Neighbourly Notes – 7 June 2018

THE KNITTY-GRITTY: Damant Lodge knitting ladies recently handed over blankets to three charities just before winter. A dedicated group come together every Monday afternoon to knit and natter as they produce colourful warm blankets. Three of the knitting ladies donated the blankets to representatives from the different charities. From left, back row, are Thelma du Preez, Child Welfare Kenton-on-Sea’s Rose Downer, Port Alfred Soup Kitchen’s Hector MacDonald and Helmut Hartleb, and, front row, Daphne Maclachlan, Pat Campbell and St Vincent de Paul Society’s Dermot Moore and Dave MacNeill.

THIS Friday it’s the PAHS Golf Day at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club, as well as the Kenton Rotary annual Fisherman’s Feast and auction at 6.30 for 7pm at the Kenton Town Hall. Get your best Caribbean Calypso costumes ready for a great night’s entertainment. Then, on Saturday, former TV and radio personality Tracy Going, will launch her memoir, Brutal Legacy, at The Bean + Olive, from 11am to 1pm. On Sunday, why not listen to a Trilogy of Organ Recitals by Father Noël-Jean Creille at St Paul’s Anglican Church? For all your weekend entertainment, see our Diarise This section, below.

HAVE you ever thought of just how rural this area is? If you stand with your back to the coastline there is nothing inland but farmland for well over an hour in every direction. So, why is it that we credit our farmers with so little? They are the ones who put food on our tables and they should be supported by us all, especially here in the mainly rural Eastern Cape. The Farmers Day at the Overberg Conference Centre in Alexandria, held last Thursday, is always a festive occasion, with talks by people who can speak with authority about subjects that really matter such as land expropriation, training black farmers, the water crisis and food security. And afterwards there’s always a braai, a chance for the farmers to let their hair down and party a little. Mind you, they will still be up before the crack of dawn the next morning to ensure our eggs, bacon and toast is ready for us when we begin our day.

ON Tuesday evening, Sunshine Coast Tourism invited residents to a presentation by Gibb, the contractor assigned to design and supervise the upgrading of the R72, regarding signage on the road. Tanya Seeger explained that road signs on the R72 could not include the names of all businesses in the area, and that only business with a nationally recognised grading would be included. Those who attended the meeting but who are not registered made a beeline to the internet to find out how to be accredited. Seeger said symbols would be used on the main road as signs could not be so large as to include all business, as this would obscure traffic. However, with five traffic lights on the R72 through town, there would probably be enough time to read a novel at any of them. By the way, the signs are being paid for by Sanral instead of from our own pockets, so maybe we should be grateful?

PROBABLY the biggest shock to the system was the sudden hike in the fuel price on Wednesday morning: petrol increased by 82 per litre and diesel by a gobsmacking 85c per litre. These are the largest single increases in the price of fuel ever and will have a serious effect on everything; from the cost of transport on taxis and busses to what will eventually spill over into increases in the prices of food and other items on supermarket shelves. After the previous price hike, plus the increase in VAT, it is almost impossible to understand how someone, even with a job that paid at the new national minimum wage (R3 200 per month), can afford to find accommodation, feed a family and send kids to school. Surely there is a better way to generate revenue? Perhaps cutting down on golden handshakes for discredited former CEOs of state-owned enterprises and MPs would be a better option?

THE release of the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures shocked economists, despite them predicting a shrinking economy for Q1 2018, they were surprised at the degree to which it contracted. GDP shrank by 2.2%, the worst performance the economy has seen since 2009. After Q4 2017 reporting a 3.1% growth-rate, the figures presented were disappointing and caused a short slump in the strength of the rand. Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries decreased by 24.2%, attributed to a drop in the production of field crops and horticultural products. The mining sector decreased by 9.9% due, in part, to decreased production of gold and other metal ores. Manufacturing decreased by 6.4%. Basic iron and steel, petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products all took a knock. Imports and exports also saw a drop, with exports falling by 16.5% and imports falling by 6.5%.

GREETINGS and congratulations to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Happy birthday and many more, especially to Jim Reynolds, Nicola Nel, Lara Lloyd, Charlton Hilpert, June Sheasby, Lynne Nettleton, Devon de Bruin, Colleen Venter, Gareth Kilian, Hannah Robinson, Brian Webber, Alice Were, Daniel Kieck, Jonathan Hanstein, Di Thorp, Trish Solz, Erna Light, Penny Noel, Jean Burnside, Mel Bradfield, Dave Rodgerson, Barbara Welsh, Allen Thompson, Peter Kilian, Popeye Steyn, Scott Elliott, Bryan Robinson, Lynne Kirk, Charlene Brown, Dawie van Wyk, Ava Peet, Audrey Kuhlane, Dana Pullen, Pat Whitfield and Sue Steenkamp.

BEST wishes for many more happy years of trading – may success always be close to the following businesses, clubs and churches – The Ploughman Pub, R72 Port to Port Courier Services, Kenton Bowling Club, Kuyasa Interact Club and Port Alfred Celebration Centre.

ALL the commotion regarding the release of the latest economic statistics meant that the rand ended up weaker this week. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R12.83 to the dollar (R12.86), R17.22 to the pound (R16.60) and R15.10 to the euro (R14.48). Gold is trading at $1 294.89 per fine ounce ($1 292.69), platinum at $902.80 per fine ounce ($964.30) and only Brent crude oil at $75.81 per barrel ($49.77).

WE were shocked and grieved to hear about the senseless murder of long-time resident Stephne Evans in Bathurst on Sunday. There will be a memorial service for Stephne at Pike’s Post at the Bathurst Agricultural Museum today (Thursday) at 11am.

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 and Mark Price.

CONGRATULATIONS to Bathurst residents Nadine Fourie and Javan Eaton on your engagement on June 1, as announced by your parents Terence and Jenny Fourie and Cavin and Liz Eaton.

OUR heartiest congratulations to all couples enjoying a wedding anniversary, with good wishes for many more to Ernest and Nikki Bendeman, Tony and Sharon Dove, Kenny and Toezie Turner, Neville and Anne Williamson and Dale and Kyle Coates.

THOUGHT for the week: “When we are not honest, we are cut off from a significant resource of ourselves, a vital dimension that is necessary for unity and wholeness.”

BEST regards as always, The Team

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