Neighbourly Notes – 17 October 2019

SHOWING THEIR COMMITMENT: In a rare demonstration of loyalty and altruism, James Rycroft and Toni Parsons, urged friends and well-wishers at their wedding to donate all the money they intended to use to buy them gifts towards settling outstanding Rhodes University student fees. Both are ‘Old Rhodians’, as ex-Rhodes students are affectionately known. The couple exchanged wedding vows earlier this month at the coastal town of Southbroom outside Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal.

AT the time of writing there are only a couple of events happening this weekend, showing that there is a general dearth of entertainment in the area. This situation has prompted people to suggest that the lack of entertainment could be responsible for the Kowie’s drug problems, particularly with respect to our youth. Perhaps more entertainment would give our youth less time to get involved with the drug scene? It would be interesting to learn what our readers think on this subject. In the meantime, the Port Alfred Lions will be at Heritage Mall on Saturday at 9am supporting the World Sight Week initiative and will provide free diabetes testing as well as selling “White Cane Badges” to raise funds to continue providing sight related assistance in the community.

WHILE on the subject of the area’s lack of entertainment and events over weekends, the Westside Community Fair took place last Saturday and was an unmitigated success thanks to pastor Robin Jakin and his team at the Westside Community Church. A special word of congratulations to Asher Bam for winning the Port Alfred’s got Talent competition (although she actually comes from Alexandria). Well done Robin, and we hope this is just the first of many such events in the future.

ANOTHER senseless murder took place on Monday in Kenton-on-Sea. Johannes Petrus van der Merwe was discovered by relatives after they had failed to contact him telephonically and travelled to his home, only to find Van der Merwe’s lifeless body. Van der Merwe is just the latest in a list of murders that have occurred in the area over the last few years. From the murder of Noel Maddocks, the murder of Stephne Evans, that of Peter de Coning, Riaan Scheepers (although he died sometime after the attack) to this latest murder, it is necessary to keep careful vigil for any suspicious people in the area. Fortunately, the CPF has introduced WhatsApp groups for residents to report suspicious incidents. Private security officers as well as SAPS personnel can then respond and also develop a picture of hotspots in the area.

OKAY, we have to mention it, former President Jacob Zuma has, once again, attempted to avoid the fraud, racketeering and corruption charges against him for his role in the so-called Arms Deal that go back to at least 1995. Zuma’s lawyers have appealed the ruling that denied his application to have all charges laid aside, claiming they are politically motivated. The court of appeal will make a judgement on Zuma’s case by November 22 (provided Zuma’s lawyers lodge the appeal by November 1), and the case has been postponed until February 4 next year (for a pre-trial hearing, and assuming Zuma’s appeal to dismiss all charges is unsuccessful). The question is, how much public money must be wasted on this case, remembering the then President Thabo Mbeki authorised the state (ie. the taxpayer) to cover his legal costs, and the fact that Zuma is still seeking relief from the government, claiming poverty?

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead. We wish you all a wonderful day and a super carefree year ahead, especially to Neil de Villiers, Rodney Gradwell, Alfred Scheepers, Arthur Manning, Andrew Warren, Shaun Elms, David Drennan, Mick Tuck, Dean Samuel, Michael Dewsnap, Gerald Spilkin, June Wheelwright, Irma Venter, Jean Steyn, Derrick Page, Shannon Hopkins, Johanna van der Merwe, Eddie Hoseck, Bea Klopper, Ria van der Merwe, Blake Squires, Sandy von Memerty, Diane Malan, Jessica Pullen, Hermann Heim, Reginald Prince, Lionel Farao, Maryna Shepherd, Anneli Hanstein, Jan Simpson, Talia Ohayon, Belinda Prince, Ivo Chunnett, Jeanette Msipa, Peter Sulter, Percy Elliott, Erica Alexandre, Alan McLean, Helen Cowie, Lorraine Samuel, Clinton ”Stoffel” Schultz, Claire Purdon, Arlene Young, Rory Gailey, Wendy Vivier, Erica McNulty and Jenny Potter.

BEST wishes and continued success to businesses celebrating an anniversary soon. Pig ‘n Whistle, The Crazy Store, The Hospice Shop, Guido’s Port Alfred and Bedford Garden Festival.

AFTER recovering slightly against world currencies over the last few weeks the rand is once more about to hit the $1=R15 mark, and has already exceeded £1=R19 mark. This has very little to do with what we do here at home, although Eskom and other parastatals and their enormous debts are an issue with investors. It is, however, heavily influenced by US/China trade talks and, significantly but to a lesser degree, Brexit negotiations. Oil has stayed below $60 a barrel but that offers little relief as fluctuations in the currency tend to negate any gains made in the price of crude oil. With last year’s financial figures in brackets to compare against this year’s trading figures, at the time of going to press the Rand was trading at R15.00 to the Dollar (R14.24), R19.07 to the Pound (R18.67) and R16.54 to the Euro (R16.42). Gold is trading at $1,482.85 per fine ounce ($1,280.17), Platinum at $899.058 per ounce ($844.00) Brent Crude Oil $58.46 per barrel ($80.94).

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, Marian Eaton, Malcolm Cock and Brenda Shelton.

IT was sad to hear of the death of Warren “Woza” Williams who died recently. He will be remembered fondly by those who knew him and we send our condolences to his family and friends.

MAY happiness and contentment continue to be in your lives for many more great years ahead to all couples celebrating another wedding anniversary. Good wishes and congratulations especially to Popeye and Jean Steyn, Colin and Joan Purdon, Ryan and Sonai Owsley, David and Margaret Foulkes, Peter and Elaine Collins.

THOUGHT for the week: “It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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