Neighbourly Notes – 4 June 2020

LAVA LAMPS: The Port Alfred High School Grade 2 class received packs of work to be done at home from their teachers. Sangenathi Booi enjoys every moment of making a ‘lava’ lamp as part of the science curriculum

IT’S now 70 days since the lockdown was imposed and just four days into level 3. The North Gauteng high court declared on Tuesday that the lockdown regulations under levels 3 and 4 are unconstitutional and irrational. This is something many of us felt when minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the ban on the sale of alcohol, tobacco, and the command council’s decisions to arrest people for walking on the beach, reaking the curfew and many other regulations. The Liberty Fighters Network brought the case to the high court. However, the regulations were not revoked out of hand, and will still apply until at least June 15, by which time the government must explain their actions and explain the rationality of the decisions and how they are implemented to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The command council must review and reissue regulations with sufficient and rational explanations. However, if the government appeals the decision, the high court’s finding will be set aside until government’s appeal is heard. Tis could mean a much longer delay and, in the meantime, the regulations as stated under level 3 will still apply. So, it looks as though, whether proven right or wrong, the regulations imposed at level 4 and level 3 of the lockdown will still apply.

AT level 3, schools were supposed to open for Grade 7 and 12 pupils on Monday June 1, but after delayed inspections by the education department and government’s failure to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE), followed by mixed messages from government and other institutional bodies, most schools are now scheduled to reopen on Monday June 8. Locally, only Alexandria Christian Academy, which purchased their own PPE’s, were able to open. Nationally, other schools are ready to accept pupils but some do not even have running water and sanitation. Yet, after 26 years of democracy it seems inconceivable that there should still be children attending schools that have no access to basic services. The confusion around the reopening of schools is rightly placed on the government’s shoulders. South Africans deserve better than the garbled messages of ministers who seem more interested in imposing arbitrary rules than in resolving important issues.

WALKING around the Port Alfred CBD on Monday morning we observed only small queues outside our bottle stores, and the scene was considerably different than those in other cities, towns and townships in the country. There are videos on the internet showing people standing in large groups, sharing beers and spirits and celebrating the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol. There is even a video circulating of a brass band marching with their shiny instruments to choreographed dance moves as they entered the bottle store. Questions have been asked whether some people who had been standing in line for food parcels and gladly accepting the charity of private organisations during lockdown suddenly found enough money to purchase carloads of alcohol. Such scenes have made people less likely to donate to private feeding schemes in future.

GREETINGS and congratulations to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Happy birthday and many more, especially to Celesto Scheepers, Andy Jones, Sue Langley, Terry West, Bonita Skipper, Penny Elliott, Jim Reynolds, Lou Coetzee, Nicola Nel, Lara Lloyd, Jenni Reed, Dalys Sparg, Jenny Pincente, Thomas Barnardt, Wayne Reilly, Matthew Thorp, Digby Pocock, Annelien Gouws, Stevie Godson, Bev Radue, June Jones, Charlton Hilpert, June Sheasby, Lynne Nettleton, Devon de Bruin, Colleen Venter, Gareth Kilian, Hannah Robinson, Brian Webber, Daniel Kieck, Jonathan Hanstein, Di Thorp, Trish Solz, Erna Light, Penny Noel, Barbara Welsh, Allen Thompson, Scott Elliott, Bryan Robinson, Lynne Kirk, Sybil Kopke, Charlene Brown, Ava Peet, Audrey Kuhlane, Dana Pullen, Pat Whitfield, Sue Steenkamp.

BEST wishes and for many more happy years of trading and may success always be close to the following businesses, clubs and churches – The Ploughman Pub, R72 Port to Port Courier Services, Kenton Bowling Club, Kuyasa Interact Club, Compudoc Computer Services and Port Alfred Celebration Centre.

RENEWED talks between the US and China have bolstered the markets and SA has benefitted from the renewed hope of a positive outcome. In the meantime, fuel prices increased quite sharply at midnight on Tuesday as the price of Brent Crude oil exceeded $40 per barrel. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R17.10 to the dollar (R14.78), R21.53 to the pound (R18.79) and R19.16 to the euro (R16.66). Gold is trading at $1,724.81 per fine ounce ($1,334.15), platinum at $854.30 per fine ounce ($825.40) and only Brent crude oil at $40.27 per barrel ($61.45).

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, Olof Ferreira, Jan Haig and Lyn Charter.

OUR deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Gay Kember who passed away recently. We especially keep in our thoughts Ben and family. May wonderful memories of good times spent together comfort you through this sad time.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Allen Thompson, who passed away on Friday May 29. We especially keep in our thoughts Helen, Neil, Isabel, Bianca and Doris.

SYMPATHY to the family and friends of Kathy Turner, especially Lynda, Kenny, Wendy, Dean and Hughie. You will be missed.

OUR heartiest congratulations to all couples enjoying a wedding anniversary with good wishes for many more to Ernest and Nikki Bendeman, Tony and Sharon Dove, Kenny and Toezie Turner, Neville and Anne Williamson, Dale and Kyle Coates, and Neville and Marjorie Henley.

CONGRATULATIONS to Peggy and Geoff Southey on your 61st wedding anniversary on June 6. Your granddaughter, Kaelene Steyn sends you all her love and TotT wishes you a great day, even though you have to celebrate during the lockdown.

THOUGHT for the week: “When we are not honest, we are cut off from a significant resource of ourselves, a vital dimension that is necessary for unity and wholeness.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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