TODAY marks 266 days since the national lockdown was implemented and after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Family Meeting on Monday evening, we now know this holiday season will be a lean one with respect to tourism in Ndlambe. One question being asked about the latest restrictions is why they do not apply equally throughout SA, or, more specifically, why the same beach bans do not apply to Cape Town as they do along the rest of the coastline. Our magnificent beaches are the main drawcard for visitors and without access to them, many may well cancel their holidays here. Should enough people decide not to visit our area, 2020 will sound the death knell for our seaside towns and villages. But beaches, properly controlled with social distancing, are possibly the best open spaces to occupy during a pandemic. However, while beaches are off-limits, we are allowed to sit at a table in a pub until 10pm each evening. That EC premier Oscar Mabuyane asked the Covid-19 command council to close our beaches indicates a lack of understanding of the problem. Beaches (aside from Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and Day) are relatively quiet in this area while, at the same time, pubs, clubs and restaurants are often jam-packed from mid-December to mid-January. Surely this was where the emphasis was required, not at our beaches? And what happens when a few hundred defy the regulations and decide to come to Port Alfred beaches on New Year ’s Day, as is tradition? Is local law enforcement capable or equipped to deal with the situation?
IT’S also just 14 days until the end of what has been a very trying year that has seen families separated, and some elderly people dying without friends or family at their bedsides. Money has been tight this year and many people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Now is the time for locals to stick together. Buy local and help to keep the local economy ticking over. Otherwise the casualties of the pandemic will not just be medical cases but also the potential closing down of local shops and stores. If ratepayers leave in droves, how will the municipality generate revenue to deliver services?
WATER is still a major stumbling block to our economic recovery. Without water this area will die and is another reason visitors might stay away. We need a plan of action on how we are to resolve the problems in the area and this plan must involve all residents and businesses. It appears the municipality is on its own mission, but without complete transparency and co-operation from the public their plans will cause resentment and potentially be ignored.
SOME good news in these dark times is that the members of the Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS) are working hard to ensure a bumper Bathurst Agricultural Show in 2021. The dates have been established, March 26 to 28 (Covid-19 restrictions allowing), and it should be the best and biggest show for some time. As this year’s efforts to commemorate the bicentennial year of the British settlers’ arrival in the Eastern Cape were all in vain, let’s look forward to an even better show in 2021. BAS president Danny Wepener, along with his executive committee, thanked all show clients for their continued support and patience.
CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially to Chrystal Darné, Martin Nel, Kerri Stevenson, Bradley Odendaal, Kerry Warren, Juston Hackart, Warwick Heny, Jannis Sephton, Hendrik le Roux, Laura Forrester, David du Preez, Gillian O’Dwyner, Christine Haworth, Kelly Ferreira, Jean Letley, Christine Holmes, twins Emily and Kate Fella, Noeline Kirsten, Marie Davies, Noel Stötter, Marianne Stiglingh, Audrey Barnard, Janné Steyn, Michael Wilmot, Lyn Riddin, Clive Williams, Bevan Edwards, Nova Butt, Alan Lubbé, Gerhard Strydom, Jimmy McQuirk, Jacko Vogel, Penny Patterson and Clive Buchanan.
ENDING the year off for business anniversary wishes and wishes for further success in the future are Mooifontein Quarry and Sister Ingrid’s Clinic.
THE political world is currently dealing with many issues including the transition of power in the US, Europe and the UK’s deal for future trade between them, the pandemic, conspiracies, racism and more. The markets are therefore unstable and vary significantly from day to day. At the time of going to press, the rand was trading at R14.99 to the dollar (R14.38), R19.95 to the pound (R18.98) and R18.20 to the euro (R16.03). Commodities are trading with gold at $1,846.40 per fine ounce ($1,478.66), platinum at $1,049.00 per ounce ($932.51), and Brent Crude at $50.09 per barrel ($65.19).
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, Jenna Coetzee, Jan Haig and Graeme Sunny Hill.
OUR sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Fred Golombick who passed away on Saturday December 12. We especially think of his wife Tracy, and hope the memories of good times spent together carry you through this difficult time.
HEARTFELT condolences to the friends and family of Corrie du Plessis, who passed away last week. May her family and friends find solace in the many memories they share.
TO those couples celebrating an anniversary, best wishes for your continued happiness, especially Hans and Tina Hon, Alex and Nadia Harris, Ettienne and Ren Mouton, and Craig and Tori Stowe.
THOUGHT for the week: “Do all the good you can, by all means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can. At all times to all the people you can, as long as you can.” (John Wesley).
BEST regards as always,