Neighbourly Notes – 5 March 2020

DONATING IN PERIOD COSTUME: Lizz Briggs, the owner of Relics at the Village Green in Bathurst, on the left, has this interesting cut-out portrait outside her shop, and visitors pay to have their photograph taken. The funds collected are for the SPCA, and Forbes Coutts, looking a little more dapper than usual, gratefully accepted R542. Over the last 2½ years a total of R2,307 has been collected by Relix and Thingz to donate to the SPCA. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

AS we move into autumn, Wednesday was one of the hottest days we’ve had this year. Is this a result of climate change? Readers with the answers should send their comments to Talk of the Town on our Facebook group or page.

THIS weekend begins on Friday when there will be a Women’s World Day of Prayer event at the Port Alfred Baptist Church, starting at 10am. Then there is the Eastern Border Farmers Association Golf Day at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club. This is a fundraiser for the Security Camera Initiative, so please support this as this is a way for us to combat crime in our area. The prize-giving and auction will begin at 6pm. And then there is the famous PA Country Club’s 300 Club draw that will be held at the club at 6.30pm. Get your tickets from Foxy on 046-624-3537. Saturday begins with the latest CMA breakfast at Tash’s Craft Bar, where speaker Des Spenceley is working to improve the physical and spiritual lives of people. Then there is the Rosehill Mall Craft Market, where you will find interesting items and bargains.

YET, the most important event on the Ndlambe cricket calendar begins this Saturday and continues until Saturday March 14 – the 2020 Kowie Toyota Pineapple Cricket Tournament. See the schedule in this week’s edition as well as online. COVID- 19 , the strain of coronavirus emanating from China is now becoming a far more serious problem than was originally believed. Initially, it was said to be less fatal than the SARS virus (another form of coronavirus) of the last decade but has now infected many more people than SARS did and the mortality rate is climbing past 3.3% in those infected. While this is a global issue, South Africans should be aware that there is little we can do to prevent its entrance into SA. While there are no reported cases in our country thus far, it may only be a matter of time before we are all wearing facemasks like they do in other parts of the world. Our porous borders in the North West Province, for example, do not prevent migrants from entering SA. If any carry the virus, or if someone returning from overseas where the numbers of those infected is growing daily, then covid-19 will definitely infect us here in SA. There is no need to panic as long as adequate precautions are taken: Wash your hands regularly, do not get too close to people exhibiting symptoms (similar to a cold or the flu) and avoid crowds. The latter is the most difficult. Just take care, stay calm, and it will eventually peter out, as did SARS, MERS and so forth.

OUR heartiest congratulations to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Best wishes for many more especially to Carole Christie, Gwen Venters, Ruleen de Witt, Sue Neame, Sanelle Fourie, Jimmy Neave, Dawn Frederichs, Zola Kerr, Trenton Webster, Bob Ford, Linda Clur, Blake Brent, Kathy Clayton, Kaine Heny, Dean Morrissey, Richard McGhie, Yolande Stander, Ivan Schafers, Ken Butler, Elsabe Wiseman, Stella Reijman, Natasja Pawley, Noel Anderson, Angela Rowe, Lillian Scheepers, Wade Mitton, Betty Rivett, Christopher Whitham, George Petzer, Ella de Wet Steyn, Allan Davies, Tessa van Rooyen, Christen Booth, Amelia Hanstein, Tyler Hanstein, Maureen Edlmann, Ivor Gray, Maureen Walker, Gisella Brickhill and Desmond Kopke.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations with wishes for continued success to the following firms – Pam Golding Properties Port Alfred, Total Sports, Miladys, Standerwick Nursery and Nature’s View Farm Stall (on the way to Fish River).

SOME good news and some really bad news for South Africans emanated from the hallowed halls of finance this week. Firstly, fuel prices (petrol, diesel and paraffin) all came down on Tuesday at midnight. Some relief there, but it won’t last as the bottom has fallen out of the rand against international currencies. As we purchase oil in dollars, the price decrease is likely to be short-lived. Also, fears of the covid-19 virus are halting production all over the world and will have a huge affect on the global economy. But SA’s immediate problem is another reduction in our growth prospects for yet another quarter that has perpetuated the technical recession and will almost certainly force international rating agency Moody’s (the only one of the three top rating agencies that has shown some measure of faith in our system) to downgrade us further into junk (non-investment) status. Eskom is the primary reason for this, but other SOE’s (state owned enterprises) are also to blame. The rating agencies gave us another cance when finance minister Tito Mboweni announced no further bailouts of SOEs, but then gave billions to save bloated and inefficient companies that need to be closed or completely reworked. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statements that, “we should not be shocked,” and that “we knew this was coming”, seem more like capitulation to the inevitable and certainly provide no solution to the problem. We need investment to create jobs, so acknowledgement that there is a problem is not terribly useful. We need action, now. With last year’s figures shown in brackets for comparison, at the time of going to print, the Rand was trading at R15.32 to the Dollar (R14.21), R19.58 to the Pound (R18.67) and R17.10 to the Euro (R16.06). Gold is trading at $1,640.45 per fine ounce ($1,286.89), Platinum at $967.28 per ounce ($839) with Brent Crude Oil at $54.82 per barrel ($65.69).

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.

BEST wishes, congratulations and continued happiness to all couples celebrating a wedding anniversary, especially Andrew and Wendy Cock, Peter and Mauneen Charter and Kevin and Karen Kelly.

THOUGHT for the week: “First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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