IT’S hard to believe that this is day 140 of the national lockdown. It has been recommended that the national command council reduce the disaster level to level 2 in order to save the economy. The revenue from sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol has, aside from a brief reprieve for drinkers, essentially been lost, and this at a time that money is sorely needed. It has been argued that the effects of Covid-19 will be considerably less severe than the effects of hunger and poverty. While ministers and their cronies are looting public coffers the ANC has launched investigations of alleged corruption of its members regarding the supply of personal protection equipment (PPEs), and the attention on other forms of corruption has taken a back seat. Perhaps another spate of public enquiries will follow costing more millions of rand the country cannot afford. The ANC cannot and must not perform “in-house” investigations. This is public money, it does not belong to either the ANC or the government, and the people have a ight to have an open investigation into corruption allegations.
LOCALLY we have another potential land grab, this time in Bathurst. A plot of land adjacent to the Nolukhanyo graveyard, and extending for perhaps a kilometer, has been planted with stakes identifying the new “owners” of specific plots. See our front page story. The same is happening at Trappes Valley and at Boknes as well as close to the 43 Air School turnoff on the R67. Do these squatters believe they can just take ownership of land without payment or consequences when many of us will never own property in our lives? Where does the entitlement come from to just claim land that does not belong to you? Municipal land belongs to the people for sure, but under the guardianship of the municipality. Ndlambe needs to pay close attention and stop these land grabs.
TALK of the Town spent time travelling with the Ndlambe Lockdown Support Group last Friday to witness the work they are doing in assisting the poorer members of the community. The group, having raised over R1.1m in donations, delivers food and clothing to those in need and also educates them on proper sanitation and social distancing. See our article on page 2.
IT’S Women’s Month, and the ladies at Word of Truth Ministries, together with others, stood at the church building and handed out care packages to any other ladies that came past.
OUR latest book review is from local poet and artist Wendy Barker, who has produced a great coffee table read in her latest poetic offering, The Other Side of 80, a fascinating perspective on getting older. This is her third published book of poetry and I have had the pleasure of reviewing two of them. This book is funny and a little sad and perhaps will make younger people (those below 80) rethink their strategy to avoid being ignored or worse later. I recommend the book if you would like an insight into Octogenarianship. See page 4.
HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone becoming another year older in the week ahead. Congratulations to all, especially Pat Cummns, Travis Dell, Juane Dorfling, Niki Smuts, Arleen Naude, Marjorie Henley, Bet Justus, Callum Timm, Geoffrey Southey, Gavin Ormandy, Allan Sheridan, Caylee Snyman, Jenna Rowe, Tracy Lloyd, Campbell Westcott, Marion Bartlett, Hester Vorster, Neil de Villiers, Roger Coates, Thelma de Waal, Brian Hayward, George Morgan, Ian Macpherson, Dale Waters, Shirley Evans, Raymond Kelbrick, Mary-Anne Goddard, Marge Timm, Beryl van Wyk, Jurie Swart, Thanduxolo Jika, Gary Human, Tracy Hancock, Sute Sülter, Connor Thorp, Amy Bennett, Carole Hill, Nancy Meyer, Gillis de Korte, Teago Pone, Rhonda Swanepoel, Rob Gimbel, Jennifer Fullarton, Patrick Cull, Lionel Nel, Sinesipho Siyolo.
WELL done, congrats and further success for the future to the following businesses who are having an anniversary, especially Spinning Reel Family Beach Cottages, Chalets and B&B on their 57th anniversary.
THE rand recovered slightly against other major currencies over the first part of this week after a disasterrous time last week that saw the rand plunge to new lows against the US dollar and British Pound. Alleged corruption among officials who are supposed to be protecting and serving us has had a definite impact on our currency and will impact investment in the country. We need swift action against these criminals along with those who stole from VBS, or looted Eskom, Prasa, Denel and so on, and so forth, and we need to recover all monies stolen if justice is seen to be served and we are to attract investment. With last year’s figures in brackets to refer to, the Rand was trading at R17.39 to the Dollar (R15.22), R22.71 to the Pound (R18.36) and R20.47 to the Euro (R16.99). Gold is trading at $1,932.23 ($1,501.77), Platinum at $940.11 ($864.55) and Brent Crude Oil at $43.52 per barrel ($60.83)
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Jan Haig, Charlton Hilpert and family, Bevan and Linda Edwards and Bev Young.
DEEPEST sympathy and special thoughts to the family and friends of Ian Hattingh who passed away on July 11. We especially think of his wife Bettine, children Lucy, Michael, Nicolette and Christopher and grandchildren.
SO sad to learn of the passing of Jeoff Southey. Much beloved by his family, he will be sorely missed.
IT was also sad to learn of Syd Dugmore’s recent passing , and he will be sorely missed by family and friends
WEDDING anniversary congratulations to all couples enjoying this wonderful occasion, especially Mike and Sue Soroczynski, Jan and Pippa Sowtus, Dean and Juanita Jakins.
THOUGHT for the week: “One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.”
BEST regards as always,