Neighbourly Notes – 13 February 2020

SERVING ON THE WHARF: From left, Debbie Duncan, Lucky Mokoena and Nobiphosethu Budaza were ready to assist customers at Bram Coetzee’s new establishment at Wharf Street, Bram’s on the Wharf, on Sunday. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

LAST Saturday was interesting for those who wanted to know more about the 1820 Settlers, and specifically the English men, women and children who travelled on an arduous trip from Nottingham to board the Albury to seek a better life in SA. Sixth generation descendant Courteney Bradfield keep his audience informed and entertained as he read from letters and gave a history of his ancestors and their struggle to reach their new home at the tip of the African continent. It was interesting to learn that, in the 18th and early 19th centuries, most English were starving as food was scarce, and they had no right to vote or public representation. Coming to SA was their escape from poverty. The 1820 Settlers from Nottingham were relocated to Clumber where they made a home for themselves. However, if they felt safe and secure it was short-lived because, shortly after their arrival, the Border Wars began, which threatened their very existence. Considering the torrential rain on Saturday, the event was well attended. In this year, the 200th anniversary of the British settlers’ arrival, this was the first of many commemorations, and we look forward to the other events that will take place.

BIKERS from the worldwide Ulysses Motorcycle Association converged on Route R72 Saloon on Sunday to celebrate the affiliation of a new club, the Sunshine Coast Chapter, with chapter president Jurie Erasmus thanking each of the over 80 riders who attended the event, and especially the National Ulysses Association bigwigs from Gauteng, and riders from the Queenstown, Port Elizabeth and East London Chapters. He also said a big thank you to Saloon owner Geoff Cowley, for opening his facility on his day off. The guys and girls of Ulysses (all over 40 years of age) celebrated with drinks (but not if they were riding home, of course) and a braai prepared by Cowley and his staff, and left for home later in the day.

SINCE the announcement that Netcare had pulled out of the Public/Private Partnership (PPP) at the Port Alfred Hospital as well as Settlers Hospital in Makhanda, there has been consternation from the general public who feel their healthcare needs have been undermined. It is possible that another partnership could become a reality in the future and TotT has begun a Facebook and web poll to establish your reaction to this news. Do you want another PPP to cater for the health needs of private patients, or do you oppose such a move? Go to our Facebook page or group to register your opinion. In reality, the Port Alfred Clinic is not set up to deal with emergency cases and is already overwhelmed by the number of patients who get there as early as 5am (the clinic only opens at 8am) just to make sure they are attended to. The sisters who run the clinic do a great job considering their lack of resources and are rushed off their feet. Patients, therefore, don’t always receive the attention they require. TotT will be reporting on this matter in next week’s edition.

STATISTICS SA published the latest unemployment figures on Tuesday and it hardly came as a surprise that unemployment is now greater than at any time since 2004, the official figure being unmoved for Q4 2019 at 29.1%. Official in this sense means the figures the government is willing to admit to. The real figure is closer to 40%. Among the youth (16 to 24 years) it is, officially, 40%, so the real figure could be over 50%. Just think of that for a moment. If you see a group of 10 people on the street the figures say that three of them are without work and, if they are under 24, four out of the 10 will have no job (according to the “official” statistics). This situation must not continue, but it will not be resolved by government departments (including municipalities) employing more people. People need real work, not the Extended Public Works Programme where people wander the streets and the beaches in groups doing nothing. SA needs investment and not the partisan politics of the likes of EFF leader Julius Malma, who wants to prevent President Cyril Ramaphosa from making his state of the nation address. Investors are not impressed by such actions, and neither are the general public. Malema should realise he leads a minority party and does not speak for us all. We need more industry, and there are avenues open to us. Recycling is one, and cannabis farming is another, plus all the knock-on industries (fabrics, repurposed plastic to name but two) could have a very positive effect on our local economy. Come on Ndlambe Municipality; use some initiative and don’t wait for others to do your job.

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a birthday in the coming week. We hope that the year ahead will bring you all good health and happiness, especially to Eben Groenewald, Jenni Waters, Greg Timm, Wendy Pieterse, John Forster, Anelisa Yoli, Cornelle Coetzee, Ryan Heathcote, Sylvia Gwebile, Jenny Louw, Harold Bodill, Val Williams, Matt van Eeden, Chelsea van Eeden, Ashley Bamber, Joy Smith, Carl van Heerden, Herma Purdon, Sally Thompson, Marizka Burgess, Tiffany Gudzman, Gillian Rautenbach, Jill Dickie, Bess Radue, Don Wood, Arthur Haig, Lindsay Drew, Marilyn Michau, Mandy Pretorius, Debbie Duncan, Edmund Hall, Karel de Jaeger, Peter Lear, Joyce Webb, Hendrick Koekemoer and Russell Kearney.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations, plus further success and good wishes to Fresh Stop at Andy’s Service Centre and DP Engineering.

SAME old, same old with respect to currency. However, Brent Crude is staying below the $60 a barrel mark, so that could show some relief in the near future. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, and at the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R14.79 to the US Dollar (R13.75), R19.19 to the British Pound (R17.74) and R16.15 to the Euro (R15.57). Gold was trading at $1,565.76 per fine ounce ($1,312.39), Platinum at $973.24 per ounce ($792.85) with Brent Crude Oil at $55.10 ($63.01) 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 Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Derek Church, Jan Haig, Gavin Tessendorf and Lyn Charter.

WITH the hint of romance in the air and the celebration that another year of marriage is lovingly added, congratulations to all couples on their anniversaries. Vaughn and Carla de la Mare, Ken and Margaret Schroder, Mark and Jacquie Kieck, Rodney and Myrna Keet, Jona and Mel Arnott, Devon and Kelly Brittle, Terry and Helen Lansdell, John and Lodene Pohl, James and Lindy Robinson, Malcolm and Kathy Robinson, John and Karen Fletcher.

TO all romantics, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. To those who are not (romantics) enjoy all the special offers provided by the many businesses, who are trying to make the world a more loving place!

THOUGHT for the week: “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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