Neighbourly Notes – 19 December 2019

BUDDIES AT THE BEACHES: There will be 10 Beach Buddies deployed along Port Alfred’s beaches for the season; two at East Beach, two at Kiddies Beach, two at Kellys and four at West Beach. These young people have been selected to take part in this tourism programme and have been undergone an induction programme on attractions of Port Alfred, beach safety, what to do and so forth. They each have town maps, adventure guides and Talk of the Town Holiday Guides with them. This is an initiative of the East Cape Parks and Tourism in conjunction with Ndlambe Municipality and Sunshine Coast Tourism.

GREETINGS to all our regular readers as well as the many visitors who come to Ndlambe and Makhanda to celebrate the holidays with us. If you are visiting for the first time, please enjoy your stay. There is so much to see and do in the area that, unless you extend your stay by, say, a month or two, you might not get to visit all the places of interest. These include game parks (or even the Poor Man’s Game Drive), unspoilt and safe beaches, fishing (river, beach or deep sea), swimming and surfing, canoeing, horse riding and a whole lot more. See our Diarise This section below for details of the events over the festive season.

OUR sunlight hours are getting longer as we approach the summer solstice and the weather is likely to be warm to hot throughout the holidays. Our visitors should not be disappointed if it rains, it always does at this time of the year – and we really need the rain – so don’t be alarmed if you witness locals dancing in rain-drenched streets should it rain during the holidays.

ON the matter of water, do not drink the municipal water as it often smells foul and doesn’t taste very nice. We are assured by the municipality that it is safe to drink, but locals either purchase drinking water or use rainwater. And this leads to another issue: water restrictions. This is a very serious issue and it seems bizarre that in an area that runs parallel with the Indian Ocean and with so much water to see, we are in a very serious drought situation. So, please observe our municipal water restrictions. Do not use hosepipes, water gardens with sprinklers or hoses, or wash your car (we have several designated businesses that will wash your car) or otherwise waste water.

NOW, onto the news. It was a huge turnout at the Port Alfred civic centre last week to discuss the application of an on/off premises liquor license for a proposed business at West Beach. The overwhelming majority rejected the proposal (despite the ward 10 committee having approved it) on the basis that easier accessibility to alcohol on the beach would cause even more problems than are normally encountered (broken bottles, fighting and even drownings). The bail application for the alleged rapist regarding the young German woman who was allegedly raped on West Beach was heard recently, but only by those allowed into the in-camera hearing (apparently the accused may be a minor, although police have provided no information at all regarding this case.

THE Van der Riet Street market saw many visitors on Saturday who tried the food and listened to the music from talented musos who set up (mainly) unplugged. Well done to the organisers of the event. Watch out for all other events in our area over the festive season.

PERHAPS it is a Christmas miracle? Cyril Ramaphosa states that sabotage is (at least partially) responsible for the latest loadshedding (at stage 6, nogal) and that criminal investigations will be carried out and, hey presto, the lights are back on. Still, we need to wait and see in the President’s promise (no load-shedding over Christmas) actually pans out.

WE would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, advertisers, holidaymakers, colleagues, family and friends a blessed Christmas and hopefully you will receive the present that you have been looking forward to.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially to Chrystal Darné, Martin Nel, Jannis Sephton, Gillian O’Dwyner, Christine Haworth, Kelly Ferreira, Shane Marais, Jean Letley, Christine Holmes, twins Emily and Kate Fella, Nicole Phillpson, Noeline Kirsten, Kim Fryer, Marie Davies, Noel Stötter, Marianne Stiglingh, Audrey Barnard, Janné Steyn, Michael Wilmot, Lyn Riddin, Clive Williams, Bevan Edwards, Nova Butt, Alan Lubbé, Gerhard Strydom, Jimmy McQuirk, Jacko Vogel, Penny Patterson and Clive Buchanan.

ENDING the year off for business anniversary wishes and with congratulations and wishes for further success in the future are Mooifontein Quarry, Sister Ingrid’s Clinic and not forgetting the huge, annual Bathurst Ox Braai which will be on Saturday December 28 this year.

WITH China and the USA having reached some sort of agreement regarding trade between the two nations, the markets responded positively. However, it’s a little too early to make any judgements and we will have to wait and see until after the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays what is likely to happen in the New Year. Boris Johnson is the prime minister of the United Kingdom (but just how united is it?) and, barring mishaps, will be in that position for the next five years. This could be a boon to the South African economy as new trade deals will need to be negotiated, so Cyril should get his passport ready to travel in the New Year and assist Johnson over his difficult transition hump as the UK moves out of the EU (and bring business and investment back to South Africa). Watch out for a potential rise in the price of oil products in the New Year as Brent Crude prices have exceeded $65 per barrel recently and could force government to pass the difference (or part thereof) to the consumers. At the time of going to press the rand was trading at R14.38 to the dollar (R14.35), R18.98 to the pound (R18.09) and R16.03 to the euro (R16.27). Commodities are trading with gold at $1,478.66 per fine ounce ($1,239.89), platinum at $932.51 per ounce ($834.90), with Brent Crude at $65.19 per barrel ($60.90).

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Derek Church, Jan Haig, Gavin Tessendorf and Lyn Charter.

TO those couples celebrating an anniversary at this time of year, may we add our congratulations and best wishes for your continued happiness, especially Ian and Bettine Hattingh, Hans and Tina Hon, Alex and Nadia Harris, Ettienne and Ren Mouton, Craig and Tori Stowe, Anthony and Alide Nelson.

THOUGHT for the week: “Do all the good you can, by all means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can. At all the times to all the people you can, as long as you can.” (quote by John Wesley).

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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