Neighbourly Notes – 24 October 2019

DOUBLE CELEBRATION: Lara Nell and her friend Ian Gow celebrated their birthdays on October 16.

THIS weekend is another quiet one, except on Saturday at the Wesley Church that is holding its annual fete, a time for the community to get together and promote the spirit that Port Alfred is famous for. And, another event on Saturday that is fast becoming tradition, The Historic Pig and Whistle, to give the oldest pub in SA its full title, will be hosting its famous Oktoberfest, a festival of beer (and in copious quantities), song, laughter and the gees that makes Bathurst one of the most friendly villages in the Eastern Cape. For details of these and other events, see out Diarise This section, below.

THE Ferryman ’s Hotel is once again in the news, and my opinion piece on page 6 is about what can be done with the property. But another important story that you should think about is the water situation in Ndlambe. Just walking around town (I have to, I have no vehicle at the moment) I have seen so many people running hosepipes to wash cars or water their gardens. Please people, we are in a water restriction area. Read the story on page 5 about the talk given by Sipho Babama, deputy director of infrastructure at the municipality. Babama and his team are looking at ways to prevent another water crisis in the area. At his talk, Babama pointed out the state of our dams and various other problems that can cause a catastrophic failure in our water systems and lead to massive drought conditions for Ndlambe. Saving water is not going to help us in the future but is an essential step in ensuring that the little water still remaining lasts as long as possible. The actual solution may be a mixture of recycling sewage overflow and reverse osmosis (essentially very fine filtration of water to remove any solids, including bacteria and viruses). Now, people have an aversion to drinking sewage (and it is something you should never do) but, after processing with RO the water is so pure it is like distilled water, and chemicals have to be added to make it drinkable. If you have been overseas in Europe and drank tap water, the chances are that this has been recycled from waste water several times before reaching the tap. And, as opposed to desalination, an RO plant to process recycled waste water uses considerably less energy and is therefore cost effective. However, our biggest problem at the moment, and something TotT has reported on many times, is Amatola Water, the contractor that has wasted so much money we could have built an RO plant in each town along the coast and still had change. Come on province, it is our money you are wasting, so get rid of Amatola Water and focus on fixing our water problems before it is too late to do so.

ESKOM, our failing power utility, has received another bailout and, despite what the politician say, this is a crisis for the country. A Utility that was once rated among the best in the world is floundering, with tens of billions of rand being wasted to keep the lights on. It is time to consider privatisation of the power utility. The incompetence of the organisation’s management (Medupi and Kusile being prime examples of incompetent management), over-employment plus whole scale corruption have rendered the utility hopelessly unable to keep the light on. Surely it is time to stop appeasing the trade unions and actually fix the problem.

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating and enjoying a special day in the week ahead. Congratulations to all with wishes for many more, especially Dr Glenda Hicks, Wesley Grove, Tracy Wilmot, EwaMogilnicka, twin brothers Jacques and Billy Krige, Chris Hammond, Patricia Maqanda, Graham Frost, KadekileNosilda, Kyle Menin, Jeremy Briscoe, HeineAylward, Gail Elliott, John Elliott, Chadley Alexandre, Rebecca Simes, Claudine Riddle, Alma Surmon, Val van derBergh, Clinton Schultz and Merwyn Jones.

BEST wishes for your continued success to all businesses or organisations having or adding another anniversary to their score, especially The Kowie Museum, Pig ‘n Whistle (when they reopened in 2008), Sew Smart and Wharf Street Brew Pub.

WHAT a mess. Some say the Brexit situation in the UK is a sign of democracy at work, while others say it shows how political parties put their own needs above those of the people who voted them into power. I tend to fall in the latter category. I believe it shows that politicians only listen with half an ear to the people, and then only when it comes to election time. The US is also causing considerable pressure on the markets, not just with the US/China trade wars but also by pulling out of the Middle East and allowing Russia to gain ascendancy in the area. Is this the fall of the US empire and the re-emergence of Russia as the powerhouse in the Middle East? Consider Brics and the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently at the Black Sea with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first Russia/Africa summit. With 2018’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.67 to the Dollar (R14.18), R18.86 to the Pound (R18.29) and R16.31 to the Euro (R16.14). Gold was trading at $1,43.70 per fine ounce ($1 230.39), Platinum at $887.69 per ounce ($836.30) and Brent Crude Oil at $59.44 per barrel ($75.87).

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are unwell, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald and Marian Eaton.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Anne Foonk who passed away recently. A service will be held at Settlers Park, in the Don Powis Hall on Friday October 25 at 11am.

OUR thoughts are also with the family and friends of Joan Long who passed away on October 17.

WEDDING anniversary greetings and our congratulations to all couples celebrating an anniversary, especially Dave and Ann Tyrrell, Rico and Belinda Viljoen, Emil and Wilma Jurgenson, Colin and Joan Purdon and Graeme and Liesl Brown.

THOUGHT for the week: “Many good minds working together are always better than one working alone – teamwork certainly makes the dream work!”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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