Neighbourly Notes – 31 May 2018

WEDDING SPLASH: Hendrik Barnard married Cornelia Stapelberg in Port Alfred last Thursday. We wish the couple all the best in their new life together. Picture: JON HOUZET


THIS weekend is full of fun for the whole family. Starting early, on Thursday (today), don’t miss the Barfly Competition at the Port Alfred Country Club from 5.30pm. Compete in darts, pool and more. Also, those interested in farming (one of our essential industries), why not attend the Farmers Day in Alexandria at the Overberg conference centre from 1.30pm. On Friday it’s Grandparents Day tea at Kowie Foundation School from 11.30am. On Saturday we have the Colour Run, Mini Market and Fun Day at Alexandria Christian Academy. And finally, on Sunday, why not visit the Port Alfred Presbyterian Church for an afternoon of The Kentones performing their new programme, Fill the World with Love. Or, how about Classics at the Castle where poet and songwriter Fafa Hopkins (aka Chris Mann) will be performing song-poems interspersed with humorous anecdotes.

RISE Café at the Courtyard opened its doors on Saturday and welcomed visitors with a buffet of delicious snacks and wine and malt to tickle your taste buds. Good luck to Andre Nel and your team on your new venture.

AND this weekend we see the rise of another café, this time it’s the Barefoot Café on the quintessential Wharf Street in Port Alfred. In the place of the old Fresh Fish Market, the café will serve fish and meat dishes to excite you and will also sell fresh fish in June. Get to Wharf Street on Saturday to get a taste of what is to come.

ON Wednesday, the Ndlambe municipal budget was tabled again before the full council and adopted. This year there has been no gameplay with respect to presenting the budget. Typically the municipality will pitch increases high and then, as though granting a concession, reduce the increase to something more reasonable. For example, last year’s 12.5% increase began with the municipality asking for 17%. While 17% was ludicrous and probably would have had many more people defaulting on paying rates, 12.5% only sounded better and was still a blow to the pocket for the typical ratepayer. This year there has been no gamesmanship, and the municipality began virtually where it has ended, with an electricity increase of 6.84% and most other services (water, sanitation, refuse collection) at 5.5%. While increases are never welcomed, Ndlambe has to be acknowledged for not beating around the bush this year and presenting real figures we can work with.

STILL with the municipality, spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa said Ndlambe Municipality would like to inform the members of the public about the Speedpoint payment facility that is now available in the finance department in Campbell Street to make payment easy, quick and faster. Anything that makes life a little easier should be welcome, and this is a new way to help you pay your municipal accounts.

ON to national news and the infamous Gupta family have beaten the efforts of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) once more and had their confiscated assets returned. Perhaps we should be looking for problems in the NPA before we pursue alleged criminal activity and attempt to prosecute suspected criminals. As an organisation, the NPA has let us all down. Either the Gupta family are criminals or they are not, but wasting money on expensive court appearances (and losing the more than R200-million worth of assets they had seized) is a blow to the taxpayer’s pocket. It would appear that more competent personnel are required at the NPA; ones who can gather sufficient evidence of suspected criminal activity to at least go to trial. Wake up, government. These are important issues, or are you still under the yoke of our previous leaders who allowed the country to be bled dry by corrupt officials and greedy third parties? Look after the people who elected you into power, and change the minds of those who still regard you as corrupt. Prosecute all those who have embezzled money from state coffers (the tax payer’s pockets), irrespective of political or social standing. We need a government that works for all South Africans.

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day next week, with good wishes and many happy times for many more years ahead, especially for Kevin Heny, Cassandra Griffiths, Dylan Shardelow, Gwen Arnison, Eddie Bentley, Elzaan van Heerden, Jocelyn Guest, Moira Hilton-Barber, Matthew Thorp, Ceagen van Rensberg, Lyn Lapham, Jenni Reed, Celesto Scheepers, Andy Jones, Sue Langley, Terry West, Bonita Skipper, Penny Elliott, Lou Coetzee, Kathleen Mills, Stevie Godson, Jenny Pincente, Noluthando Budaza, Dalys Sparg, Bev Radue, Thomas Barnardt, Wayne Reilly, Digby Pocock, Annelien Gouws, Raymond Webber, Mabel Coetzer, Pat Whitfield, Norman Turner, Cynthia Wise, Anne Fella, Karen Booysen, Deb Spenceley and Anelle Groenewald.

BIG congratulations to author Theo Kleynhans for yesterday on your 84th birthday. Hope you had a joyous ‘Other Side of Time’, and may there be many more.

CONGRATULATIONS and further success to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary with all good wishes for many more better years ahead, especially for Cycle Asylum and Compudoc Computer Services (20 years).

AT the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets, the Rand was trading at R12.68 to the Dollar (R13.10), R16.78 to the Pound (R16.83) and R14.60 to the Euro (R14.70). The Economy Forecast Agency predicts these rates will remain fairly stable at their current levels for the next months. Gold was trading at $1 309.49 per fine ounce ($1 264.14), Platinum at $907.15 per ounce ($944.20) with Brent Crude Oil at $75.47 per barrel ($50.56). Although this price seems lower forecasts are that oil prices will continue to climb over the next two years.

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.

IN memory of Muriel MacGregor, the daughter of a Methodist missionary, wife of a Methodist minister, mother of four and grandmother of five. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday June 5 at 10am at St Paul’s Anglican Church.

OUR condolences to the family and friends of Audrey Taylor, dearly beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend who passed away on Friday May 25. May you rest in peace.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes for many more even better years ahead to Malcolm and Penny Noel, Gary and Joan Boucher, Arthur and Lynne Manning, Johan and Kittie Joubert, Neville and Marjorie Henley (54 years).

THOUGHT for the week: “Too much happens to people in life for us to be able to understand all of it – but we do know good minds (and intentions) working together is always better than going it alone.”

BEST regards as always, The Team

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