MANDELA Day came and went and thousands, perhaps millions of South Africans – and many others throughout the world – celebrated the centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s birth. Giving 67-minutes of your time once a year is hardly going to break the bank (if time is money), but this year in our area was distinctly different. Usually Talk of the Town is inundated with phone calls from businesses, clubs and societies as well as individuals and groups who want to show that they were contributing to the ideals of Mandela, but this year the phones remained ominously silent. It is probably a reflection of our economy, and particularly that of the embattled Eastern Cape, that people are unable to give. But the question must be, why wait until July 18 each year to help others. Shouldn’t we be doing this all year round?
ALL around SA servicemen and women, active and retired, remembered a tragic but necessary battle of the First World War that took place at Delville Wood in France between July 14 and September 3 1916. Port Alfred Moths commemorated the occasion at the Shell Hole along with other retired servicemen on Sunday. The Moths standing in two-handed salute and visitors with heads bowed, listened as Jon Jamieson read out the names of 92 South African soldiers who died on that first day of battle. In fact, it was stated that of the thousands of men who enlisted and joined the allied forces when the war began in 1914, none were still active, most of them dead, when the Battle of Delville Wood was fought. That is a very sobering thought. Today there are few if any people who would even understand the horror of that day; the screams of agony as wave after wave of shells pounded them in their cramped, wet, muddy and disease-ridden trenches, the smells of cordite and fear and blood. Let us not forget the horrors of that day , or war in general, for fear of repeating them.
THE Border Eastern Livestock Farmers Day took place on Thursday last week and heard from speakers experienced businessman John Westwood and Frans Cronje of the Centre for Risk Analysis (part of the Institute for Race Relations) who both spoke of change. Westwood’s focus was on developing strategies to ensure businesses not only survive but thrive, irrespective of the economic climate. His message was essentially that maintaining the status quo will lead to stagnation and eventual death of a business. He pointed out that successful businesses were dynamic, specifically mentioning Capitec Bank as a leading example of doing things the competition is not doing. Cronje, on the other hand, was focused (as most of us are) on the land issues, specifically expropriation without compensation (EWC), and pointed out that it was not land that was under threat. He also said that change was inevitable, but that EWC was a massive obstacle to investment, particularly with overseas investors. While political parties mull over the idea of EWC, the EFF is going ahead with land-grabs, and are driving the process but not necessarily in the right direction. Without investment owning land with nothing to grow and, in any case, no market to sell to will benefit no one. We must begin a proper dialogue and not listen to rants and raves of people who have a political, rather than a social agenda.
CONGRATULATIONS on another year and very happy birthday wishes to everyone celebrating such an occasion in the coming week, especially Audrey Geyer, Marion Bartlett, Len Eaton, Heather Grimbeek, Janet Thatcher, Val Human, Norma Cockcroft, Adriaan Potgieter, Stephanie Forward, Douglas Haig, Vukile Balura, Clifford Dell, Leonora Goodwin, Roy Guest, Sue Croukamp, Judy Henshall, Mauritz van der Merwe, James Taljard, David Purdon, Jessie Berry, Brenda Spilkin, Shirley Cock, Dave Macgregor, Wilma Jurgenson, Carol and her daughter Abigail Hartzenberg, Forbes Coutts, Barbara Matthews, Bryn Lewis, Julie Slizuik, Maureen Thierson, Alex van der Merwe, Richard Legg, Angela King, Jean Haselhurst, Eric Taylor, Dawn Goble, Russell Geard, Rose Hare-Bowers, Mavi Venables.
BUSINESS wishes and the all best for your continuing success to all places having an anniversary, especially L&W Couriers and OK Furniture.
THE word on the grapevine is that the petrol price may face another increase by as much as 26c per litre in August. It is hard to contemplate how much this will affect the man-on-the-street. We will just have to wait and see. At the same time, the price of Brent Crude has actually dropped significantly this week. Perhaps because of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Saudi Arabia where has asked that they increase production to help lower prices? With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against and as we were going to press, the Rand was trading at R13.35/$ (R12.93), R17.40/£ (R16.85) and R15.52 to the euro (R14.91). Gold was trading at $1,224.76 per fine ounce ($1, 240.12), Platinum was trading at $831.60 per ounce ($927.10) and Brent Crude Oil was at $71.54 per barrel ($48.71).
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.
SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Wilma Cusens who passed away Friday July 13. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she will be greatly missed.
BEST wishes to Johnathan Britz and Kat Mita who were recently engaged.
WEDDING anniversary greetings and best wishes for many more years of love and happiness to everyone having a wedding anniversary, especially Claude and Susan Mclellan.
HOW about the French? Well done to them on winning the Fifa Wolrd Cup. But some may say it was really Africa who won, considering the number of former colonies represented in the team.
THOUGHT for the week: “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you today just the way you are”.
BEST regards as always, The Team.