Neighbourly Notes – 6 September 2018

KIND GESTURE: The staff of Old Mutual turned up at the Child Welfare cluster foster home last week to present the children there with gifts. The children were excited and grateful for the donation and gathered around to thank their benefactors. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

AFTER several events were postponed or cancelled last weekend, this weekend is a little less hectic. On Friday there is a Wellness Talk by Elize Ellis in the late afternoon at MyPond Hotel. With all proceeds going to the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen. On Saturday there is the NFB Kowie Challenge on the Kowie River, presented by the Border Canoe Club. There is also a “My Potjie Rules” contest at Tash’s Craft Bar, a fundraiser for SA fisher lady Melissa du Randt where you are invited to buy a plate and watch the rugby. There is also the book launch of Plunderwoestyn, by renowned wildlife author, Christiaan Bakkes, and enjoy an evening of flute, poetry and a three-course meal at the Continental Restaurant & Deli in Kenton-on-Sea.

ON to local matters, and there was a case of child trafficking in Alexandria that was due to take place (or at least begin) at the local magistrates’ court last Thursday but was postponed in order to ascertain the ages and nationalities of the 31 children discovered in the back of a van. After being directed to direct questions to the Hawks (the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation or DPCI), and being given two names as contacts, there were still no replies by the time of going to press. The Hawks may have many other cases on their books, but the public has a right to know what is happening around them, and the police and the Hawks have a responsibility to inform the public as to on-going cases. Simply ignoring requests for information, and specifically not even responding to multiple WhatsApp messages and telephone calls, does not inspire confidence in the system and does nothing to dispel rumours of state capture and other allegations such as favouritism that have been levelled at the DPCI and the legal system in general. As public servants these people are paid by the state and, therefore, South African taxpayers, so they should take the time to inform the public as to what is going on, particularly in their own areas.

AND, while on the subject of law and the courts, the Tonny Donile murder trial continued on Monday and Tuesday this week and was postponed again to enable magistrate Louis Muller to re-read the transcripts of the trial which will undoubtedly take many hours of careful study. The murder of Noel Maddocks happened in August 2016, so it has now been over two years that his family and friends have waited for resolution. While no one wants to convict a man of murder until every detail has been revealed and all sides have had their say, the delays not only have an emotional impact they have a financial one, and greater speed is required to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done. It is clear that someone murdered Maddocks and that person has not yet answered for their crime.

BEST wishes and birthday greetings to everyone who is having a special day in the week ahead, especially Sheldon Amos, John Wilson, Val Smith, Janê Moss, Emily Scholtz, Doreen Pons, Wade Elliott, Kate Venter, Graham Reilly, Derek Fellows, Garnett Westley, Alex Hope-Bailie, Megan Grundling, Lisa Rose Downer, Mason Dell, Taylor Naude, Julia Painting, Jean Atkinson, Rosemary Nelson, Herman Breetzke, Pen Schultz, Nicolas Cock, Timothy Rudman, Elzette Reed, Derryn Willis, Eben Groenewald, RJ Swart, Marion Barnard, Patrick Kenny, Kelly Bradfield, Lionel Wilson, Matthew Neethling, Keith Cunning, Stephanie de Bruin, Heather Tyson, Trish Versfeld, Jordon Faca, twins Natalie and Caroline Ross, Pam Hopper, Clare du Plessis, Colin Wiggett, Ryan Owsley, Lydia Gimbel, Dee Squires, Veronica Mansfield, Alfred Weyer, Joan Greaves, Helen Emslie, Lionel Hunt, Jonty Payne, Phindiwe Kuhkana, Jamie Kleinhans, Jenna Rowe, Thabisa Vukuza, Pietie le Roux, Euthine Shone, John Basson, Dawn Nelson.

BUSINESS anniversary greetings and congratulations for many more years to come to Highway Motors and Buddy’s, Vanessa’s Nail Bar, Coral Cottages, The Holistic Oak.

OH dear, the bottom has fallen out of our currency and this was exacerbated on Tuesday with the news that SA is now suffering yet another technical recession. This is because the economy has shown a negative increase (financial-speak for a decrease) in growth for the second consecutive quarter. There are other factors beyond our control happening elsewhere in the world that affect our growth rate, but that is the price we pay for being listed among the developing economies. Finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, has assured the public that there is a plan to revive the economy. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to China as part of his plan to raise that R1.3-trillion to stimulate business appears to have been fruitful. Yet individuals and companies are unlikely to invest in South African companies when the economy does not present a profitable picture. We hear about governmental plans a lot, but now is the time for action, not talk. The agricultural sector showed the largest decrease and is one of the reasons for the negative growth of 0.75%. I wonder what will happen in this critical sector when and if land is expropriated, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise that food production would remain unaffected by the transfer of land. And petrol only went up by 5c per litre on Tuesday midnight and not the 2c/26c forecasted, so I suppose we should be grateful for that, although that probably won’t happen again anytime soon. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R15.52 to the Dollar (R12.93), R19.90 to the Pound (R16.87) and R17.98 to the Euro (R15.43), Gold trading at $1,194.16 per fine ounce ($1,339.01), Platinum at $791 per ounce ($1,010.80) and Brent Crude Oil at $77.40 per barrel ($53.10).

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.

CONDOLENCES to the family and friends of Arthur Griffin, a former mayor of Port Alfred, who passed away Sunday September 2. Especially to his wife Lois, children Nicola, Donna and Alan and his extended family. A celebration of his life will be held at Tash’s Craft Bar on Sunday September 9 at 12 noon. May wonderful memories of time spent together bring comfort to you in your sadness.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and continued joy for many more years of happiness together, especially to Brett and Teia Neil-Boss, Fred and Heather Tyson, Dave and Jacqui Parsons, Brett and Teia Neil-Boss, Ian and Erna McPherson, Andrew and Judy Elliott, Rafe and Debbie McKinnon.

CONGRATULATIONS and every happiness for your future together to Mr and Mrs Dean and Chantel Nel who tied the knot on Saturday September 1.

THOUGHT for the week: “Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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