DAY 154 of the lockdown and things are slowly getting back to normal (whatever that is). Children are back at school – some only for two days a week though, you can travel anywhere within the country, pubs are open, and people can buy tobacco products legally again. But we still need to wear masks and sanitise our hands, keep our social distances and obey the curfew. So, “normal” is open to interpretation. But not everyone is happy. Some parents are concerned safety protocols are not being properly observed at school, while others are frustrated that their children cannot go to school every day. Some say that wearing masks causes issues more than it eliminates them. TotT would like to hear from you as to how you view the new level 2 lockdown regulations.
A RUMOUR was circulating that President Cyril Ramaphosa was going to announce the closure of liquor outlets in the country, due, it was said, to the number of alcohol-related road deaths that have occurred since pubs and bottle stores were reopened last week. However, TotT established that this was fake news, but will inform our readers if things change. The alcohol ban imposed at the beginning of lockdown at the end of March cost the country billions of rand in tax revenue, along with a considerable number of jobs in the alcohol industry. Some international investors actually curtailed expansion plans while awaiting the outcome of the Covid-19 command council’s decision on the banning of alcohol. But we do not ban sugar because some of us have diabetes. The bottom line is that the police must do their job. Zero alcohol in the bloodstream is difficult to impose as many medications, along with that rum baba you had at the end of your meal, contain alcohol. However, anyone caught over the legal limit must be thown in jail and their licence rescinded for a year or more, if not banned for life. Drinking and driving puts other road-users’ lives at risk. There is no excuse: if you drink, don’t drive.
NDLAMBE Council met over an MS Teams video conference on Tuesday to discuss several important items. Mayor Khululwa Ncamiso stated that Ndlambe would not tolerate any form of corrupt activity. She said that action would be taken immediately against anyone involved in corruption, no matter their position. This is in line with President Ramphosa’s open letter to the ANC on Monday that condemned corruption, specifically within the ruling party, the ANC. However, these are just words until we see action taken against those who have flagrantly disobeyed the rules and regulations, and particularly those who have profited from the redirection or outright theft of government (taxpayers’) money. Those who have stolen from funds to provide personal protective equipment (PPEs) required by health workers as well as the general populace should be charged with attempted murder.
WHILE on the subject of the Ndlambe council, there was supposed to be a report at Tuesday ’s meeting explaining about the delivery (or lack thereof) of food parcels for the poor. As in almost all meetings, reports promised at one meeting are never available on-time, if ever. It is critical that council produce the reports it has committed to, and such reports should be freely available for inspection and comment. Without this level of transparency, it is impossible for the man-on-the-street to assess what is happening with their rates and taxes, leading to rumour, speculation and a lack of trust.
ARE you a Sarie magazine reader? Even if you are not, get hold of the September issue and vote for local beauty Beatrix Bissett, who is one of 40 finalists in the Sarie VoorBladgesig competition. I think you’ll agree she deserves our votes. Read about her and the competition in this week’s issue.
CONGRATULATIONS and every good wish for the coming year to everyone who is having a birthday this week, especially Jake Lacey, Mollie Seeney, Wendalyn Kelbrick, John Potter-Sayman, Lionel Timm, Reay Squires, Megan Hobson, Elna Barnard, Bronwyn Fick, Luke Charter, Charlene Oosthuizen, Errol Jacobs, Celine Hilpert, Ross Elliott, Dennis Coghlan, Ros Oliver, Lynne Costa, Magda Rieger, Malcolm Evans, Charles Frederichs, Charles Randall, David Bradfield, Adrian Moss, Stasha van Rooyen, Judy Paterson, Tina Hon, Mandla Hendele, Euthine Shone, Kathy Riddin, Dimitri Papa, Val Pote, Cameron Kretschmann, Kirsty Clayton, Carol Ford, Dawn Hains, Charles de Bruin, Donne Kolesky and Sanume Esterhuyse.
A SPECIAL birthday wish to TotT’s Makhanda correspondent Sid Penney, who celebrated his 75th last Friday. Without his input there would be little news of Makhanda, and we’d certainly miss all the little titbits of the Grahamstown of yesteryear. We hope your day was the best yet.
ANOTHER birthday wish goes to Olive Pike on the occasion of her 100th birthday. At home with her family once more, the Pike legacy continues in her family, her past students and all those she helped through years of service to the community. See the TotT website for a brief history of her life and how so many have been influenced and inspired by her will-do attitude. Happy birthday Auntie Olive.
ESTABLISHMENTS enjoying an anniversary are Sunshine Coast Hospice and Kenton Primary School. We congratulate them and wish them much success in the future.
YAHOO! The rand broke through the $US17 mark on Monday after months of failing against major international currencies. We will have to see if this trend continues. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R16.78 to the Dollar (R15.28); R22.05 to the Pound (R18.66) and R19.87 to the Euro (R16.97). Gold was trading at $1,927.84 ($1,542.58), platinum was trading at $924.35 ($873.51) and Brent Crude Oil at $45.04 per barrel ($59.43).
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, Bev Young and Graeme Sunny Hill.
CONDOLENCES to the family and friends of Rena Wallace, 92, who died on August 20.
OUR heartiest congratulations to all couples who are celebrating another wedding anniversary in the week ahead, especially Jim and Maureen Truscott, Neville and Rita Hope, Wesley and Janine Sparg, Trevor and Winsome Collett, Willem and Sue Horn.
THOUGHT for the week: “Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well.”
BEST regards as always,