Neighbourly Notes – 23 August 2018

LET’S GO TO THE CIRCUS: Happy Hours will be putting on another show at the Port Alfred High School hall next Thursday, August 30, and this time it will be a circus show complete with ponies, lions, clowns and, of course, the ringmaster. School principal (Aunty) Tracy Lloyd brought a few of the performers to the Talk of the Town offices recently for a photograph. From left were Isabela Coetzee as the pony, Caleb Kieck as the clown, Travis Jackson as the ringmaster and Kungawu Tukulu as the lion.
Picture: ROB KNOWLES

LET’S begin with the events happening this weekend. First it’s the Port Alfred Rock and Surf Round Robin which takes place at Mpekweni on Saturday, so all you anglers should be ready with your fishing tackle to catch and release some big ones over the weekend. Then it’s the Zevenwacht Wine Tasting Dinner at The Thistle Restaurant at the Royal St Andrews Hotel. And, for some musical entertainment, why not get to Tash’s Craft Bar and Restaurant where Belle and the Beard will be performing? For a more pastoral outing, Sunday sees the Diaz Cross Bird Club that will visit The White’s, Table Farm.

ON to the matter of housing, a burning question in the minds of many in the area and the focus of our front page story this week – is when are the promised houses going to be built? After years and years of promises, people in all areas of Ndlambe want to know when the talk ends and the action begins. Although in recent times the question of housing seems to have been dampened with people demanding land as compensation for enduring years under the heavy yoke of apartheid, and people’s cries for housing have been drowned by those demanding land expropriation without compensation. But the matter of housing should be the main focus. Many people in the area are living in unhealthy and unsanitary conditions, some right next to pig sties or broken and overflowing sewage lines. When the Thornhill project was cut from 5,000 houses to just over 500, then minister of human settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, stated that no more houses could be built at Thornhill until the infrastructure was developed to accommodate additional houses. But very little has been done about it. In particular, the water situation has never been resolved because of the provincially-appointed implementing agent supplying water and pipelines, Amatola Water. Appointed almost a decade ago to resolve water issues in the area by pumping water to areas that required it, to date, the only thing Amatola Water appears to have achieved is wasting money. Ndlambe municipality should probably have serious words with the province about such an important issue and, if they get no luck there, escalate the matter to government. Perhaps when previous mayors and municipal managers made their plans, they just assumed that Amatola Water would deliver and, of course, the municipality had no choice but to use Amatola Water as this was the provincially-appointed agent. But seriously, a joke’s a joke but this has gone on for far too long. Promising houses when there is no infrastructure, particularly water, but also sewerage systems, electricity and roads, will not be allowed. These issues are the starting point for a comprehensive development plan, so Ndlambe needs to get its act together before it makes any more rash promises. The people have already shown they are willing to protest, not always peacefully, the apparent inaction on the part of the municipality. It won’t be long now before such protests begin again.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone enjoying a special day in the week ahead, especially Olivia Prince, Hilton Keeton, Daphne Howarth, Mary Long, Gordon Goff, Gys Waller, Stan Webber, Susan Nel, Tammy Johnson, the Scheeper’s twins – Brodwyn and Andrico, Neville Hope, Carel Marais, Jacqui Krige, Tracey Wright, Christina Chitsiga, Minnie Jacobs, Alison Colville Reeves, Ettienne Marais, Jill Macregor, John Potter-Sayman, Ross Elliott, Tina Hon, Burnette Pieterse, Zonke Williams, Jayden Wilson, Sheila Timothy, Marion Kelly, Jake Lacey, Mollie Seeney, Wendalyn Kelbrick, Reay Squires, Megan Hobson, Lionel Timm, Mandla Hendele, Harvey Pike, Bobby Cheetham, Dawn Hains, Br Mario Colussi.

ANNIVERSARY congratulations and continued success to all businesses or organisations celebrating an anniversary at this time of the year, especially to Falcon Crest Self Catering Cottage and B&B in Port Alfred on their 13th anniversary, Damant Lodge (44) The Sandbar Restaurant, Quest, Standerwick Nursery, Root 72, Kidd Co, Nemato Sunshine Spar, The Grace and Truth Church, Kenton-on-Sea Primary School and Sunshine Coast Hospice.

THE fall in the value of the rand has had a serious impact on the economy, and the high price of fuel is exacerbating an already depressed market. Despite minister of energy, Jeff Radebe discussing the fuel price this week (a week early neither he nor any of his department bothered to pitch to a meeting of the parliamentary committee on energy) there are still no answers. This has led to ever-escalating prices in our retail stores and a dramatic cut in consumer spending. If the figure does not improve this quarter, SA could find itself in another technical recession (if we are actually out of the previous one). That makes it very unattractive to investors and will result in more job losses. And after the mining houses declared they would have to make cut-backs, and with the threat of load shedding due to industrial action at mines and at Eskom, we could be in for more hard, cold winter nights in candlelight. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, Gold was trading at $1,198.58 per ounce ($1,287.15), Platinum at $800.55 per ounce ($984.75) and Brent Crude Oil at $73.63 per barrel ($51.87). The Rand was trading at R14.27/$ (R13.24), R18.43/£ (R16.94) and R16.57 to the Euro (R15.59).

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, Rowena Collin and Chris de Wet Steyn.

OUR sympathy and special thoughts to the family and friends of Helen Otto who passed away Saturday August 18. May wonderful memories of time spent together bring comfort to you in your sadness.

DEEPEST sympathy to the family and friends of Esmé Coleman, who passed away recently. A memorial service will be held on Saturday August 25 at Port Alfred Baptist Church at 11am.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations to all couples enjoying this wonderful occasion, especially Brian and Sheila Penny, Neville and Rita Hope, Bob and Mary Hobbs, Wesley and Janine Sparg, Rudi and Ava Beukes, Lynn and Janet Stirk.

HEARTIEST congratulations to high school sweethearts, Warren Bowdler and Michelle de Vos who tied the knot on Saturday 18 August 2018. We wish you many happy healthy years together.

THOUGHT for the week: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”.

BEST regards as
The Team

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