Neighbourly Notes – 21 February 2019

MEET THE MEIRINGS: Supporting El Shaddai Christian Academy at its swimming gala held recently at the Port Alfred Indoor Pool, were the Meiring family, from left, Zuney, Babs and Dirk Meiring. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

LET’S begin this week’s Neighbourlies with some local news. The Amanzi Challenge, two weeks of national and international water-sport events, can truly put the Sunshine Coast on the map. The Amanzi Challenge committee met on Tuesday morning at the Royal St Andrews Hotel to finalise the programme and get everyone up to speed. Read the story on page 9. On Tuesday afternoon there was the CPF meeting (see page 2) that discussed the issues around crime in the area, And, on Tuesday evening, the a new batch of Port Alfred High School Interact nominees were inducted into the organisation (page 5). At the PAHS event it was announced officially that headmaster Clive Pearson, will be retiring at the end of the year, and pupils paid a tribute to the man who had mentored them over the years.

THE Sea Cadets, a youth organisation that teaches morality and honesty but also trains students in real-world nautical skills, will be opening again here on the Kowie River in the near future (story on page 4). For some reason (let’s blame technology as it’s an easy target) the youth today don’t seem overly interested in organisations like the Sea Cadets, the Scouts or the Boys’ Brigade. Mind you, enthusiasm for any youth, charity or social-upliftment organisation seems to be waning. In my early days (not antediluvian as some would contend) I was a member of the BB and served as an officer for a few years before my move to South Africa. I was proud to wear the uniform and blow a bugle in the band (my mom, on the one hand, could have done without the bugle practice at the house), but today this seems to be an outmoded idea. Yet, these organisations help in terms of discipline, and when I see videos of kids disrespecting their elders (some even physically assaulting their teachers or others in authority) I am dismayed. And I’m sorry if this upsets people, but the parents must take full responsibility, not the schools or the clubs or friends. We have become a world of do-rights where silliness and apathy are cleverly (and, sometimes, not so cleverly) disguised as liberalism. This is unsustainable as well as being unacceptable, and if our children are to grow up and fix the problems we have caused, they need to learn discipline and youth organisations such as the Sea Cadets and others can help in this regard.

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, and with every best wish for many more to Tracy Willemse, Sue Bradfield, Sonia Nginase, Shirley Pheasant, Cole Gailey, Chloe Rademan, Lisa-Jayne Bezuidenhout, Phillip Swanepoel, Ankia Hunke, Kelly van der Merwe, Terrence Lansdell, Josephine Goliath, Lorna Bradfield, Desmand Hand, Wesley Mcmahon, Carolyn Clarence, Wendy Clayton, Jonathan Steck, Jenna Henning, Jennifer Worrall, Annette Coetzee, Nicole Owen, Pam Taylor, Günter Johannsen, Peter Whittington, Rita Hope, Lorna Els, Teagan Shaddock, Sheryl Ann Drennan, Ange Hutchinson, Andrew Dempers, Chenelle Freeman, Danielle Spaumer, Bianca Twynham, Sophie Bessinger, Felix Clark, Zola Kerr, Caryn Bruyns, Jason Currie, Louise Wiggett, Drewnei Potgieter, Adele Broodryk, Wim Slieker, Greg Short, Allan Nonqulo, Patrick Grafton, Belinda Van Zyl, Jennifer Kukard, Pat Campbell, Monica Watson.

HAPPY belated birthday wishes to Beryl Smith who turned 88 on Tuesday February 19. Hope you had a fantastic day.

EVERY success for many more years to follow are the wishes we are conveying to the following businesses and organisations on another anniversary, especially Adviceworx and Rocky Ridge Farm Stall (en-route to Bathurst).

THE 2019 budget was announced in parliament yesterday (Wednesday) and the country held its breath while Toto Mboweni revealed his maiden budget plan. As we are all aware, State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are not performing and, collectively, have plunged South Africa into a crisis situation with close to R1-trillion worth of debt. Just to put this in perspective, it implies a debt of over R18,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. This is not an exaggeration. The debt will ultimately be paid by the taxpayer, but Mboweni had the job of spreading this debt in a way that South Africans would find acceptable. Yet, the majority of citizens are already living frugally and cannot afford more taxes or higher prices in the shops, but that was inevitably going to happen. Added to this the national elections are just a few months away and the ANC do not want to place any more problems and controversies before their electorate. Some, such as EFF leader Julius Malema, said that corporate taxes should be increase, but this is shortsighted. In the longer term we need international companies to come into the country to create jobs, so we should not just look at today’s problem but rather the debt we will be handing to our children. South Africans are yet again expected to foot the bill for the incompetence of the cadres deployed by the ruling party to mismanage our SEOs. But when will this “New South Africa”, the vision of Mandela and others, ever come to fruition? With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand on Wednesday morning (prior to the budget announcement by the finance minister) was trading at R14.10 to the Dollar (R11.74), R16.00 to the Euro (R14.45) and R18.39 to the Pound (R16.34). Gold was trading at $1,343.53 per fine ounce ($1 329.01), Platinum at $809.70 per ounce ($1 006.95) and Brent Crude trading at $66.40 per barrel ($56.85).

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, Malcolm Cock and Brenda Shelton.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Janet Marie Stirk who passed away peacefully on Saturday February 16. A celebration of her life will be held in the Woodlands garden at Southwell on Thursday February 28 at 2:30pm.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and continued happiness to all couples celebrating this special occasion. Wishes extend to Shawn and Tammy Peet, Allan and Michelle Miles, Trevor and Stephanie Warner, Rob and Sami Schofield, Clive and Christine Haworth.

THOUGHT for the week: “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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