THERE was a lot of activity at the Royal St Andrews Hotel on Tuesday where new Eastern Cape premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane announced his provincial cabinet, which included six women and four men. He said that he was humbled to have been chosen to lead the province and that both he and the ANC in general did not want to laud victory over their opponents but rather be grateful and show humility in the party’s re-election. Mabuyane said that he would root out corruption wherever it was found and gave a commitment to ensure prosperity and safety for all. He said that the ANC had avoided an upset and that they should regard themselves lucky that the people of SA had given them another chance to manage the affairs of the province. Only time will tell if Mabuyane will prove correct but, in the meantime, he will head his cabinet and keep a careful eye on their achievements to ensure they do the right things. He said performance was the criteria his MECs would be measured on and those who did not do a good job would be replaced.
THE Bathurst Toposcope was relaunched on Saturday after renovations that entailed fixing the site (which has been continuously vandalised) and adding six new cairns to represent the tribal leaders who occupied the area at the time of the border wars. It was great to see all races interacting as they congregated around the monument, all having a good time together in this newly revamped heritage site. Well done to Historic Bathurst, the Lower Albany Historical Society and many other organisations and individuals who helped in the restoration of this important monument, the first truly integrated monument in the country.
ANYONE for golf? It was great to see 40 young people from the area being given such a great experience, all thanks to the vision and persistence of Fish River Resort general manager Ashley Palm. In conjunction with Stenden South Africa, the Mantis Collection (which owns and/or operates boutique hotels around the world and is based in the Eastern Cape) set up workshops for the children and taught them basic life skills along with the game of golf. And the kids spent Friday and Saturday nights staying at the hotel, a rare treat that none of them had previously experienced. When I arrived on Saturday afternoon I could see that despite their enthusiasm, the children were very well behaved and attentive and, according to Palm, they had been well behaved throughout the entire weekend. Watching them take practice swings was an experience in itself as, having only picked a golf club on Friday for the first time, it was clear they had learnt a lot from their weekend. Thanks must go to Palm, his staff at the Fish River Resort and the Mantis Collection for providing this level of training for our youngsters.
THIS weekend will start with the annual Fisherman’s Feast at the Kenton Town Hall by Rotary Club of Kenton-on-Sea on Friday evening as well as a Bayede wine evening at Niche in Van der Riet Street. On Saturday, watch out for the Old Andreans Reunion breakfast function at MyPond Hotel. Then there is the Port Alfred Sport Shooting Club meeting. The Bathurst Dog Show is on at the Village Green and you can enter on the day at 8am. For all you hungry people, there is the Potjiekos Competition at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club that begins at 3.30pm. Looking for a bargain? Then perhaps the Garage Sale at 25 Tuna Road in Port Alfred could be the place to be. Finally there is another food and wine pairing at Graze by the River on Saturday evening. For more information on these and other events in and around Ndlambe.
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 Edna Robey, Louise Wilks, June Jones , Nikki Bendeman, Bruce Lloyd, Kathy Knight, Bruce Venters, Crystal Carelse, Jessica Maritz, Kevin Heny, Cassandra Griffiths, Dylan Shardelow, Gwen Arnison, Eddie Bentley, Elzaan van Heerden, Jocelyn Guest, Moira Hilton-Barber, Matthew Thorp, Ceagen van Rensberg, Lyn Lapham, Celesto Scheepers, Andy Jones, Sue Langley, Terry West, Bonita Skipper, Penny Elliott, Lou Coetzee, Noluthando Budaza, Raymond Webber, Mabel Coetzer, Pat Whitfield, Cynthia Wise, Anne Fella, Karen Booysen, Deb Spenceley and Anelle Groenewald.
CONGRATULATIONS and further success to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary. Good wishes for many better years ahead, especially for Cycle Asylum, Compudoc Computer Services (20 years).
AFTER a fairly good week last week, the bottom appeared to drop out of the rand this week as the stalling of announcing the new cabinet, the mining sector challenges and several other local issues came to light. However, the real problem is the uncertainty of trade talks with China and potential conflict in the Middle East as these are hampering developing markets around the world. Also, be aware of the new carbon tax on fossil fuels that will come into effect on Saturday that will see fuel prices escalate. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets, the Rand was trading lower at R14.79 to the Dollar (R12.68), R18.71 to the Pound (R16.78) and R16.50 to the Euro (R14.60). Gold was trading at $1,283.44 per fine ounce ($1,309.49), Platinum at $794.00 per ounce ($907.15) with Brent Crude Oil at $69.66 per barrel ($ 75.47).
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, Zelda Neethling, Chris de Wet Steyn, Marian Eaten, Martin Bekker, Trish Solz, Brenda Shelton, Laura-Kate Laguz and Theo Snyman.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes for many more even better years ahead to Malcolm and Penny Noel, Gary and Joan Boucher, Arthur and Lynne Manning, Johan and Kittie Joubert.
THOUGHT for the week: “Too much happens to people in life, for us to be able to understand all of it – but we do know good minds (and intentions) working together is always better than going it alone.”
BEST regards as always,