HAPPY Human Rights Day! Thursday is a national holiday and, with all the load-shedding we are experiencing we probably all need to take a rest. Unfortunately, many companies have been dramatically affected by the lack of power and we extend our sympathies to anyone whose business is suffering or employees who may find themselves out of work or without pay because their company cannot continue to operate.
TO begin, the first of four rounds in the King of the Kowie surfing competition is happening at East Beach today (Thursday) from 8am until the afternoon. As it is likely there will be more load-shedding East Beach sounds like it could be the place to be. However, although we still need it, let’s hope the rain holds off so that this round can be completed.
THE Lower Albany Historical Society is also meeting today for its AGM at Settlers Park from 10am. After the AGM there will be a talk by professor Pat Irwin titled “The Battle of Grahamstown, April 22 1819”. The topic is particularly relevant since we are approaching the 200th anniversary of the battle.
THE Port Alfred Art Club will be meeting at the Bob McKenzie gallery on Wharf Street on Saturday where McKenzie will speak about his artwork and answer questions. The meeting will begin at the gallery at 10am and visitors are welcome.
IF you are in the Makhanda area on Saturday, why not attend the ‘Commemoration of African Heroes and Heroines’, to be held at the Princess Zila Lobengula Museum, Fingo Village, Makhanda? The start time for the event is 11am, and it will end at 2pm.
EVEN President Cyril Ramaphosa says Eskom load-shedding is a crisis for the country, but recognition of the fact does little to alleviate the problem. Many companies are finding it difficult to keep their heads above water during this highly stressful time. Current estimates are that each day of Stage 4 load shedding costs the country R4-billion (a billion is 1,000 million – a very large amount). With Eskom currently in debt to the tune of R400-billion, what was the world’s third largest power utility has been plundered by government and their allies in the private sector and is now technically bankrupt. The current situation is untenable and could ultimately lead to a total nationwide shutdown with horrific consequences to the South Africa economy. Nuclear power from Russia was originally proposed but has been shown to be entirely non-viable although some ministers don’t seem to understand and are still advocating nuclear as the solution to the problem. Unions are anxious that jobs will be lost if power generation is privatised. But what if Eskom collapses? How many jobs will be lost then? And blaming the situation on the age of the current infrastructure is just a smokescreen. The government led by the ANC has “owned” this infrastructure for the last 25 years, so surely it was their job to maintain and build new power stations (which was halted by the Mbeki administration in the late 1990s). And the two they have built since then (Medupi and Kusile) are complete failures and still costing millions each day they are not in operation.
GREETINGS and good wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday next week, especially Anthony Bowdler, Meagan Alexander, Tricia Border, Melissa Spira, Lauren Randall, Merle Thorp, Marilyn Charter, Mark Kieck, Lauren Botha, Lynn Manning, Jeanette Botha, Mervyn Kanes, Adele Steck, Hannah Beukes, Amillia Snyman, Susan Hunt, Rocky Pang, Nadine Vertue, Belinda Nel, Bronwyn Norman, Brendan Samuel, Aimee Roesstorff, Walter Probart, Sallie Bryant, Jan Scholtz, Jarryd King, Jean Pierre Hunke, Julie Davidson, Babette Vermaak, Cherie Antrobus, Jaden McKinnon, Ethan Tulk, Janay Clayton, Paula Stander, Lindi Dickie, Michelle Henn, Wendy Lenard, Nicole Muller, Wilf Slade, Theo Botha, Mary Hobbs, Jean Thomas, Rosalie Hare, Bettie Hodges, Richard Pullen, Sandra Catherine and Denise Clayton.
HAPPY 70th milestone to Dalien Pachonick from Bushmans from the TotT team as well as Owen and Colleen, Lorraine and Graham. May you celebrate many more.
EVERY success for many more years to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary. Best wishes to The Kenton Workshop and the 109th anniversary of the Full Gospel Churches of SA.
ACCORDING to the South African debt clock (a real-time update of the state of the South African accumulated debt) the current national debt is just over R3 trillion (US$210 billion). And Eskom’s R400 billion debt, as well as the debt of other SEOs (SAA, Transnet, SAPO and others) are not included in this figure. With Moody’s (the only ratings agency that still holds South Africa above the Junk Status barrier) about to give its opinion it is unlikely that their rating will be favourable. If we drop to non-investment level we will see even more jobs lost and industry closing shop and moving to somewhere where they can get a good return on their investment. At the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R14.39 to the Dollar (R11.95), R19.12 to the Pound (R16.74) and R16.34 to the Euro (R14.67). Commodities were trading with Gold at $1,308.10 per fine ounce ($1,311.61), Platinum is at $835.05 per ounce ($956.40) and Brent Crude Oil at $68.12 per barrel ($ 67.42).
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, Chris de Wet Steyn, Marian Eaten, Martin Bekker and Brenda Shelton.
IT was tragic to hear of the death of our friend and columnist Bob Ford. An obituary is included in this week’s paper but it is with sincerely sympathy from all at Talk of the Town to the family and friends of Bob. His insightful and interesting stories of people from the area were entertaining, enlightening and will be missed by all.
BEST wishes for many more and congratulations to the following couples on their upcoming wedding anniversaries – Clifford and Candy Dell, Craig and Melissa Keevers, Mark and Marizka Burgess, Carl and Natasha Haller.
THOUGHT for the week: “For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat”.
BEST regards as always,