Neighbourly Notes – 13 December 2018

GYMNASTICS MAGIC: It was a clean sweep for Kaylin van Heerden last weekend when she competed in an international rhythmic gymnastics competition in Dubai at the DuGym Cup, where more than 450 gymnasts from over 60 teams and 18 countries competed. Kaylin came first for hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon as well as first overall in FIG level A. Kaylin is the only gymnast in the UAE who holds a Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) Card, enabling her to participate in any official FIG sporting event in the world. Having started her gymnastics career in Port Alfred before moving to Cape Town and then Dubai, Kaylin’s roots are firmly entrenched in the Kowie where her and her family still visit relatives regularly. Congratulations Kaylin!

A WARM welcome to all holidaymakers gracing our fair area. May you have a fabulous holiday and enjoy everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

OUR free holiday supplement, the Sunshine Holiday, is available at outlets where Talk of the Town is sold, as well as from the Tourism office, various hotels, B&Bs and guest houses and, of course, the TotT office at the corner of Miles Street and the R72. It is jam-packed with everything happening over the holiday season, local products and services, interesting places to see and seasonal advice. Talk of the Town will continue to be published weekly, so to all of you out there, happy holidays!

IN case you are wondering, Sanral has committed to leaving the roads in a safe and driveable state over the holidays until their return following the builders’ holidays (on or around January 15) to finish the long-ongoing upgrade of the R72. When finished, on either side of Port Alfred the road will have two climbing lanes and one descending lane. The question is therefore why have they painted a single line exactly down the middle of the R72 (Southwell and Albany)? Let’s not get used to wide lanes on the R72 as this will change when the roadworks resume in January.

THE council’s last meeting of the year took place at the Cannon Rocks Beach Suite last week, and the councillors celebrated the end of another year in office with a braai when the formal business concluded. But, while the building itself is nicely appointed and in a very quiet and beautiful part of our coastline it is, essentially, another white elephant that is hardly used. This is just one of many examples of grant money being used to build facilities for the municipality that stand unused. The Titi Jonas Community Centre in Thornhill is another example, as was, until recently, the emergency response centre at Bushmans River. Now the municipality is talking about an artisan training centre in Ekuphumleni as well as an eco-sun village in Alexandria. The message from the people is that they need houses with working sewerage systems, water and electricity. The trip to Germany to see other eco-sun projects cost the municipality (and that means residents), and the “expenses” are still being argued by those who took the trip. This money should have been put to better use resolving immediate problems in our area, not on trips to overseas locations. As mayor Phindile Faxi admitted in a previous council meeting, Ndlambe is developing a reputation as the municipality with the most travelled politicians and administrators. While thinking in the long-term is admirable, there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Roy Leming, Brenda Wansbury, Kevyn Letley, Kerri Stevenson, Bradley Odendaal, Kerry Warren, Justin Hackart, Warwick Heny, Alister Harman, Heather Samuel, Debra Harris, Karli-Di Owsley, “Digger” Garden, Natalie Kaschula, Ingrid Hilpert, Jenny van Rensburg, Deidre Japp, Kelly Ferreira, Grace Phillips-Page, Hendrik le Roux, Audrey Winterbottom, Joy Theunissen, Laura Forrester, Christine Haworth, Wilma Graham, Greta Snaith, Roland Shone, Carol de Beer and Sandra Bradfield.

IT is always amusing, maybe a little sad as well, to see how politicians sing their own praises when the rand strengthens against international currencies, as though their actions have influenced international market trends. The same politicians even take credit when the price of Brent Crude decreases, as though they had something to do with it. Brexit is causing investors to pull out of riskier projects. The arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, has caused more tension in the trade war between the US and China. These are the issues that affect our economy, not the petty politicking of cronies and comrades in our political system. While vile racists like Andile Mngxitama remain unpunished for their hate speech, and mainstream media even gives Mngxitama an opportunity to “explain” himself (no such platform was offered to Sparrow or Momburg, and they did not advocate killing anyone) this country will remain a financial risk to the international community. With last year’s figures in brackets the Rand was trading at R14.29 (R13.64) to the US dollar, the pound was R17.91 (R18.21) and the Euro R16.18 (R16.03). The gold price was $1,243.61 ($1,242.52), platinum was $834.90 ($889.50) and Brent Crude was trading at $60.86 ($64.21).

CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses enjoying another anniversary with wishes for many more successful years ahead. Good luck to Graze by the River (in Van Der Riet Street), BVSA (formerly known as MR Financial Services), Halyard’s boat cruise Spirit of Adventure, The Black Rock Restaurant and River Wild Safaris and Motor Mate.

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. “Sterkte” to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Marian Eaton, Malcolm Cock and Brenda Shelton.

SINCERE condolences and kind thoughts to the family and friends of Brian Penny who passed away on Friday December 7. May you feel the warm embrace of loving memories and hear happy echoes of all the good times and many years you shared together.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and every good wish for your continuing happiness to all couples celebrating this special occasion, especially Jonathan and Lisinda Hanstein, Dave and Carina Elms, Martin and Kim Nel, Gavyn and Gwyneth Letley, Frikkie and Nicola Coetzee, Ray and Julie Davidson, Richard and Mary McGhie, Sipho and Tando Matthews, Dennis and Moira Stirk, Ruan and Danielle Cannon, Doug and Edie Galpin, Vernon and Marie Jakins, Justin and Lynda Haller, Mervyn and Trevllyne Woods, Lourens and Elouise Botha, Judy and Dawie van Wyk, Albert (aka “George”) and Pat Whitfield, and Pat and Richard Holtshousen.

THOUGHT for the week: “Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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