WHAT a year it has been. Now, 245 days after the national lockdown was imposed, we are nearing the end of a tumultuous period that has seen the unofficial unemployment rate jump to about 50%, events with large gatherings cancelled (except when politically charged) and the lack of water becoming an ever more critical issue. We have to ask what the Christmas holidays are going to be like this year. The Eastern Cape has been highlighted as a coronavirus hotspot so tourism might be affected even further if holidaymakers decide it’s too dangerous to travel here. Aside from our critical and often overlooked agricultural sector, Ndlambe’s only other potential income comes from tourism, and that makes the area particularly vulnerable. Fortunately, local hotels and guesthouses are reporting bookings (though few, if any, are fully booked) for the upcoming season, but this is only part of the benefits our visitors bring. Hospitality in general is a critical industry in Ndlambe as our visitors need to eat and be entertained, and this way our restaurants and cafés benefit from the influx. Visitors also shop for groceries, purchase fuel, perhaps buy clothing here, and myriad other items that keep our local businesses up and running. Lots of small rural towns and villages around the world have virtually closed down during the viral pandemic and we must ensure this does not happen here. Welcome our visitors warmly, albeit at a socially acceptable distance, and let’s make this holiday season work for all our sakes.
A BIG thank you to all the locals, both businesses and individuals, who have contributed to our Santa Shoebox collection. Even in these depressing times you have dug deep and managed to make this year’s collection perhaps the best yet. Each shoebox given to the truly needy produces a smile and heartfelt gratitude from the recipient as this could be the only present they receive this year. On their behalf, we thank you for your kindness.
RESIDENTS of Bathurst should be aware that on the weekend after next, December 4 to 6, there could be some noise as the Lion Bike Rally will be there, raising money to give back to the community. Lion Freddie Erasmus of Uitenhage has asked for your indulgence over that weekend and promises that they will attempt to keep the noise under control.
THE TotT Daily Diary is now available on our website www.talkofthetown.co.za If you have an event you would like to share with the community (and the world), please let us know for inclusion. E-mail either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or see our web page for more information. The diary will appear in print again when there are sufficient events to warrant the space.
HAPPY birthday greetings, congratulations, and all good wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead, especially Michele Rowe, Martin Neethling, Denise Beresford, Delene Deenik, Craig Dickie, Francois de Klerk, Carol Mentz, Jacques Tarrant, Benjamin Arnott, San-Marie Vorster, Marion McPherson, Bruno Menin, Matthew Evans, Lodene Pohl, Juan Southey, Emms de Jager, Hal Snyman, Bernadine Probart, Liz Gouws, Claude McLellan, Lance Muller, Gareth Turner, Kim Gardner, Marianne Wessels, Louise Carter, Fanna Vogel, Mike Legg, Helen Dell, Jessie Muller, Sally Anne Robertson, Dave Wilson, Mary Brendenkamp, Derick Moll, Leo Rossouw, Malcolm Nel, Solly Faroa, Nola Timm, Diana Tremeer, Piet le Roux, Willie van Gass, Darron Beetge, Nick Donaghy, Tyler van Breda, Elton Marney, Janine Groenewald, Wanda Kelbrick, Cleo Black, Shauna-Lee Stephens, Podge Wansbury, Dave Young, Carla Fryer, Glynnis Pike, Elsabe Badenhorst, Colleen Thorp, Charmaine Pauls, Kaylin van Heerden, Jenni Schoeman, Mike Warren, Peter Watson, Inge Schlemmer, Isobella Mitten, Shaun Botha, Mark Deenik, Ethne Barnard, Rosemary Cawse, Vivienne Reid, Caleb Bouwer, Pam Wilmot, Lungisile Sinqe-Dili, Marin Hensens, Jade Pauls, Amanda Funani, Janine Collins, Andrea Elliott, Kathy Botha, Adelina Snyman, Dennis Woest, Andy Nel, Donne Wentzel, Beuhlah Meyer and Jane Denton.
CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses celebrating their anniversaries and may you enjoy even more success in the future, especially Pick n Pay Clothing, Lady Biscay Kowie Cruises, Audie Attorneys and LP Gaz.
WITH the recent announcements made of Covid-19 vaccines with more than 90% effectiveness (even the flu vaccines taken by millions each year have far less efficacy), the global markets have picked up over the last week with currencies strengthening and share prices gaining traction in the markets. However, the markets are still extremely volatile and vulnerable. As Covid-19 appears to be resurging in many parts of the world, specifically the US and Europe, the Asian markets are having a more significant influence in world trade. The fact that the world’s next No 1 economy is likely to be non-democratic communist China, has the punters nervous. Added to this we have the US presidential transition and that the UK might leave the EU without a deal, also leaving the markets worried. With 2019’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand is trading at R15.22 to the dollar (R14.75), R20.31 to the pound (R18.59) and R18.10 to the euro (R16.23). Commodities are trading with gold at $1,811.13 per fine ounce ($1 458.75), platinum at $964 per ounce ($911.16) and Brent crude oil at $45.12 per barrel ($64.36).
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.
OUR sincere condolences to the family and friends of Amanda Ludick who died tragically on Tuesday. We are sorry for your loss.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations with best wishes for many more happy years ahead to all couples celebrating such an occasion. Many more memory-making years ahead to Gavin and Annie Muir and Garth and Jenny Kieck.
THOUGHT for the week: “The world is full of abundance and opportunity but far too many people come to the fountain of life with … a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.”
BEST regards as always,