IT has been 238 days since the national lockdown was imposed and, in an attempt to avoid a forecasted second wave, Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane recently posted the new rules with respect to Covid-19 restrictions. Mabuyane, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 last week, is currently self-isolating at his home. The press release from his office stated, “The Eastern Cape provincial government will embark on mass testing, screening, tracking, tracing of people who are contacts of people infected by coronavirus, enforce mandatory wearing of cloth masks in public places, public transport and other regulations put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections in the province.”
WATER, or the lack of it, is one of the major problems in the area. At the time of writing the Sarel Hayward Dam, that supplies Port Alfred, is running below minimum capacity. Without sufficient rains, the dam will inevitably run dry. As we cannot control the weather, it is up to residents to cut down on their water usage. This obviously means there can be no washing of cars or watering of gardens, but it also needs more subtle precautions to prevent Day Zero from happening. For example, leaving the tap running when brushing your teeth and excessive flushing of toilets are strict no-no’s in our water-scarce area. More of a problem will be encountered when our visitors arrive who come from areas where there are no restrictions on water usage and they can even drink water straight from the municipal supply. Remember that many of our local businesses are dependent on the arrival of visitors and, following a year of lockdown and restrictions, they will be arriving with the sole idea of relaxing and having a good time. We have to make our visitors aware of the problem and, without spoiling their well-earned holiday, ensure that there is enough water when the holidays are over. Yet, primarily, locals must also be aware of the problem. All leaks must be reported to Ndlambe Municipality for their immediate action. We probably need Ndlambe to begin an education/marketing campaign to highlight the problem of water shortages and the things to do, or avoid doing, to ensure water security for the area.
CRIMINALS are out and about around town, looking for opportunities to steal. Gangs sometimes use “spotters” to do reconnaissance on properties to determine which are empty during the day, noting dogs or other security measures. Although it appears that few crimes have been reported in the area, a number of “suspicious” people have been observed jumping fences and trespassing on properties. Our local security companies are doing a good job, but neighbourhood safety requires a concerted effort of the residents to keep an eye-out for their neighbours and report all suspicious activity in their area. Also, if you have had trespassers on your property, even if nothing was stolen, please report this to the police so they are warned about potential crimes as well as criminal hot spots.
ARE you looking forward to Black Friday? It is scheduled for November 27, next Friday. It is a time when consumers can pick up bargains and price-discounted items and is also an opportunity for retailers and suppliers to offload slow-moving stock in preparation for the Christmas season. Originating in the United States, Black Friday is always scheduled for the day after the American Thanksgiving. Because of all the restrictions we have faced over the last several months (it feels more like years) shoppers might be tempted to spend money they do not have on items they do not need. Just be careful with your money as there are always criminal elements at work, particularly at vulnerable spots such as ATMs. Moreover, remember that you need your money to last, not just over the upcoming Christmas period but into January 2021 and beyond.
WE send bright thoughts and warmest birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday and hopefully may it be the best ever. Congratulations, especially to Fiona Timm, Ruan Cannon, Rudolf van der Heever, Kathleen Hill, Cordelia Quma, Jovan Alexander, Mike Millard, Buks de Kock, Kayleigh Parsons, Graham Strachan, Cindy Charter, Olivia Charter, Duncan Minott, Jill Bax, Colette Reid, Hilpert twin sisters Michaela and Monique, Lydia Atteridge, Lisa Tarr, Julia Stevens, Ann McCann, Bella Metcalf, Lynette Keeton, Jacquiline du Preez, Gladman Sontsonga, Taryn Hickman, Lettie Plaatjie, Geofrey Duruwe, Richard Rudman, Barry Allen, Peter Reed, Barbara Carolan, Mo Goff, Shalmedine Brooks, Gavin Keeton, Tyrone Dixon, Lindi Garner, Cecilia Paul, Anthony Stevenson, Mikayla Patterson, Omica Ngqowana, Ilse Wicks, Anita Thompson, Toni Metcalf, Sylvia Strydom, Brandon Handley.
CONGRATULATIONS and continued success to the following businesses celebrating another anniversary, especially to Cherrywood Nursery (Kenton-on-Sea), Kekkel en Kraai, Try Me for Tours, The Corner Gallery (Bathurst).
BECAUSE of the coronavirus pandemic the markets have been slow and ponderous as the entire global economy attempts to recover. Added to this are the current Brexit negotiations (the UK leaves Europe on January 1 whether there is a deal with the EEU or not). Also, with American politics currently in turmoil the markets remain cautious. With the announcements of a highly effective (from 90% and above), vaccine, first from Pfizer last week and by Moderna this week, the markets have recovered a little of earlier losses. However, creating a suitable vaccine is only half the battle as now it must be manufactured in bulk and distributed to those who want it, like the elderly and those with comorbidities. Others will go the route of natural herd immunity. With 2019’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R15.37 to the dollar (R14.74), R20.40 to the pound (R19.06), and R18.26 to the euro (R16.32). Commodities were trading with gold at R1,888.54 per fine ounce ($1,465.70), platinum at R931.80 per ounce ($893.42) and Brent crude oil at R44.08 per barrel ($61.96).
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, Graeme Sunny Hill and Jenna Coetzee.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations, and may there be many more years of continued happiness to Jaco and Cheryl Delport, Malcolm and Carole Christie, Matthew and Casey van Niekerk, Vic and Beryl Goddard.
THOUGHT for the week: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.”
BEST regards as always,