IT’S 175 days since the national lockdown was implemented and, at the time of writing, rumours are that a change to level 1 is on the cards. Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has begun speaking of international border restrictions being lifted and other ministers also seem to support the idea of easing lockdown restrictions. The figures the SA health department provides of infections, deaths and recoveries are merely an indication and not comprehensive as, unless we test everyone in the country and the disease is completely eradicated, we have no clear idea of how many people have actually been infected. President Cyril Ramaphosa stated recently that Covid-19 was not like a war that came to an end, but rather like the weather that will always be around. Does that mean from now on we will always be forced to wear masks and sanitise before we enter a public facility or building? Is a “new normal” being imposed on us and, if so, to what end? These are just some of the many questions being asked that must be answred if government is to regain any of its lost credibility.
CRIME is increasing in our area, as evidenced by the number of incidents that have occurred since lockdown was imposed. Please report all crimes, or potential crimes, to your local SAPS office (Port Alfred, Kenton, Bathurst or Alexandria) so that an accurate account of crime in the area is on record. The brutal assault and robbery of the family who were fishing at Cob Hole on the Kowie River (see our front page story) is an example of a vicious crime and criminal opportunism. And the police seem to have not taken this incident seriously and recorded that no injuries were experienced at the scene, and were also reported to have laughed as the harrowing account was being related to them. Incidents of trespassing on properties (with the likely intention of break-ins and robberies) have certainly increased significantly over the last six months of lockdown.
THE sewage situation in the area is becoming untenable. Ndlambe Municipality has allowed the sewerage system, such that there is, to deteriorate to the point of collapse, and has never taken into account the ever-increasing number of residents that need access to the system. Raw sewage leaks in our area could get very serious as the heat of summer will exacerbate the problem. The entire sewerage system must be looked at and refurbished, or replaced as necessary, if we are to attract visitors here and prevent outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne diseases.
GOOD news is that we have received notice that the Bathurst Agricultural Show will take place from Thursday March 25 (for the horse show) until Sunday March 28 2021. But, even sooner, the BAS Showgrounds will be hosting a music spectacular over the weekend of Saturday December 19 and Sunday December 20. Both events are subject to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Make sure you keep those dates available as, following our strict lockdown, we all need to socialise and enjoy some great entertainment.
WHO is actually in charge of the country? While the public is prevented from travelling outside SA, the ANC delegation not only left for Zimbabwe but even used an SANDF jet to do so. Now the ANC has said it will pay for the flights, but that is just a way to mitigate the issue. The question is, who sanctioned a political party to exit and re-enter the country? Remember the Gupta flight into a national key point, which caused an outcry but little significant action was taken? The ANC does not appear to appreciate the distinction between government and their political party and it raises the question as to who holds the cards? While Ramaphosa has a king in his hand, the ANC’s general secretary is an Ace.
IT is almost unbelievable that Nelson Mandela Bay Metro ANC councillor Andile Lungisa, who slammed a water jug into DA councillor Rayno Kayse’s head (there is a video) in a heated council meeting in 2016, is attempting to have his effective two-year jail sentence commuted. In fact, he should be in jail as of this morning, but has petitioned the courts for a bail extension. Lungisa, the former deputy president of the ANC Youth League, had his application to dismiss his sentence denied by the Supreme Court of Appeal last week, so there should be no other avenues available to him to escape justice. Why did the ANC not act on this blatant criminal act of one of its councillors? If such a clear-cut case does not motivate the ANC to take action, what chance is there that they will really root out corruption among their party members?
CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead, especially to Dillan Dugard, Kathleen Sansom, Nancy Meyer, Amy Bennett, Gillis de Korte, Carole Hill, Jacobus Nel, Su Reed, Glenda Jakins, Norman Whale, Van West, Dawn McQuillian, Alan Gunn, Di Menin, Leon Erasmus, Liezl van Zyl, Warren Bowdler, Rob le Roux, Sandra Wiblin, Aidan Sparrow, Ryan Axe, Tippin Crisp, Michael Armstrong, June Tapson, David Foulkes, Hendrik Smit, Priscilla Mike, Judie van Wyk, Jenny Dalgety, Judy Boland, Robert Atkinson, David Painting, Tisha Marshall, Jane Bladen, Elene Daubermann, Robin Hyde, Bruce Frederichs, Christo Paul, Lucille Louw.
THERE are many businesses and organisations celebrating an anniversary at this time of the year. Congratulations to all and we wish everyone all the very best for the future, especially The Kowie Striders Club, Kowie Key, Re/Max Kowie, IPC (Bathurst), Marko Polo, Coastal Blue Star.
THE rand is currently holding its own on the international front and has actually gained ground this week despite last week’s announcement of a 51% shrinkage in the economy. There is a great level of anxiety among international investors and a reluctance to place money in a country like South Africa with so much unrest and the potential each day of loadshedding. With last year’s in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R16.44 to the Dollar (R14.69), R21.20 to the Pound (R18.30) and R19.49 to the Euro (R16.22). Gold was trading at $1,964.61 per fine ounce ($1,504.95), Platinum at $944.18 per ounce ($939.32) and Brent Crude Oil at $42.07 per barrel ($64.41).
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, Fred Golombick and Graeme Sunny Hill.
WEDDING anniversary greetings to everyone celebrating another year and may joy and contentment continue to be yours, especially to the following couples, Chris and Janice Housten, Craig and Penny Robertson, Christopher and Jill Japp, Andrew and Tonia Walker, Godfrey and Kathy Elms, Sean and Jackie Elms, Ian and Haruyki Currie, Robey and Christy Pretorius, John and Janet Basson.
LAST but not least, have you voted yet for our own local lass, Beatrix Bissett, in the Sarie Voorbladgesig competition? Get your copy today and show your support for her.
THOUGHT for the week: “We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly”.
BEST regards as always,