Neighbourly Notes – 5 July 2018

AT THE OPENING: Zelda Vos, left, and her mother-in-law Christine Vos attended the opening of Serenity Day Spa at Rosehill Mall on Friday evening. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

THIS weekend is another quiet one, but there is some lekker entertainment on offer. Take tonight (Thursday), when Cindy Alter (formerly of Clout) performs at Harry B’s at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club. And, on Friday, top South African guitarist Mel Botes will perform at the Little Theatre on the Wharf. Don’t miss the opportunity of seeing these great South African artists.

WELL, it was inevitable, but petrol and diesel went up by another whopping amount, 26c per litre at the coast, at midnight on Tuesday. This is yet another massive blow to consumers who have not yet assimilated the last price increase or the increase in VAT. For those on fixed incomes such as pensioners and recipients of social grants this is a blow and one they may not be able to recover from. Reports by the AA and other groups have pointed out that over the last 10 years, petrol prices at the coast have almost tripled, from R6.92 in July 2008 to R15.53 in July 2018, and that the fuel tax over the same period has increased by 165%. Yet wages have not kept up with these increases and, as we are all well aware, higher petrol prices mean increases to items on the shelves.

RATEPAYERS are not just frustrated but absolutely livid that the approved budget was not discussed in the public domain before being submitted to province. Both the Ndlambe Ratepayers Forum (NRF) and the Port Alfred Residents and Ratepayers Association (Parra) have complained bitterly about what they regard as wasteful expenditure on items such as overtime payments, overseas trips and catering, to name but a few of their issues. It is true that this year’s budget went through many changes before final submission to province for ratification, and that the latest changes were not discussed with ratepayer groups beforehand. While it is easy to point fingers, it must be said that the municipality can be its own worst enemy when it does not consult with those people who are footing the bill for sometimes dubious items. Mind you, election season is fast approaching and in Ndlambe the majority of ratepayers possibly don’t vote ANC in the first place, so the potential of losing their votes is of no concern to the ruling party.

WE all know the arguments for hunting, and it is certainly true that animals in controlled areas like game parks and private farms might need to be culled in order to help keep the environment in balance. If one species gets out of control it can have a very detrimental effect on the entire ecosystem. However, the granting of hunting licences to overseas hunters who pay exorbitant amounts to kill South African wildlife must come with some sort of social responsibility. Our page 2 story this week has some sinister implications. Apparently a hippopotamus, shot between the eyes, was able to climb up the river bank and 20m onto a farm before dying. But the hunter only wanted the head, feet (ash trays?) and the skin of the hippo, and left the denuded carcass lying there for locals to scavenge the meat. Now, are South Africans (to whom these animals belong) happy to allow this to happen? What if someone left a dead carcass on your property and invited others to forage for meat.

CONGRATULATIONS, greetings and wishes for a happy birthday to all enjoying such an event in the week ahead. All good wishes for the year, especially to Robin Gout, Rodney Keet, Ann Leese, John Potter, Leslie-Anne Phillips, Carel Swart, Gay Ford, Derrick Newson, John Crawford, Neville Williamson, Brandon Phillps, Layla Jonker, Phyllis Futter, Ben Beetge, Justin Maddocks, Steve Gardner, Jacques Johnson, Joan Boucher, Joshua Linforth, Siobhan Stötter, Peter Metcalf, Pumeza Maronya and Vanessa Avis.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and continued success for many more years to come to GBS Mutual Bank, Trellidor and Eugene’s Plumbing Services.

WE’VE already spoken of the petrol price increase but of more concern in the long run is the trade war between the USA and, it appears, every other country in the world. US President Donald Trump has made it perfectly clear he is all about protecting American jobs, but higher tariffs on exported products will be a massive blow to the economy of South Africa. Together with the lowering of oil production by Opec (organisation of petrol exporting countries) the price of Brent Crude oil has caused it to escalate to its current level. With last year’s figures, shown in brackets for comparison, at the time of going to press the Rand was trading at R13.72 to the Dollar (R13.40), R18.13 to the Pound (R17.31) and R15.97 to the Euro (R15.17). Gold is trading at $1257.12 per fine ounce ($1 218.23), Platinum at $813.60 per ounce ($917.40) with Brent Crude Oil at $77.82 per barrel ($46.59).

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, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Mark Price and Chris de Wet Steyn.

HEARTFELT sympathy and condolences to Luke and Cindy Charter and their children Hannah and James, and Judy and family on the passing of Cindy’s father, Eddie Tee. May wonderful memories of all the good times spent together comfort you in the sad times.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Richard Smith, who passed away Sunday July 1. He will be dearly missed by his mom, Fay Smith, Ashley and Wendy and family. A memorial service will be held on Saturday July 7 at Port Alfred Baptist Church at 11am.

RIP to Iggie Muller and our sincere condolences to Liesl and Nicole.

BEST wishes for many more and our heartiest congratulations to the following couples celebrating an anniversary. These messages especially go to John and Sharon Nicol, Colin and Joan Purdon, Godfrey and Meryl Howes, Biff and Gordon Todd, Schalk and Nicole Voster, Eddie and Jenny Hoseck, Mark and Tracy Pederson, and Darryl and Jolanta Hanstein.

HOW many penalties have we seen in this World Cup, and how many have been saved? So far most of the matches have been exciting with (very) late scores, brilliant shots at goal and incredible saves. Mind you, some games have been just plain boring. As an Englishman (although I probably identify more as a South African these days) I should have been on my feet on Tuesday evening when the Poms took on Columbia, but I found myself wondering how England would do against real opposition. The Belgian loss showed how vulnerable the English defence is, and the defensive (pass back to the goalkeeper) tactics against the South Americans will not work against better opposition. Rather attack and lose than lose playing a defensive game. With an apparent clean run now to the final (they play Sweden, not the strongest opposition, on Saturday) my money is still on Brazil to walk away 2018 champs.

THOUGHT for the week: “Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.”

BEST regards as always, The Team

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