Neighbourly Notes – 24 December 2020

JOY TO THE CHILDREN: Mama Christmas and her Harcourts elves travelled around Port Alfred in their tuk-tuk and distributed sweets to the children in the area on December 16. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

WE would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, advertisers, holidaymakers, colleagues, family and friends a blessed Christmas and hopefully you will receive the present you have been looking forward to.

IT is now Christmas Eve, a time when families and friends get together and celebrate the season; but not necessarily this year. With the current restrictions in the Sarah Baartman District, the number of places one can visit are strictly controlled or closed. This includes a restriction on pub and tavern opening times, a curfew from 11pm to 4am, no access to beaches and several other measures that restrict what we are able to do this holiday season. But not everything is doom and gloom, and there is still plenty to do in the Eastern Cape, and our area in particular. You can drive to the Gciyo turnoff near Alexandria and go on the “poor man’s game drive”, or visit many of the historical monuments and other places in the area, such as the Karel Landman Monument at Kolrant, the Big Pineapple and Toposcope in Bathurst, the Great Fish Point lighthouse, and many other attractions. Or why not take a cruise along the Kowie River, or just sit on the riverbank and bask in the sunshine? See also the back page of our Sunshine Holiday edition, available free at all the places that stock Talk of the Town.

AS for Christmas church services, a couple of churches in the area sent service times for actual or virtual services (see page 5). In addition to that list, the Westside Church (the Church on the hill), is also holding a once-off service, from 9-10am on Christmas.

AT the beginning of the lockdown it was as if we fell into an alternate universe where the normal rules of logic no longer apply. First it was the cigarette ban that many people found entirely unjustifiable (as did the Western Cape high court on Friday December 11). Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma still attempted to justify her stance, but the court declared her actions unconstitutional and invalid. Yet it was too late in coming. In fact, the only consequence of the ban was that it made a lot of contraband cigarette manufacturers and dealers extremely happy. More recently, former president Jacob Zuma disrespected the State Capture Inquiry chairperson (who he appointed and told everyone to cooperate with) and broke the law when he refused to attend, actually walking out on a session without permission. So far there has been no direct action taken against him. Even more recently, ANC appointed Thekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, was charged with corruption and would have spent the last few months in jail had she not been a le to post her R50,000 bail. The case is still to be tried in court and she was sacked as mayor, but reappointed by the ANC to an MEC position in the province. After a kerfuffle, her appointment was endorsed by the KZN ANC Integrity Commission. On the other hand, ANC general secretary Ace Magashule was lambasted by the ANC National Integrity Commission for his part in more than one corruption case. The ANC stated there was no hurry for him to step aside before the ANC NEC met in January to discuss the matter. It seems as though the ANC Integrity Commissions are analogous to me committing a murder and then assuring everyone I would get to the bottom of the case and determine if I was guilty. A man at Brakenfell fired a single shot into the air and was rightfully arrested for discharging a firearm in public. Commander in Chief of the EFF, Julius Malema, fired an automatic weapon into the air and … nothing. Someone uses the “K”-word in a video and is made to pay compensation, attend rehabilitation and do community service. Malema incites his members to fight the police and their families and …nothing. The DA seems to be conflicted and ineffective, and the other political parties seem inert and irrelevant. Now, with the latest restrictions imposed on our area, we are not allowed on beaches in the open air where we can be socially distanced and have sanitiser in the form of seawater readily at hand, but we can go to the mall and mingle with shoppers, or sit indoors at a pub or restaurant with fellow patrons for hours on end. Has the coronavirus affected our authorities’ brains?

WISHING everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, a wonderful birthday with many more years to come, especially Shane Marais, Nicole Phillipson, Kim Fryer, Jean Letley, Christine Holmes, Shayne Minott, Ann Tyrrell, Cynthia Plowman, Janet Brannon, Tristan Rissik, Craig Eaton, Nielen Marais, Elize Alexander, Rob Avis and David du Preez.

CONTINUED success and congratulations to all business establishments celebrating another anniversary, especially The SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Makhanda (Grahamstown).

CONGRATULATIONS and every good wish for continued happiness for many years ahead to all couples celebrating wedding anniversaries in the week ahead, especially Arno and Mirinda Strydom, Jonathan and Vanessa Burns, Connan and Yolanda Hill, and Etienne and Leane Naude.

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all who are not well, having or have had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Jenna Coetzee, Jan Haig and Graeme Sunny Hill.

THOUGHT for the week: “Christmas is the time of year to remember all those that touched our lives, in ways they could not possibly know.” (by Karon Waddell)

BEST regards as always,
The Team