Neighbourly Notes – 15 October 2020

CAREFUL CLOSE-UP: The Kowie Camera Club’s winning photograph for September was taken by Tony Mitchell. Describing the beautiful photograph, Mitchell said: ‘This butterfly was one of several that recently came to harvest nectar from the flowers in my front garden at Settlers Park. I did not want to scare it away, so I used a 70-200mm zoom lens which enabled me to work from a greater distance than a normal macro lens. I also used a 12mm extension tube between the camera and the lens to reduce the lens minimum focusing distance as the butterfly was still too close. This type of photography takes a lot of patience to capture images, without too much in the way of adjacent foliage or background detracting from the final picture’

IT’S day 203 of the national lockdown that began on March 27 and was expected to last for just 28 days. Now, at Level 1 some things are returning to normal, but not everything. Several local businesses have had to throw in the towel due to the pandemic, with a subsequent loss of jobs for staff, including Harry B’s, Decadent, CNA and others. However, there is a light at the end of the Corona tunnel, and that is the upcoming holiday season. With just 46 days left before December, holidaymakers are beginning to visit our town once more, stretching their legs, if not their budgets, in our picturesque part of the country. I don’t expect we will receive many overseas vacationers this time around due to Covid-19 though. But if hotels, guest houses and game lodges can afford to keep prices low (difficult because of the loss of income during the year) then locals will be able to afford and appreciate some of the facilities usually only affordable to our visitors. In fact, we need to promote local tourism among our friends, family and others to try and rebuild our waning local economy.

SO, you think you have had it bad during the lockdown? Some people have had to suffer without electricity for part of the lockdown, or with sporadic water availability or a loss of income. Now imagine you have been suffering with all of the above problems during the entire lockdown period, with no shining light ahead. This is the plight of Port Alfred’s homeless population who have had no access to water, sanitation, electricity or even a home during the dark days of lockdown. There are now 14 people who have taken shelter at the old municipal buildings behind the Lounge. Talk of the Town visited the people living there and asked them about their basic living conditions. We had visited these buildings several years before and reported that everything of value had been stripped and that it was in a completely derelict state. However, when asked, the municipality stated that there were no homeless people in Port Alfred and that these people only spent the day there and go to their various homes in the evening. Perhaps these so called homeless people will find comfort in the mayor ’s remarks, but probably not.

THE Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras, mainly financed by the farmers of the area, are proving invaluable when it comes to apprehending criminals (see our front page story). The alleged criminals were caught and arrested after an armed robbery at Alexandria’s Pep store on Tuesday as a direct consequence of identifying and tracking vehicles using the cameras. As crime increases it is critical that more cameras are installed throughout the area to monitor criminal activity and possibly prevent crimes from happening.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead. We wish you all a wonderful day and a super carefree year ahead, especially to Johan Potgieter, Arno Strohm, Arabella Sponneck, Tamara Yete, Eve Wallace, Jenivie Grune, John Purdon, Kim Wilson, Doreen McCarthy, Terrence McCarthy, Brendan Walker, Sarah Ford, Neil de Villiers, Rodney Gradwell, Alfred Scheepers, Arthur Manning, Andrew Warren, Shaun Elms, David Drennan, Mick Tuck, Dean Samuel, Michael Dewsnap, Gerald Spilkin, June Wheelwright, Irma Venter, Jean Steyn, Derrick Page, Shannon Hopkins, Johanna van der Merwe, Eddie Hoseck, Bea Klopper, Ria van der Merwe, Blake Squires, Sandy von Memerty, Jeanette Msipa, Helen Cowie, Lorraine Samuel, Clinton ”Stoffel” Schultz, Claire Purdon, Arlene Young, Rory Gailey, Wendy Vivier, Erica McNulty, Jenny Potter.

BEST wishes and continued success to businesses celebrating an anniversary soon. Pig ‘n Whistle, The Crazy Store, The Hospice Shop, Guido’s Port Alfred.

THERE are a number of issues around finance this week, including finance minister Toto Mboweni’s request to President Cyril Ramaphosa to delay the announcement of the mini-budget that was planned for this week. This is worrying as it implies the government does not yet have its ducks in a row. The Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) bill is open for discussion in parliament, and this will have many people concerned, including international companies that own land here. Though recovered slightly after last week’s low, the Rand is still not doing well against international currencies and investors are reluctant and wary of putting their money into the emerging markets space. With last year’s financial figures in brackets to compare against this year’s trading figures, at the time of going to press the Rand was trading at R16.53 to the Dollar (R15.00), R21.41 to the Pound (R19.07) and R19.40 to the Euro (R16.54). Gold is trading at $1,899.47 per fine ounce ($1,482.85), Platinum at $874.00 per ounce ($899.58) Brent Crude Oil at $42.20 per barrel ($58.46).

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 Peter Charles Bushell who passed away on Friday October 9. A service will be held on Friday October 16 at St James Catholic Church in Port Alfred. MAY happiness and contentment continue to be in your lives for many more great years ahead to all couples celebrating another wedding anniversary. Congratulations especially to Colin and Joan Purdon.

THOUGHT for the week: “It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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