Neighbourly Notes – 23 May 2019

FATHER AND SONS: Albert Whitfield, centre, celebrated his 91st birthday last Sunday (May 17) and is seen here with sons Andrew, left, and Ben who helped him celebrate the special day.

THERE was a little confusion this week when the municipality turned off the water supply to town on Tuesday in order to carry out maintenance work and improve the electrical supply to the system. Some people simply hadn’t seen the notices and were surprised by their sudden lack of water even though the notice was published on the TotT web page, its Facebook page and group and on Twitter as early as Friday last week (always look to the TotT online presence where we will continue to post important notices). By midday on Tuesday some taps were running dry as the pipes from the Sarel Hayward Dam began to empty and the pressure dropped. Residents in the low-lying areas of town only noticed the water situation later in the afternoon or evening. The water was reportedly switched back on by 8am on Wednesday, however, residents in high-lying areas were complaining nothing was coming out of their taps by midday.

A RECENT Facebook post by MultiSecurity regarding the control room’s relocation to Port Elizabeth had many of their clients expressing concern that response times may be compromised. Clinton Millard of MultiSecurity came to TotT’s offices to explain that MultiSecurity and Atlas Security are now in partnership and that the Port Alfred control room was still 100% operational. Read the story on page 4 for more information.

THIS weekend there are two events that should not be missed. Firstly there is the Mantis Community Upliftment Programme taking place at the Fish River Resort for youth golf development. Up to 40 youths from the area are expected to take part in a weekend of fun and golfing experience where the kids will have an opportunity to play on an 18-hole golf course. The event is free and will run from Friday May 24 to Sunday May 26. The second major event this weekend is the long-awaited celebration of the completion and opening of the Bathurst Toposcope. The event begins at 3.30pm and everyone is invited to join in. The intention is to make this important historic site inclusive of both the 1820 Settlers and the Xhosa people.

THE first parliamentary session was scheduled for yesterday (Wednesday) and the country held its collective breath to find out if new speaker and former chair at the national council of provinces, Thandi Modise, could keep control of the EFF who, following the recent elections, have increased the number of seats they hold in parliament from 25 to 44 (the ANC lost 19 seats and now sit at 230 and the DA lost five seats down to 84). Still, with other controversial cadres such as Malusi Gigaba and Baleka Mbete having pulled their nominations to parliament (not necessarily altruistically but perhaps to protect their ministerial pensions) there are still controversial figures standing for positions such as Bathabile Dlamini, Mosebenzi Zwane, and Nomvula Mokonyane, not to mention the unrepentant Ace Magashule (who is also heavily implicated in the Estina Farm scandal), so we can look forward to lots more controversy in the coming months.

IT appears that public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was again caught short in her defence of the report she issued on the Estina Farm debacle in the Free State where the infamous Guptas looted the Vrede community of over R100m (R30m of which was used to fund the equally infamous Gupta Wedding at Sun City). Mkhwebane seems incompetent to say the least, or a collaborator in state capture at worst. After being slammed by the same court following her final report on Bankorp, Mkhwebane made recommendations that the state treasury’s mandate should be changed. These recommendations were found to be flawed her ability and knowledge of the job was severely criticised. For the court to have to point out that her report is unconstitutional highlights her total lack of understanding of the constitution of our country, the very foundation of our democracy. Now, after a similar ruling on her ability it is surely time Mkhwebane step down or be removed and a competent person (in the ilk of former public protector Thuli Madonsela) put in her place.

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day next week, with good wishes and many happy times for many more years ahead, especially for Ted Matthews, Anton Gouws, Billy Patterson, Jean Bothomley, Kenneth Holt, Eileen Moody, Duzi Mklaipi, Jacques Scheepers, Julie Bessinger, Hester du Plessis, Alf Beavis, John Edmund, Mark Burgess, Nosise Silatsha, Mxolisi Mgeni, Chris Alexandre, Robey Pretorius, Antoinette Swartz, Candida Goeda, Caleb Kieck, Mike Whelan, Jesse Vogel, Graeme Kelbrick, Zelda Odendaal, Candy Dell, Terri Stander, David Haig, Ted Phillips, Yvette Eloff, Ron Ball, Qondile Mthwalo, Natalie Horn, Lisa Fonseca, Mabel Coetzer, Peggy Schuddinh, Laura Coetzee, Natalie Okonski Wantenaar.

BY the way, just a quick thought about some of our nonagenarians who had birthdays recently. Thelma du Preez turned 90 as did May Bennett and, last week, my good friend Albert (also known as George) Whitfield turned 91. Is it just that I’m getting older or do these and other senior members of our community look really good for their respective ages? Must be the something in the water… when it’s switched on.

CONGRATULATIONS and further success to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary with all good wishes for many more better years ahead, especially for KFC, Stix 2nd Hand Shop, CosiHome, and the Collegiate High and Junior Schools which celebrate their 144 anniversary.

THE initial glow after South Africans elected the current ANC government to continue as the ruling part, and with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise of a fresh, corruption-free parliament, is fading. The local markets and currency are once again responding to international influences and not local ones. With the price of fuel set to increase this month (petrol may, in fact, go down by a few cents, but don’t forget the extra carbon tax coming in June), life is going to become just that little more difficult for the ordinary man (or woman) on the street. With last year’s figures in brackets at the time of going to press the Rand was trading at R14.36 to the Dollar (R12.63), R18.19 to the Pound (R16.83) and R16.04 to the Euro (R14.79). Gold was trading at $1,274.35 per fine ounce ($1,294.62), Platinum to $814 per ounce ($912.05) with Brent Crude Oil at $71.82 per barrel ($78.80).

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, Chris de Wet Steyn, Marian Eaten, Martin Bekker, Trish Solz, Brenda Shelton, Laura-Kate Laguz and Theo Snyman.

OUR sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Jean Wicks who passed away recently. A memorial service will be held on Saturday May 25 at 1pm at the Port Alfred Baptist Church, York Road. Outstanding account to be sent to Joan Wicks, 4 Lancaster Lane, Port Alfred: cell number 083-362-2895.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes for many more even better years ahead to Anthony and Sharon Rudman, Ronnie and Audrey Slaughter, Douw and Simoné Potgieter and Cyril and Laurie Ridden.

THOUGHT for the week: “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

 

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