THERE are a number of events and activities happening in the area over the weekend that should get people excited. Firstly it’s the Port Alfred High School steak evening at the school clubhouse on Friday as well as a movie at the St James’ Catholic Church hall. On Saturday there should be great excitement as the motorcyclists from Ulysses Motorcycle Association in Port Alfred join the “Ride for a Child” bikers when they meet at Kenton-on-Sea and Bushmans, and then an entourage of four or five Sky Alarms security vehicles (depending on active crime in the area), the fire brigade and the traffic department will travel along the R72 up to Main Street in Port Alfred, then through town until they turn at the 4-way stop to make their way to West Beach and the Guido’s carpark. The objective of the ride is to raise funds for children who require urgent medical treatment but whose parents are unable to pay for it. The procession should arrive in Port Alfred at about 9am on Saturday and should arrive at Guido’s by 9.30 or 10am. Riders are from Port Elizabeth, East London and Grahamstown (Makhanda) as well as from the recently chartered Ulysses affiliate in Port Alfred. Residents are asked to cheer on the procession as it makes its way to West Beach and to join the bikers there. Sky Alarms will supply each biker with a cool drink. More fundraising will be required if the riders are to fulfill their target so residents are asked to give generously to this worthy cause. For more information, Marelize Erasmus can be contacted on 083-301-7926 or Jurie Erasmus on 072-869-8961. Also on Saturday morning, and while you are in the area, there will be a Sea Cadets parade at Kiddies Beach on Saturday at 12 noon and there is also a market there from 9am to 3pm. Then, on Sunday is another Classics at the Castle with The Chris Thorpe Jazz Quartet. Jazz is a favourite among many of the locals so this should be one not to miss.
WATER problems persist in Ndlambe, and department of water and sanitation regional chief director Portia Makhandra was in Port Alfred on Wednesday to discuss some of the issues. However, it seems that there is a lot of politics associated with Amatola Water, the department and Ndlambe Municipality that must be resolved shortly or we will never be able to move forward. Read the front page story for more information on the ongoing situation.
HAPPY birthday and may the year ahead be the best ever, is what we wish everyone enjoying a special day this week, especially Jessica Green, Storm Gretton, Ange Hutchinson, Sheryl Ann Drennan, Andrew Dempers, Chenelle Freeman, Angelique Botha, Danielle Spaumer, Biance Twynham, Samie Step, Jerusha Govender, Anna Byrd, Val Dugmore, Mike Hockin, Rohan Myburgh, Dan Hilpert, Delonore Schafer, Colleen Shaw, Amber Oelofse, Sima Booi, Mauneen Charter, Kaine Charter, Orpa Westraadt, Ziyanda Bans, Darryl Hanstein, Jill Long, Monique Harvey, Athol Waters, Dave Tyrrell, Gordon Bunting, Kathy Turner, Stuart Vincent, Angela Welsh, Kathy Mansfield, Bev Monaghan, Liz Cooper, Peter Francis, Lee Anne Sawyer Repinz, Pat Wilson, Brenda Hulley, Saskia Swart, Pieter Retief, Andre van Vuuren, Cyril Tyson, Ivor Gray, Ivan Schaefer, Ken Butler, Isobel Timm, Bernard Meech, Elsabe Wiseman, Louise Grottsch, Trisha Van Wyk, Dominique Pattie, Lynn Coetzee, Andre van Vuuren, Natasha Pawley, Stella Reifman, Giles Shepherd, Jeremy Kohler.
CONGRATULATIONS, best wishes and continued success to all businesses having an anniversary, especially to Decadent (Post Masters Village), Top Carpets (Rosehill Mall), Pick ‘n Pay Liquor (Heritage Mall), Kowie Vet Clinic (corner of Southwell and Atherstone Road) and LP Gaz (Bathurst Street, East Bank).
BY the time you read this, finance minister Tito Mboweni will have made his budget 2020 speech in parliament and the mood will either be happy or extremely unhappy. With the economy in a shambles, South Africa risks losing its final hold on the investment level status from rating agency Moody’s which has already decreased its outlook on the growth of the economy to less than 1% last week. If all rating agencies drop South Africa below investment-level status, it will be the first time this has happened in 25 years. It will also discourage investors at a time when external investment is critical for the growth of the economy. Measures Mboweni may take include the raising of VAT (value added tax) by a percentage point to 16%, but this will receive a very negative reaction from the public as it will directly affect the price of goods on the supermarket shelves. It has been suggested that corporate tax could be lowered from its current 28/29% to closer to 20%, as is the case in other competitive countries around he world and encourage investment. But there are other ways the government could recover more funds that do not involve placing a further burden on the cashstrapped public. One such initiative is the cultivation of cannabis, a crop that has been grown specifically in the Eastern Cape for over 100 years. This industry could also provide work for farmers who have smallholdings in the area, as well as income. It is time for the government to stop dreaming and get down to reality. The problem with a wish-list (save SAA, Save Eskom, Save Denel and introduce the National Health Insurance) is that we need to face the truth. We need action, not words. Any transition will be painfully felt by citizens but it is better to rip the plaster off in one go than to slowly pull it off over a long period. With last year’s trading figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand is R15.15 to the Dollar (R13.85), R19.59 to the Pound (R18.45) and R16.51 to the Euro (R15.78). Gold is trading at $1,664.12 per fine ounce ($1,326.85) with Platinum at $851.76 ($852.85) and Brent Crude Oil at $53.79 per barrel ($66.29).
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.
HAPPY anniversary greetings and best wishes for many more to the following couples on their special occasions. Further happiness to Hayden and Anneli Hanstein, Allan and Michelle Miles, Andrew and Ronel Bartlett, Kevin and Marlene Brown, David and Megan Waddington, Trevor and Stephanie Warner, Tyler and Sasha-Lee Schafti, Kenny and Liz Hill.
THOUGHT for the week: “Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is an adequate perception of the world.”
BEST regards as always,