ONCE again, the weekend is a little short on events but, to end the week, Port Alfred High School is holding The Greatest Show at the school hall, a music and dance spectacular on Thursday evening (no over 25’s, ‘cos you guys might spoil the fun) and again on Friday evening. Then, over the weekend, Karate returns to the Fish River Resort, and I’m really looking forward to that. The annual Royals Golf Tournament takes place at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club this weekend with the prize-giving on Sunday afternoon.
LAST Thursday was International Mandela Day, and lots of people spared 67 minutes to give back to their communities or assist people who are less fortunate. We had schoolchildren serving the elderly with cakes, fruit and sandwiches, companies that invited the less fortunate to food and the like, as well as a commitment to service such as the vets volunteering at the SPCA to neuter animals. The world is a better place when we give willingly of ourselves. Not everyone can afford to give money, so service is always welcome to those who have little or nothing. But, while it is a good thing that people think of the less fortunate, the question must be asked; is 67 minutes a year really enough? The differential between the wealthy and the poor has been exacerbated over the past quarter century due to a lack of service, specifically access to housing and utilities such as sewerage, electricity, water, and education. It is important to recognise that our 67 minutes of service is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to alleviating the plight of the poor and destitute in our country. Perhaps we could all do a little more?
WHAT a mess! I find it a little embarrassing that people overseas can see the utter confusion South Africans face as their political parties factionalise and people are made to choose sides. The commissions of inquiry, the courts (and those implicated) rejecting the findings of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the troubles at Eskom, Transnet, Denel, the Post Office and most other state-owned enterprises all make outsiders consider that this country is really at an ultimate low. But South Africans are a resilient group. The government’s plans to strengthen the country’s economy, encourage international investment and thereby create new jobs seem to have lost their shine on international investors and, chances are, Moody’s, the only one of the top three ratings agencies that hasn’t dropped the country below investment status, might have a change of mind in the next months. Until we directly address issues such extreme poverty society will polarise into those who have and those that don’t.
BORIS Johnson is the new British Prime Minister and joins the ranks of Disraeli, Churchill and Thatcher who steered the country out of harm’s way during tumultuous times in the past. Today Britain faces such a crisis with Brexit due to be finalised on October 31. Johnson says the country will leave the European Union on Halloween even if no deal has been agreed. Will he become the hero of the hour? Because the alternative is potentially disastrous, particularly with respect to imports and exports, and the Northern/Southern Irish border is still an issue (Eire will remain in Europe while Northern Ireland will be part of the UK that leaves the union). Good luck Boris, you’re going to need as much as you can get. And try not to affect the South African markets too much as you sort out your own problems.
HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead, congratulations especially to Forbes Coutts, Kelly Brittle, Wilma Jurgenson, Shirley Cock, David Macgregor, mother and daughter Carol and Abigail Hartenzberg, Julie Slizuik, Bryn Lewis, Valerie Wynn, Julie Bagshaw-Smith, the Strohm Quads celebrating their 27th birthdays – Jason, Candice, Amy and Byron, Samuel Hawkins, Val Baker, Phillip Smith, Awie Gretton, Billy Woods, Ann Hulley, Mattie Wood, Dagma Rampf, Lyndon Bartlett, Barbara Wesson, Patrick Atkinson, Brenda Thomas, Tim Dold, Renee Vroom, Kittie Joubert, Doreen Dold, Jean Jacques French, Maureen Thierson, Alex Gordon van der Merwe, Richard Legg, Athol Canny, Neville Henley, Tania Adams, Dion Rieger, Khanyisa Daweti, Gary Bull, Wilma Kruger, Michael Austin, Charmaine Botha, Wendy Coetzee, Mitchum Haupt, Claude Cockcroft, Terri Harrewyn, Bruce Steele-Gray, Kei Macgregor, Rob Pringle, Sue Broom, Jean Hazelhurst, Dawn Goble and Mary Pottinger
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and every success for your continued success to Coastal Spares (PA), Jumbo Store (Grahamstown), PA Kenrich Motors, PA Cement Products, plus 112 years of Scouting in the world this year.
THE South African Reserve Bank cut interest rates last week by 25 basis points (0.25%) to 6.5%. This is an attempt to stimulate the economy by making it a little easier for consumers to save and purchase more of what they require. Of course, it has the opposite effect on investors. However, finance minister, Tito Mboweni’s announcement of a bailout for state-owned enterprises on Tuesday has markets worried. With almost R60 billion for embattled Eskom, and various other billions for SABC, SAA, Denel and others the restructuring process will have to mean job losses, and this will add further pressure on the growing number of unemployed. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R13.91 to the Dollar (R13.24), R17.31 to the Pound (R17.41) and R15.51 to the Euro (R15.50). Gold was trading at $1,4130.30 per fine ounce ($1,244.34), platinum at $861.60 per ounce ($829.35) and Brent Crude oil at $63.99 per barrel ($ 73.87).
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, Marian Eaten, Martin Bekker, Brenda Shelton and Dave Young.
SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Ella Stone (nee Waters) who passed away after a long illness recently. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother she will be greatly missed, by Athole and Elaine and all the family. Rest in peace.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes for many more to all couples celebrating another year together, especially David and Lisa Lawson, Neels and Erika Snyder, Bevan and Linda Edwards and Dale and Leonie Wepener.
THOUGHT for the week: “Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.”
BEST regards as always,