Neighbourly Notes – 20 February 2020

BRAIN POWER: The winners of the second Sunshine Coast Hospice quiz were the team of, from left, Att Nel, Dave Hoets, Don McGarvie, Bob McGarvie and Noel Stotter, who said he was team manager. The quiz, held at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club, drew 21 teams and raised R6,430 for Hospice. Picture: JON HOUZET

THE recent and welcome rains we have been experiencing are forecast to provide a short respite on Saturday, so this will be the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. The temperature is set to peak today at about 32°C and is set to remain in the high 20s till Tuesday.

THERE has been a lot of interest in the possible reopening of the private side of the Port Alfred Hospital and many of our readers have expressed their anguish at its closure and their support should it be reopened. Assertions that another hospital group might take up the reins, relinquished by Netcare last November, are strictly speculative and there is no plan yet on the table. The public-private partnership (PPP) at the hospital seemed to work for residents but perhaps not so much for Netcare, which stated that it withdrew from the PPP due to a lack of demand for private healthcare. Now, patients have to travel to Port Elizabeth to receive treatments that could have been administered locally. The question is, when did money become the driving force with respect to healthcare? It is true that doctors, nurses and other staff need to be paid for the work they do, but risking the health of residents based on profit cannot be the way to go. Hopefully, if another medical group takes over the private side of the hospital, they will not simply be motivated by money. In the meantime, we have some good and caring doctors in the public side of the hospital, and they should more than tide us over until we know more.

SONA 2020 was a bit of a disaster last Thursday as the EFF deliberately delayed proceedings which were then suspended for more than hour-and-a-half. But was the EFF correct in demanding the sacking of public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan? Then it called for former president FW de Klerk to be removed from parliament because of his support of apartheid and a statement made just a week before that apartheid was not a crime against humanity (despite the UN having declared it so in 1973). The world watched as the EFF continuously raised points of order, preventing President Cyril Ramaphosa from making his State of the Nation Address. There have been mixed reactions to this action by the EFF, with many in support of what they did and others commenting that the party’s leader, Julius Malema, was simply grandstanding to detract from the questionable actions of his party’s membership and to make himself relevant. Perhaps what should be noted is that the EFF action made the country appear to be a banana republic, dissuading investors who might have been considering investing in the country. Calls by the EFF to have De Klerk’s Nobel Peace Prize (that he won jointly with Nelson Mandela in 1993) revoked will almost certainly fail as there is no mechanism to do this. This is a case where party politics causes more problems than solutions. Perhaps the EFF should focus on practical matters that will alleviate hunger, homelessness and the abject poverty in parts of our country and not on issues that really don’t help anyone. And following Tuesday’s further outburst from the EFF leader and the unheeded calls by deputy speaker Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli to quell the commotion that erupted when Malema said that Ramaphosa beat his former wife, Malema left the joint sitting and was followed by the rest of the EFF contingent. Really? Does this in any way help the nation? Politicians should learn discipline.

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, and with every best wish for many more to Mark Charter, Brendan Welsh, Tracy Willemse, Sue Bradfield, Sonia Nginase, Shirley Pheasant, Cole Gailey, Caitlin Bessinger, Chloe Rademan, Lisa-Jayne Bezuidenhout, Phillip Swanepoel, Ankia Hunke, Kelly van der Merwe, Terrence Lansdell, Josephine Goliath, Lorna Bradfield, Desmand Hand, Wesley Mcmahon, Carolyn Clarence, Wendy Clayton, Jonathan Steck, Jenna Henning, Jennifer Worrall, Annette Coetzee, Nicole Owen, Pam Taylor, Günter Johannsen, Rita Hope, Lorna Els, Beryl Smith, Teagan Shaddock, Chenelle Freeman, Danielle Spaumer, Bianca Twynham, Felix Clark, Zola Kerr, Caryn Bruyns, Jason Currie, Louise Wiggett, Drewnei Potgieter, Adele Broodryk, Wim Slieker, Greg Short, Allan Nonqulo, Patrick Grafton, Belinda Van Zyl and Monica Watson.

EVERY success for many more years to follow are the wishes we are conveying to the following businesses and organisations on another anniversary, especially Adviceworx and Rocky Ridge Farm Stall (en-route to Bathurst).

MOODY ’s, the only one of the big three global rating agencies not to downgrade us to junk status, lowered SA’s growth outlook to below 1% on Monday, sending the Rand on another spiral downward at a time when the country can ill afford it. The rand lost considerable ground against all major currencies after the news was announced. Investors and our financial houses are now concerned the agency will downgrade our sovereign investment-level grading to junk status, thereby dissuading investors. At this time, with Ramaphosa anxious to secure a trillion rand in investment. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.95 to the Dollar (R14.10), R16.16 to the Euro (R16.00) and R19.45 to the Pound (R18.39). Gold was trading at $1,608.46 per fine ounce ($1,343.53), Platinum at $970.58 per ounce ($809.70) and Brent Crude at $58.12 per barrel ($66.40).

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 and Lyn Charter.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and continued happiness to all couples celebrating this special occasion. Wishes extend to Shawn and Tammy Peet, Simon and Clare du Plessis, Trevor and Stephanie Warner, Rob and Sami Schofield, Clive and Christine Haworth.

THOUGHT for the week: “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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