing findings that should have elicited comments, at least from the opposition parties present, but they remained silent. If no one read the report, it was undoubtedly because it was buried in the municipality’s own annual report which contains so much fluff that the average reader could be forgiven for thinking everything was hunky-dory in Ndlambe, certainly from the introduction to the report made by municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni who seems to think the municipality is doing a bang-up job. However, the AG has a different opinion and called the municipality out on its alarmingly high figure of R368.6-million in irregular expenditure. Previous managers have excused non-conformance with procedures, explaining it was due to new computer software and hardware the municipality did not have the funds to purchase. But computer systems only assist in ensuring conformance, they do not enforce it. If you do not follow the manual procedures, no computer system is going to make you do so. Strict adherence to the rules is necessary even when there is a computer system in place. It will not stop unauthorised expenditure, or the award of contracts to friends and family, but it will point out when such irregularities occur. Ndlambe Municipality, the residents of the area do not need more excuses or motherhood statements by politicians. They require honest work and a commitment to
serving the people of the area who pay their wages. It does not and will never work unless
everyone shares the same goals. Stop all the politicking and get on with your jobs.

ON THE topic of politics, what is happening to our elected leaders? The ANC is on a path of
self-destruction that even the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president might not
be able to fix. The DA is imploding with alleged scandals and votes of no confidence in the mayor of one of the most important cities in Africa. At the same time, former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema (who stated at that time he would kill and die for Zuma), now
commander-in-chief of the EFF, has been strangely quiet. Although many might hope the EFF leader remains that way, only Ramaphosa seems to be taking action against perpetrators of corruption, and that may sway political opinion in favour of the ANC, particularly if the ruling party is able to resolve its own internal factionalism. In their book The Fall of the ANC: What Next?, Mzukisi Qobo and Prince Mashele explained what would happen in South African politics and, so far, their predictions have been right on the mark. May you live in interesting times, as the old Chinese curse goes.

GREETINGS and happy birthday wishes to everyone enjoying another special day in the
week ahead, especially Sally Davidge-Pitts, Val Astrup, Glynn Gudmanz, Amanda Rathbone, Odette van der Merwe, Heather Howard, Lara Sheffield, Len Clark, Ross
Barnard, Cheryl Moss, Karen Cronje, Edith Blackbeard, Belinda Botha, Lindy Heny, Leon
du Plessis, Nan Hanly, Sarie Gysman, Christopher Drew, Karla Venter, Jann Haig, Shannon Manning, Justin Venables, Annelize Botha, Andre Cothill, Clinton Berriman, Allan Horsfield, Tammy van Heerden, Steven de Kiewit, Cecily Gould, Tessa Henning, twins Keenan Henricks and Jenna Brownlie, Kris van Zyl, Tertia Hockin, Norman Wedderburn, TotT ’s own colleague Phumla Pase, Doc Charles Louw, “Flame” Metter, Alfred Stevenson, Beverly Cockcroft, Leandre Marais, Dianne Barnes and Victor Bowles. IT is also my birthday next Wednesday. Send money.

WISHING all businesses celebrating an anniversary further success for the future, especially The Courtyard, Fish River Diner, The Roof and Truss Plant and Multi Security ( Bathurst).

THE financial markets are looking good for the rand as we go to press, with exchange-rates
with other leading currencies far better than over the last several months due to all the
accusations of state capture, state-owned enterprise corruption and mismanagement. The Viceroy report on the alleged mismanagement at Capitec Bank will have an influence on the market as soon as someone explains who Viceroy actually are and if they materially benefitted from their report condemning Capitec. Moody’s downgrade of Eskom was undoubtedly deserved but does not bode well for the fourth largest utility company in the world and the largest in Africa. Politicians and other leaders must step up and make a concerted effort to stabilise the situation before the value of the local currency plummets once more. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against the Rand was trading at R11.83 (R13.46) to the dollar, the British pound at R16.74 (R16.99) and the Euro at R14.72 (R14.52). Gold was trading at $1 343.14 ($1 210.40) per fine once and platinum at $1 006.35 ($998) and Brent Crude at $68.50 ($55.70).

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.

CONTINUING happiness and our congratulations to all couples celebrating another year of wedded bliss, especially to Thomas and Gayle Barnardt, Charles and Dawn Friderichs, Tiny and Doreen Steenkamp, Trevor and Beverley Els, Brian and Megan Wright, Roger and Mary-Anne Gailey, Angus and Yvonne McDonald.

THOUGHT for the week: “If you think you have someone eating out of your hand, it’s a good idea to count your fingers”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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