Neighbourly Notes – 8 August 2019

UNDERMINING THE PAVING: Trees and bushes growing along the side of Southwell Road will need to be removed to prevent roots from undermining the new pavement currently being laid. Whoever is responsible must get trees and bushes removed or else ratepayers will be responsible for fixing the pavement later after the roadworks are completed. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

HAPPY Women’s Day to all our readers for Friday. Women are at last beginning to establish their rightful place in business, in the workplace and in government and we should all celebrate the women in our lives. However, while we enjoy the public holiday, let us not forget that crime against women is still an issue in our country with domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment still taking place on a daily (perhaps hourly) basis. Let us all strive for equality of the sexes and acknowledge that women represent about half of the population of the world. How can we even talk about democracy and equality while, in some countries, 50% of the population is not considered equal? Let’s all strive to ensure that everyone – irrespective of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, age and other discriminatory factors – are treated equally.

THIS weekend it’s the Bathurst Country Affair, from Friday through to Sunday, and the historic village will be abuzz as visitors swell the ranks of locals to enjoy a weekend of fun, games, art and the famous Bathurst spirit. Good luck to all the organisers and participants and we hope that one of Ndlambe’s major events is a great success this year.

THE Windsong Equestrian Event is another place you should consider when planning what you are going to do this weekend. All three major equestrian events take place, including dressage, show-jumping and cross country. In 2018, there were delicious burgers and other goodies for sale, but you can take your own picnic basket, as well as garden chairs and a blanket, and enjoy the day (or two) with the entire family. Windsong Equestrian Centre is located off the Shaw Park turnoff along the R72.

WORK on the R72 roadworks project proceeded at pace during July and lane markings have now been painted on the road, making it a lot easier to negotiate the up- and downhills. However, it is unlikely the road will be finished any time soon, despite assurances that the project will be finished in September. There is still much to do and, as is the failing of many of the best plans, forward thinking seems to be a tool that not many in authority actually utilise. For example, work on the new sidewalks along Southwell Road (was that part of the original plan or is it in place of the four new robots originally envisioned?) often necessitate the narrowing of the road adjacent to the hospital fields, forcing cars travelling up the hill to move into their right-hand side. The problem is that there is no warning to motorists travel down Southwell Road that other vehicles will be a passing very closely. I have personally witnessed downhill drivers having to adjust suddenly and move sharply to their left in order to prevent an accident. The lines should help, but it is well past time for the project to reach completion. Then the clean-up begins.

THERE have been recent reports of several dogs that appear to have been poisoned by pesticides in the Port Alfred area. Is this a deliberate act by criminals, perhaps attempting to incapacitate guard dogs so that houses can be burgled? Or, perhaps it is just some bad chemicals being used inappropriately by gardeners? Either way, if your dog exhibits signs such as vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness or excessive salivation, you are urged to seek medical advice from a veterinarian straight away. If, however, this is found to be deliberate poisoning of animals, for whatever reason, may the perpetrators be found and face the full might of the law.

A NEW proposal to erect a cell tower, this time at the top of the hill off Southwell Road, is on the cards. This is particularly important to note as so much has already been said about the potential health risks of electromagnetic radiation. Despite there being no proof that radiation from cell towers causes illnesses, including headaches and even some cancers, the argument that no conclusive evidence means that it is safe, is illogical. We all want better communications on our mobile networks, but this cannot come at the risk of people’s health. The question of the transmission and broadcasting of electromagnetic radiation in the form of microwaves will become even more prevalent as the country moves to 5G, and more work needs to be done to determine if these towers cause health problem. In the meantime, we should probably err on the side of caution.

BIRTHDAY congratulations and very best wishes for the year ahead to everyone having a special day this week, especially Nadia Grimbeek, Flora Kuhlane, Peter Smethurst, Alda Elliott, Lara Reed, Angie Botha, Toezie Turner, Nancy Schnehage, Lyn Haig, Elsie Merifield, Craig Robertson, Gill Marcus, Owen Moore, Lynda Clarke, Hannah Coetzee, Megan Waddington, Jimmy Joubert, Barbara Spencer, Sandy Birch, Josh Harvey, Alan Hulley, Sandy Maclaghlan, Daphne MacLachlan, Arleen Naude, Marjorie Henley, Pat Cummings, Travis Dell, Bet Justus, Matthew Steck, Pat Jones, Juane Dorfling, Niki Smuts, Nompilo Njibana, George Morgan, Ian Macpherson, Una Webber, Jay Williams, Eric Strydom, Janene Lynn Turner, Hikash Maharaj, Michael Swanepoel, Yvonne Mackenzie and Jenni Muller.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and all the best for your continued success to Bushman’s Bar and Grill and Hendri Frankenveld’s office at Rosehill Mall.

ECONOMICALLY we can say that, despite a slight recovery on Tuesday, the Rand has been hit hard by the American/China trade war currently raging and affecting markets (particularly the emerging markets) around the world. Wednesday morning’s petrol price increase will hit us hard, even though it is far less than was originally anticipated. However, diesel users actually received a bonus with a slight decrease in the price of diesel. With 2018’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R14.84/$ (R13.42), R16.60/ß (R15.55), R18.03/£ (R17.42). Commodities were trading at: gold $1,487.78 per fine ounce ($1,209.28), platinum at $857.27 per fine ounce ($832.90) and Brent crude oil price of $58.61 ($73.90) per barrel.

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.

WEDDING anniversary greetings, congratulations and best wishes for many more years ahead to all couples having an anniversary, especially Rhodes and Diana Tremeer, and David and Jean McCowen.

THOUGHT for the week: “A happy life consists in tranquillity of mind”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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