Neighbourly Notes – 7 February 2019

KEEP CALM AND FLIP PANCAKES: Full Gospel Church ladies made and sold pancakes as part of the church’s fundraising efforts. They are, from left, Petro Nel, Estelle van der Merwe, Eileen Lynch, Debbie Olivier, Fanna Vogel, and Marie Britz. Picture: NTOMBI MSUTU

“MAY you live in interesting times,” the ancient Chinese curse certainly holds true in Ndlambe at the moment with “interesting” things happening all the time. It is important to understand that interesting does not mean good, just something we need to think about. Take for example the recent Bathurst protests where residents were told not to attempt to go to work for fear of being beaten or worse. A similar threat on residents was made in Nemato early on Wednesday although that only lasted for a few hours before the curfew was lifted. Perhaps the bigger problem with these interesting events is that they prevent people from using the roads to and from Port Alfred, thus causing businesses to lose money and the possibility that employees will lose their jobs. Another major problem is the destruction that accompanies these protests with burning tyres, destroying road surfaces and potentially causing brush fires (particularly at this time of severe drought), buildings burnt, telephone poles knocked down and burnt nd more. Similar protests have occurred in Kenton/Ekuphumleni, as well as Alexandria over the last few years with similar outcomes. In the previous Bathurst protest, residents were complaining about ward 5 councillor Andile Marasi while, on Wednesday in Nemato, it was apparently regarding pre-election promises made by councillors during election time that are never implemented once the councillor is elected. But, who do these protests really harm? How much money needs to be found to repair the damage caused before any can be found to rectify the problem? How does it assist the cause by preventing (and, in many cases, threatening) ordinary people from earning a living? We have a constitutional right to protest, but there must be a better way to air grievances. It’s time to rethink “protest ” action.

XOLISA Runeli was sworn in as a PR (proportional representation) councillor at the council chambers on Tuesday afternoon with Ndlambe speaker Vivian Maphaphu and a few municipal officials present. The EFF, the party for which Runeli stands, has been responsible for several clashes with police over the past year or so, some of them ending in violence from both sides. We wish him well in his appointment and trust that he will have the character and strength to ensure no one is hurt on either side during protest action. May I suggest that he gets to know how the municipality operates as several of the existing councillors seem to have a problem understanding that taking money from one or more items on the council vote register means that service delivery in another area will be adversely affected.

THE water crisis that plagued greater Port Alfred over the last week, seems to be over and, with luck, we can rely on a constant flow of potable water from here on. That is, unless we experience most failures in infrastructure or load-shedding from Eskom.

THE initial euphoria of the new year has now passed and we can look forward to some great events coming up in April, the next period when the area receives thousands of visitors. First it is the Bathurst Agricultural Show on April 5 to 7, the Eastern Cape’s oldest and most prestigious show of its kind. This will be followed by the Amanzi Challenge over the Easter weekend and for a week beyond. The organisers of both events are currently organising their pre-event meetings, dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s” in preparation. Talk of the Town will keep our readers informed of all the exciting news as we learn about it. These two events represent some of the best opportunities for local businesses to increase their market exposure before the host of visitors to the area during this period, so savvy businessmen and women should get in contact with the organisers of both events to see how they can assist and, in turn, benefit in making 2019 their best year yet.

CONGRATULATIONS and greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead. Happy birthday, especially to Keenen Hendricks, Kris van Zyl, Tertia Hockin, Phumela Pase, Norman Wedderburn, Rob Knowles, Nonyameko Siyolo, Juan Bessinger, Rocky Rowe, Jessie Bohnen, Hillary Bryant, Graham Pearce, Des Wright, Suzanne Fitchet, Fay Smith, Rowen Loretz, Roy Bowles, Jack Malan, Blessing Nkosi, Melanie Noel, Jenny le Roux, Michelle Swanepoel, Leonie Fourie, Brandon Wicks, Jeremy Elliott, Megan Sharrock, John-Luke Collyer, Frikkie Coetzee, Marlene Wiese, Eben Groenewald, Jenny Waters, John Forster, Greg Timm, Wendy Pieterse, Gloria Kamkam, Hendrik Koekemoer, Sandy Thomas, Mike Neave, Magda Loubser, Edmund Hall, Marilyn Michau, Linda Smuts, Russell Kearney.

BUSINESS and service organisation anniversary congratulations with wishes for further success for the future to Jumbo Store, The Jewellery Shop, 2nd Time Around, The Port Alfred Hospital and Woollgar Attorneys.

THE US, UK, France, Germany and Switzerland passed a message to President Cyril Ramaphosa recently to warn him of the possible consequences of not dealing with corruption in the country. They, as we, have endured months and even years listening to testimony of witnesses exposing state capture but have seen few if any real results. The government replied with diplomacy but the ANC wrote a rather disturbing reply calling the signatories “colonisers” and “imperialists ”. The art of diplomacy seems lost on the ruling party. And from a finance perspective, insulting the countries that are going to offer investment in our country is almost certainly not the right thing to do, yet it is a typical “developing nation” response. When will these demagogues learn? With 2018’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R13.48 (R11.97)/$; R17.46 (R16.62)/£ and R15.35 ( R14.78)/ ß. Gold was trading at $1,312.13 ($1,327.12) per fine ounce and platinum was trading at a $819.95 ($999.10), Brent crude was $61.44 ($66.90).

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, Rowena Collin, Marian Eaton, Malcolm Cock and Brenda Shelton.

OUR condolences to the family and friends of Dawn Millar (Pascoe), who passed away in December. A memorial service will be held at the Port Alfred Presbyterian Church on February 9 starting at 3pm.

CONGRATULATIONS to all couples on their anniversaries. Best wishes for many more great years ahead to Lance and Rose Parker, Warren and Kate Venter, Andre and Meryl Uys, Vaughn and Carla de la Mare, Terry and Helen Lansdell, Johny and Astrid Sacks, Warren and Lisa Tarr, Allen and Helen Thompson.

THOUGHT for the week: “The greatest healing therapy in life is friendship and love”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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