DAY 189 of SA’s national lockdown. The rate of Covid-19 infections had been decreasing, with a slight increase again recently. However, less cases of infection were recorded over the month of September than in previous months. This was the reason President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Covid Command Council agreed to lower the lockdown to level 1. Yet the damage already done to the economy through the worst period of the lockdown will have implications for individuals and companies for many years to come. The latest “official” unemployment figures, released on Tuesday, show a decline in the unemployment rate, from 30.1% to 23%. How can this be? How many people have lost their jobs and may never be gainfully employed again? Apparently, this figure does not include those who are no longer actively seeking employment. We were already aware that the true unemployment rate was closer to 40% before the pandemic, and now it is estimated that the true rate is 42%. “There are three types of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics ” is an apt quote incorrectly attributed to former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
WHAT is happening with regard to the vicious and inexcusable attacks occurring in our area is frightening. Just three weeks ago, a family was attacked and hacked with pangas while fishing peacefully at Cob Hole. Ten days after that there was another incident, where the attack was even more vicious. Then last week, a 19-year-old girl from Alexandria, Moesha Magotha, was inflicted with horrendous injuries, including having the word “p***” carved into her forehead, allegedly by a man she was in a relationship with. There is simply no excuse for the violence and, when caught, the perpetrators must face the full might of the law.
THAT brings us to questions about the legal system and its seeming inability to prosecute high-profile figures successfully. Even if convicted, they can spend many years in appeals (often using our money to do so). If former president Jacob Zuma can refuse to attend a duly-formed commission of inquiry, former head of Crime Intelligence Richard Mdluli can appeal a jail sentence when convicted of kidnapping and assault GBH two years earlier (and has only just gone to prison), and when former NMB councillor Andile Lungisa can appeal a jail sentence where he is undoubtedly guilty of assault GBH, then the law has failed to do its job. Why would anyone have any respect for the law or confidence in our judicial system?
NDLAMBE Council met on Wednesday to discuss the adjustment budget via MS Teams (virtual meeting). National Treasury allocated R16,430,000 for emergency Covid relief which had to be spent on specific areas including emergency water supply, sanitation of public transport and facilities, food parcels for the homeless, the provision of free basic services, municipal health services and services to cemeteries. The only point contended by mayor Khululwa Ncamiso and supported by councillor Ray Schenk, was with regard to food parcels. They suggested that as there are “no homeless people in Ndlambe”, the money should be redirected to the support of domestic food gardens. The department of water and sanitation also allocated R15m to Ndlambe to improve the water situation in the area. According to Ncamiso, there may be as little as 30 days of water remaining in the Sarel Hayward Dam.
HAPPY birthday and congratulations to everyone celebrating special days in the week ahead, especially Daniel Baker, Sanele Siyolo, Jenny Henning, Heather Green, Chase Dell, Shaun Wilken, Pieter Steenkamp, Gord Cockcroft, Zoë Wille, Ava Beukes, Basil Solz, Penny Maddocks, Calla van Heerden, Barry Griggs, Joan Strachan, Grant Mouton, Bronwyn Murray, Tanja Jacobs, Andrea Kemsley, Chris Avis, Linda Schlemmer, Franco Klopper, Jonty Alexandre, Gordon Naysmith, Carla Gailey, Louw Potgieter, Lauren Teixeira, Lucinda de Vos, Margie van Lier, Kerryn van der Walt, Dot Thorburn, Kristy Henderson, Karen Lee, Alf Steck, Lizelle Rielly, Liz Briggs, Nick Howard, Brenda Shelton, Yvonne McDonald and Darrren Coetzee.
CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses and organisations celebrating another anniversary and good wishes for further success to GBS Mutual Bank (on 143 years), Tectronic, Happy Hours Preprimary, Top Carpets and Floors (Makhanda), Postnet, Cosi Home and RD Patternmakers, West Side Assemblies Church and Coastal Car Care.
WITH unemployment above 40%, SAA operations suspended (just days before international flights resume), the unreliability of electricity supply and political parties factionalising, can we really expect investment and a boost in the economy? At the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R16.93 to the Dollar (R15.23), R21.70 to the Pound (R18.71) and R19.81 to the Euro (R16.58). Pundits speculate it could take a decade for the country to stabilise and for the rand to regain its former status. ‘Gold was trading at $1,882.93 ($1,459.60), Platinum at $869 ($935.60) and Brent Crude Oil at $41.66 ($59.77).
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.
SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Alexander John Neave who passed away on Thursday September 24. Special thoughts are with his wife Lilian, daughters Niki and Tracy, son-in laws Mike and Brendon and two grandsons Connor and Quade. May memories of happy times spent together carry you through this sad time.
HAPPY wedding anniversary wishes to Adrian and Cathleen Anderson, Terry and Sonia Blenkinsop, Peter and Stevie Godson, Hans and Jo-Anne Fourie, Brett and Ingrid Newcombe, Dries and Annatjie Liebenberg, Loua and Devon Coetzee, Jonathan and Jenny Lynn Tuppy, Gilbert and Marlene Coetzee, and Owen and Colleen Moore
THOUGHT for the week : “Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something and it’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.”
BEST regards as always,