Neighbourly Notes – 19 April 2018

HE’S MY BROTHER: Port Alfred High School pupil Keagan Botha, back, keeps an eye on the advance of his first team hockey mate, Yondela Melani, towards the goals while a Victoria Park player marks him in their clash on Saturday. PAHS lost the match 2-1

THIS weekend is still pretty quiet and what more relaxing or uplifting thing to do than to attend the organ, piano and flute recital at St Paul’s Church, where Father Noel-Jean Creille and Daniel Brodie will make music together on both Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. But, next week it’s the Mad Hatter Tournament, a week-long festival of golfing madness. It  starts on Saturday and Sunday at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club with the Mad Hatter’s Flower Festival with the theme, Music on the Greens. Then, on Monday right the way through to next Saturday (April 28) it’s the annual Mad Hatter Tournament at the Royal  Port Alfred Golf Club. On Tuesday it’s special Mad Hatter entertainment – music and comedy by Gino Fabbri. If you can, you should get there. For more events, see our Diarise This section, below, or visit our website at AT the Ward 10  committee meeting on Tuesday (report on page 4) one thing that’s disturbing is the apparent lack of attention the municipality gives to the continuously increasing debt
within each ward. Ward 10 has the biggest debt, but it also has the highest rates bills. The total debt owed by all wards is running at more than R100-million. Imagine what that money could mean to the community, how much infrastructure we could repair or replace. But, to realise the money, people will have to understand that not paying your municipal bills is like forcing your neighbours to pay your bills for you. After all, someone has to pay, and that means the bills of others who do pay them increase through higher service costs. Ward 10 councillor Ray Schenk, who is also the committee chair, said efforts to recover money were proving difficult as, even when defaulters agreed to pay outstanding bills, they often reneged on the deal. If we want things done we have to pay and honouring the bills for rendered municipal services is an obligation, not an option. And the converse is also true; the municipality must honour its commitment to providing those services.

WHEN two meetings clash, which one do you go to? More importantly, perhaps, which one are you prepared to miss? That will be a decision the residents of Ward 10 will have to face on Thursday May 10 when the mayoral budget imbizo takes place at the civic centre at 5pm while, at the same time, the CPF is holding a public information workshop at the
Port Alfred High School. We all know that the tabled (draft) budget is open for comment and discussion and, after consultation in all other wards, will determine how much we as residents will pay for municipal services this financial year. However, the prevalence of crime in the area means that there is much more to do in terms of security for the area, so
attendance at the CPF meeting is also important. So, residents are going to have to make a choice as to which meeting to attend. Or, for couples, perhaps one partner could go to each? Either way, book Thursday May 10 at 5pm for at least one of these meetings.
Each will have an impact on your lives and both will discuss important issues.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone enjoying a special day in the week ahead. Good wishes for the year ahead especially to Merle Barnard, Dina Puzilewicz, Sally-Ann Odendaal, Neil Chemaly, Michael Cholwich, Sherine du Preez, Lisa
Lawson, Mandy Roesstorff, Marianne de Vos, Caroline McIntosh, Anton Wiersma, Gerenique Denston, Daniel Mahloko, Ron Gush, John Zweistra, Willie Adams, Chante Pote, Miliza Rickson, Hazel Peterson, Erna McPherson, Tyler Stevenson, Ric Wilson, Derrick Kleynhans, Kate Beavis, Lana Marais, Jill Japp, Chix Pearson, John Rodgers, Lynette Lambert, Jennifer
Cumming, Marielle Ford, Darren Wicks, Adricha Diedericks, Desmond Burger, Donné Brent, Dave Hawkins, Daphne Brownlee, Lee Pearson, twin sisters Jean Reed and Joan Mould, Edwin Randall, Kyle Hewitt, Pam Nel, Tyler Stevenson, Rhodes Tremeer, Shane du Plessis, Moira Hilton-Barber, Danielle Dugard, Claire Hall, Cathy Braans, Tori Stowe, Claire Hall, Lauren Brunette, Grant Marais, Cecile Oosthuizen and Kevin Mileham.

CONTINUED success and congratulations on another anniversary for the following businesses with best wishes and even more success for many years to come: Kwena Air (Wesley Hill), Kowie Vet Clinic (on the corner of Southwell and Atherstone roads) and PA Home Industries.

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has initiated a dream team to travel the world with the aim of attracting $100-billion (R1.2-trillion) in investment to our country over the next five years. Now there’s a job I wouldn’t mind having. Smooching foreign investors and enticing them to put their money into South African businesses, or setting up shop here. Fancy hotels, fancy parties, gala events and travelling around the world, who wouldn’t want that job? We say good luck to the “dream team” and come back with some investments to enable us to create new jobs, and thereby enable us to build infrastructure, new housing projects and all the other things we need.

THE rand has taken a bit of a nose-dive over the last two weeks while the price of Brent crude has increased steadily and has not fallen below $70 per barrel in a week or more. We all know that this will probably mean an increase in the fuel price unless the international community begins increasing production once more and making the commodity more readily accessible. Remember that the oil industry is essentially price-fixing the price of oil by reducing and increasing production worldwide to suit its own agenda. We, in South Africa, not being a player in the oil industry, have no control over the international markets. And, the same refrain as always: if oil prices rise so do the price of products on
our shelves. With VAT now at 15% and Eskom threatening to increase its tariffs by a huge amount and whispering about load-shedding, we could be in for a long, cold winter. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R12.02 to the dollar (R13.30), R17.18 to the pound (R17.09) and R14.86 to the euro (R14.27). On the
commodities scene, gold is $1 345.40 per fine ounce ($1 283.33), platinum is trading at $940.10 ($980.30) and Brent crude oil at $71.63 ($55.14) per barrel.

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 and Charlton Hilpert.

BEST wishes and congratulations to other couples also celebrating an anniversary at this time, especially Sai and Brunette Pieterse, Kevin and Gwen Bode, Christopher and Hilda Green, Nigel and Joy Coster, Malcolm and Shirley Cock, Nicole and Aiden Norden.

THOUGHT for the week: “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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