Neighbourly Notes – 12 December 2019

STRIDING AHEAD: The Kowie Striders’ Chairman’s Trophy was awarded by Striders’ chairman Sticks Stiglingh, right, to running star Alan Robb at the ‘007 Bond’ awards evening, held recently at the Royal Alfred Marina Clubhouse. Robb, a legend at the Comrades Marathon, had unfortunately not put on his big-boy pants – some members arrived in shorts – to accept the award

A WARM welcome to all holidaymakers gracing our fair area. May you have a fabulous holiday and enjoy everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

OUR free holiday supplement, the Sunshine Holiday, is available at outlets where Talk of the Town is sold, as well as from the Tourism office, various hotels, B&Bs and guest houses and, of course, the TotT office at the corner of Miles Street and the R72. It is jampacked with everything happening over the holiday season, local products and services, interesting places to see and seasonal advice. Talk of the Town will continue to be published weekly, so to all of you out there, happy holidays!

IF you are a regular visitor you will undoubtedly notice our newly refurbished road, the R72, and that Port Alfred now has four sets of robots (traffic lights for the non-South Africans) rather than just one. You will also see the paving along the sides of the road and better signposts. Locals are pleased but frustrated that the job of fixing the R72 has taken so long. And the construction has been blamed for some of the traffic accidents and other problems we have witnessed over the past few years of construction (trucks overturning, bumper bashings, access to properties and the like). Road workers will be on builders’ holiday from December 15 (or, perhaps the Friday before) so visitors should not be too inconvenienced by any further road works during their stay. Just be careful and observant when driving.

THERE is always something happening over the Christmas period and this weekend it’s the turn of the Van der Riet Street Market taking place on Saturday. Aside from excellent food from the great restaurants on the street, there will be plenty of gift ideas available at the shops that will remain open after 5pm. But, best of all, we will have street musicians from early evening until late. There’s also Jessie Clegg at the Pig and Whistle in Bathurst as well as Nathan Smith at the Goat Shed in Kenton-on-Sea. Oh, and don’t forget the 50th-year celebration market at Cannon Rocks from Sunday through to Tuesday next week. For details of these and all other events in the area, see our “Diarise This” section, below.

WELL, it has to be said, Eskom have really let us down this time. The excuse was that the “coal was wet”. Really? Might I suggest a good builder to construct an “afdak”? Problem solved. But we all know that there is more going on than just wet coal, and the knee-jerk reaction to place the country on stage 6 load-shedding costs big business millions or more per day while small businesses might even be forced to shut down. Come on Pravin et al, get it sorted.

THE Pommies go to the polls today to elect a new prime minister for the UK. Essentially it is a two-horse race between Bumbler Boris (Conservative) or commie Corbin (Labour), though other smaller parties may have the final say should neither get an outright majority (much like the EFF holding parties to ransom in our metros). As a Pom I always leant toward the left but Corbin is way too left for my tastes and the other parties, to me, are just alsorans. I would probably vote for Boris although my father would probably turn in his grave if he knew that. Either way, if Brexit actually happens SA should exploit its relationship with the UK as it will require new trade deals. And the UK will be anxious to gather as many friends to its side as it can, or stand in isolation.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Rick Moller, David Steck, Roy Leming, Brenda Wansbury, Kevyn Letley, Kerri Stevenson, Bradley Odendaal, Kerry Warren, Justin Hackart, Warwick Heny, Alister Harman, Heather Samuel, Debra Harris, Karli-Di Owsley, “Digger” Garden, Natalie Kaschula, Ingrid Hilpert, Jenny van Rensburg, Deidre Japp, Kelly Ferreira, Grace Phillips-Page, Hendrik le Roux, Joy Theunissen, Laura Forrester, Christine Haworth, Wilma Graham, Greta Snaith, Roland Shone, Carol de Beer and Sandra Bradfield.

CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses enjoying another anniversary with wishes for many more successful years ahead. Good luck to Graze by the River (in Van der Riet Street), BVSA (formerly known as MR Financial Services), Halyard’s boat cruise Spirit of Adventure, The Black Rock Restaurant and River Wild Safaris and Motor Mate.

MIGHT I suggest that you really strive to enjoy your Christmas break this year. With Eskom implementing loadshedding again businesses are suffering greatly, and political uncertainty abroad (Brexit, US impeachment, Ukraine, Iran, China etc) none of the markets are faring well. Added to this, in South Africa we have flooding in the north of the country and drought in the South. Unfortunately we are likely to have negative growth this quarter and that will force Moody’s (the only one of the big three ratings agencies that hasn’t yet relegated us to non-investment grade) to drop us to junk status. Things are, unfortunately, going to get worse. Brent crude oil remains above the $63 per barrel mark so we are likely to see a fuel price increase, perhaps in January. We require a stable economy and that means that Eskom must get its act together immediately (not over a period in time – we have no time left). Either that or the grid must be opened up to private energy producers (Independent Energy Producers or IPPs). In fact, the grid should be opened up to allow those that can add to the electrical supply to do so. We now know what the consequences of persevering with overstaffed and highly inefficient Eskom has left us with. With last year’s figures in brackets the rand was trading at R14.79 (R14.29) to the US dollar, the pound was R19.48 (R17.91) and the euro R16.38 (R16.18). The gold price was $1,467.70 ($1,243.61), platinum was $897.78 ($834.90) and Brent Crude was trading at $63.92 ($60.86).

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, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Derek Church, Jan Haig, Gavin Tessendorf and Lyn Charter.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and every good wish for your continuing happiness to all couples celebrating this special occasion, especially Jonathan and Lisinda Hanstein, Janine and Eben Groenewald, Dave and Carina Elms, Martin and Kim Nel, Gavyn and Gwyneth Letley, Frikkie and Nicola Coetzee, Ray and Julie Davidson, Richard and Mary McGhie, Sipho and Tando Matthews, Dennis and Moira Stirk, Ruan and Danielle Cannon, Doug and Edie Galpin, Vernon and Marie Jakins, Justin and Lynda Haller, Mervyn and Trevllyne Woods, Lourens and Elouise Botha, Judy and Dawie van Wyk, Albert (aka “George”) and Pat Whitfield, and Pat and Richard Holtshousen.

THOUGHT for the week: “Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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