Neighbourly Notes – 5 April 2018

SWIMMING CLUB: Port Alfred swimming team, from left at the back, Saffron Tweedie, Kate Tinley and Emily Beatt, and front row, Scarlett Tweedie and William Beatt at the Marina Mile last Friday Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

FROM Sleepy Hollow to a hive of activity, the area around Port Alfred and Bathurst has seen a massive influx of visitors over the Easter period thanks to the Royal St Andrews Hotel (RSAH) Amanzi Festival that began last Friday and will continue through to this Sunday, along with the Bathurst Agricultural Show to take place at the Bathurst Showgrounds this weekend.

RS AH Amanzi Festival has been a great success this year, and aims to become the premier water-sport festival in the country. From the enthusiasm shown by competitors, this is highly likely in the next few years. The festival continues until Sunday with international surfing taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Plus, there are lots of things to
do at West Beach and Kiddies Beach to keep the entire family entertained this weekend.

THE Bathurst Agricultural Show, now in its 110th year, is on this weekend and, with new and exciting events to look forward to, will probably be the best yet. The show committee has done an outstanding job of organising the event and, this year, and despite the VAT increase, the price of admission remains the same. From cattle auctions where some of the
best animals in the country will be up for grabs, to a horse derby, from floral art exhibitions to the latest farm machinery; from the singing cowboy to police displays, the Bathurst Agricultural Show has it all. Added to this there are plenty of food stalls, beer (and other alcoholic drinks) tents, all providing their own brand of entertainment, the Bathurst
Agricultural Show is another of those “places to be” this weekend. There are also a number of other activities taking place this weekend, so read our Diarise This section below for more information.

THE Ndlambe council meeting last Thursday was another marathon affair – as though, knowing they would be on holiday over the long weekend, the councillors felt it only fitting to extend the meeting until after 3pm. It was at this meeting that mayor Phindile Faxi expressed exception to an article I wrote on Ndlambe Municipality not aptly supporting a tourism capacity-planning meeting last month, calling the report “tabloid journalism”. He was making a point of stories being sensationalised to entice more readers. He also complained that the municipality had not had the opportunity to respond. However, Talk of
the town is always willing to publish any reasonable response to any of the articles we write. But the problem is far more serious than just upsetting the mayor. Tourism is one of only two industries in this area. We do not have car manufacturing plants as do our two
closest metropolitan municipalities, or an existing fishing industry (this is a sore point with many of the victims of the Department of Agriculture, forests and fisheries with drawing commercial fishing licences). We rely on farming and tourism as the two staples in our community and therefore any activity that will help improve tourism and create more jobs
must be taken seriously by the municipal officials and councillors alike. At the meeting last month the mayor and other officials were apparently busy with more pressing matters. This is unacceptable in a depressed area such as Ndlambe. Surely there had to be more councillors available than mayoral stand-in Ray Schenk to attend this critical meeting.
Perhaps this was tabloid journalism (we are, after all, a tabloid), but the intention of the article was to point out a problem to everyone. We cannot allow tourism to die or even remain stagnant or the area will die. We need to get involved, particularly when we have
internationally-acclaimed events such as the Bathurst Show taking place this weekend, and when teams from Australia, and individuals from around the world come to compete here in Port Alfred in the Amanzi Festival. We need to do a lot more to attract visitors and competitors, and we need the support of tourism bodies and therefore need to attend these
types of tourism events. If that upsets the administration then so be it.

MAY everyone having a birthday in the week ahead enjoy a very happy one and lots more happy years ahead for all, especially, Anthony Vivier, Jovan van Aarde, Ragel Fleischack, Elbe van Heerden, Annelize Averill, Luke Oosthuizen, Robyn Clayton, Grace Kloppers, Georgie Shelver, Linda Buchanan, Barbara Matthews, Bernard du Plessis, Jenny Moodie, Wendy Gregory, Beauty Matomela, Darrel Botha, Bradley Ford, Malcolm Cock, Georgie
Neumann, Jean Rodgerson, Anne Roos, Danica Kukard, Hannah Charter, Ronnie Slaughter, Eve van Rooyen, Brian Burnette, Colin Purdon, Morgan Hunke, Lara Heny, Jean Wright, Charlene Palmer, Alroy Taai, Diana Lardner-Burke, twins Kate and Rachel Grimbeek, Brian Meyer, Lynette Wilson, Jandré Terblanche, Charlene Foster, Melissa Bowles, Jenre
du Plessis, Jacques Hilpert, Karl Badenhorst, Derick Bamber, Bianca Steenkamp, Abenathi Stuurnman, Gerhald Scholz, Rachel Kohler, Shireen Hilpert, Ragel van der Merwe, Rose
Daweti, Taylor Biggs.

CONTINUED success and best wishes for many more to the following businesses celebrating another anniversary, especially Volcanik (Biscay Road), 2nd
Best (Campbell Street) and Port Alfred Service Centre.

THE VAT increase has certainly had an effect on prices in the shops already, and the increase in the petrol and diesel prices has and will continue to have an effect for the foreseeable future. That there was no allowance made for income tax cuts in personal tax to match inflation increases can mean an additional burden. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was at R11.91 to the Dollar (R13.81), R16.73 to the Pound (R17.25) and R14.63 to the Euro (R14.73). Gold is trading at $1 346.46 per fine
ounce ($1 252.43), platinum is at $936.46 ($963.50) with Brent crude oil at $67.18 per barrel ($54.85).

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, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Mark Price.

MAY your love and happiness continue as you celebrate a wedding anniversary to all couples enjoy such, especially Dave and Arlene Young, Burg and Arleen Naude, Warren and Trish Solz, Bruce and Kelly McNicol, Alfred and Jacqui Weyer, Jan and Raymond Pearson.

THOUGHT for the week: “To become a thoroughly good man is the best prescription for keeping a sound mind and a sound body”.

The Team

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