TODAY is the winter solstice, also known as the hibernal solstice, meaning the sun travels the shortest path through the sky and represents the shortest amount of daylight (the shortest day) and, as a consequence, the longest night (darkness) here in the Southern Hemisphere. The Earth tilts on its axis by around 11.40pm as it orbits the sun and, on June 21, the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer, the furthest north it ever gets. This actually marks the beginning of winter in the Southern Hemisphere and, from here on out, the days (hours of daylight) will get longer until we reach September 21/22 when the Earth’s tilt will position the sun directly above Tropic of Capricorn, marking the longest day (hours of daylight) in the Southern Hemisphere. So, enjoy today and look forward to summer once again.
ON to more serious matters. We have all witnessed and some have even experienced the ire of the EFF, and many around town of all colours and creeds seemed upset when the political party members trashed the top end of Campbell Street on Monday (and would have done so again on Tuesday morning, except for the intervention of angry municipal workers who are the ones left to clean up the mess, along with ANC Youth League members). In response to questions, municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa wrote that no gravestones were removed from the site, in complete contrast to what the EFF members were saying, Yet, we mustn’t allow the disruptive behaviour of a few individuals detract us from the problem that a graveyard has been totally demolished and families are now unable to even find where graves are. The question is, was the gravesite already in a state, with pieces of broken headstones littering the ground even before the municipality cleared it of bush? Whether you support the EFF’s action or not, ask yourself if you would have known about this matter had the EFF had not raised the issue.
THE municipality has strongly condemned the actions of the EFF when they returned to the municipality on Monday and interrupted a meeting at the council chambers. Mbolekwa stated, “On return back to Campbell Street the EFF members became aware of a meeting of the Ndlambe Ratepayers Forum and proceeded to enter the building. There intimidation took place with the representatives of the NRF and EFFmembers and in [the] process [Simon] Oliver was physically abused. We as the municipality [condemn] this in the strongest way. Staff of the municipality were also told to vacate the offices and were verbally abused by EFF members.”
DON’T assume everything is finalised with regard to the budget. In a media statement (the full version will be published on the Talk of the Town website) Mbolekwa wrote the following: “Ndlambe is working using the treasury guideline of 6.4% increase on rates. However in trying to balance the budget it is unlikely that the guideline increment will be implemented. We are currently consulting with NRF [Ndlambe Ratepayers Forum] to establish what the increment should be. They have made their submissions which [are] being considered by the municipality. The guideline increment is far from the historical increments .We hope that we [will] eventually come to an acceptable increments to enable us to continue with service delivery.” I suppose we will just have to wait and see.
THIS weekend begins with the Brenda Lear Bridge Drive in aid of Sunshine Coast Hospice at Settlers Park on Friday. Also on Friday, why not give blood and help save lives at the Heritage Mall. And, don’t forget the Kowie Museum’s Charity Golf Day at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club. Prize-giving from 6pm. The PA Art Club meet at the Catholic Church Hall on Saturday. If you haven’t seen him, James Cairns will be performing a solo improve comedy show, Against Humanity, at the Red Apple Emporium. The oxymoron, seriously funny, springs to mind with regards to Cairns. Do yourself a favour and get there. You won’t be disappointed. For more events and goings-on in and around Ndlambe.
CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone who is celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Special greetings and many more to Noxolo Kiviet, Jeff Earle, Lyn Harbrecht, Karel Prins, June Smith, June Hart, Dominique Willat, Helen Purdon, Amanda Ludick, Roarke Penn, Beverley Welsh, June Whittaker, Des Gallagher, Madelaine Murray, Lizzy Gouws, Fuzeka Runeli, June Keeton, Robert Godfrey, Marsha de Kock, John Champion, Margaret Ilderton, Ann de la Rey, Marjorie Wilmot, Lucille Scheepers, Vaughn de la Mare, Lyndon Coltman, Pat (Paddy) Thorp, Beatrice Crawford, Lloyd Stevenson, Andrew Nell, Megan van Niekerk, Yvonne Surtees, Lee Botha, Claire Burriss, Beverly Oosthuizen, Peter van der Merwe, Matthew Dell and Delina van Heerden.
MAY your new baby girl bring you and your families every joy is what we wish Jonathan and Lisinda Hanstein and “big brother” Tyler with the arrival of Kaylee Grace on Tuesday June 19. Congratulations, especially to grandparents Dion and Magda Rieger. EVERY joy and congratulations to parents, Shane and Chelsea and big brother Matt van Eeden, on the arrival of their baby girl on June 19. We hope Lilah Mae will bring you, the grandparents and all the family and friends great happiness and excitement as she grows and progresses.
CONTINUED success and warm congratulations to the following businesses/organisations on another anniversary, especially Voila (Kenton-on-Sea), Siliseal, Noel’s Cartage, Olofs 24/7 Motor Spares, PA Art club on 60 amazing years and PA Scouts Club. THE rand has lost some ground against other currencies this week with the British pound now exceeding R18. This has less to do with problems in South Africa than in major questions with respect to world affairs. As we go to press, and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R13.72 to the dollar (R13.04), R18.04 to the pound (R16.53) and R15.87 to the euro (R14.53). Gold was trading at $1272.39 ($1 246.35) per fine ounce, Platinum at $899.10 ($926.00), Brent Crude Oil price are $75.33 per barrel ($42.23).
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.
OUR heartiest congratulations to all celebrating the wonderful occasion of their wedding anniversaries, especially Terry and Margaret West, Douglas and Nancy Meyer, Robert and Emily Blenkinsop, Stefan and Kelly Ferreira, Neil and Tarryn van de Linde, John and Debbie Ford, Mariane and Chris Walwyn, Cecil and Dee Jones-Phillipson.
SPECIAL belated congratulations to Peggy and Geoff Southey who celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on June 6. We hope you had a great day and look forward to your diamond anniversary next year.
THOUGHT for the week: “If you don’t have a plan for personal growth, then don’t expect to grow!”
BEST regards as always, The Team