Neighbourly Notes – 11 April 2021

NEW OCTOGENARIAN: Long-time resident Joan van Niekerk, well acquainted to locals from her many years at GBS, turns 80 on March 14

TODAY marks 350 days since the national lockdown was imposed, and there seems to be concern that the Covid-19 virus is not going away anytime soon. Vaccine rollouts are taking place despite a late start to the process, but only a minimal number of vaccines have been delivered. We do not yet know what percentage of the population must be vaccinated to attain herd immunity as this varies depending upon the disease. For example, to attain herd immunity against measles, the WHO says 95% of the population has to be immunised. The remaining 5% were covered as measles would not be transmitted from those already vaccinated. Of course, this does not account for the generations who already had measles, which contributed to herd immunity. Scientists suggest herd immunity could be reached with just 80% of the population vaccinated but for SA that means we still require considerably more vaccines than we have.

WHAT a pity that more thought was not put into the groundbreaking 2.5Ml reservoir at Thornhill that stands 25m (33m when the reservoir is complete) and breaks the Thornhill skyline. The reservoir is intended to gravity-feed potable water to the surrounding area and is an exemplar of good design and engineering expertise. With the project about halfway completed, the question of where the water to fill the reservoir will come from is still in abeyance. Why hasn’t the municipality got a plan? The best municipal spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa (and the team at infrastructure) can come up with is that they will use existing water sources, including the still empty Sarel Hayward Dam and the pending seawater reverse osmosis plant that is only designed to supply 2Ml of water per day. As these cannot supply the needs of the area as they stand, how can they also be expected to fill a huge 2.5Ml reservoir?

IT has been brought to Talk of the Town’s attention that there are a number of domestic building projects taking place in the Forest Downs and Southdowns areas that seem to be at the same stage of construction; below roof level. Many of these houses have been in this state for some time, a few for years. Several are far smaller than the 150m² required by the title conditions. Neighbours have complained that their property value has decreased as a consequence of what are regarded as nonstandard houses. They want to know if the municipality is aware of these houses and, if not, why not? If so, why have they done nothing about them?

THE ANC’s “top six” met (virtually) with former president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday and decided that he should be given time to get his story straight before attending the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. The six said Zuma had the same rights of any South African, but this is difficult to follow. If you or I are summoned before the local magistrate’s court and fail to show there would be a warrant of arrest issued post haste. Why is everyone afraid to handle Zuma’s case in the same way? The message from the meeting was conveyed by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, another person who refuses to abide by the rules of his own party. Could this be a sign that the ANC is damaged beyond repair?

ANOTHER year has passed, so it is time to wish the following people having a special day in the week ahead a very happy and healthy birthday and fortunate year ahead. Good wishes to Jean van der Merwe, Allan Davies, Tosca van Rooyen, Lorna Clayton, Pam Elliott, Christopher Whitham, George Petzer, Cathy Yeomans, Clair Meiring, Giselle Brickhilla, Maureen Edlmann, Pam Berman, Angelique Adcock, Jody Chowles, Wendy Mitten, Matthew Strydom, Nicole Sullivan, Mercedes Biller, Jasmin Kruger, Francois Fourie, Joan van Niekerk, Anne Williams, Kate Heny, Julia Jamieson, Gayle Barnardt, Charl Waters, Lauren Kruger, Lizanda Hilpert, John Hughes, Bettine Hattingh, Ian Macpherson, Gert van der Merwe, Deon Stander, Jill Mitchell, Dee Jones-Phillipson, Marenna Spieker, John Barnes, Angie Waller, David Lawson, Pat Bailes, Grant Warren, Gillian Bowen and her daughter Tamlyn, Pene Devenish, Ollie Davis, Ethan Mahloko, Guy Wessels, Sven Grimbeek, Bradley Fick, Phumla Mxuma, Renata Mouton, Meryl Baker and Eve Wallace. FURTHER suc ess and congratulations to all businesses celebrating an anniversary at this time. Congratulations to Decadent at the Postmasters Village and Hi-Tech Security.

TUESDAY evening was when the rand crashed through the pound Stirling barrier of R21, and Brent Crude exceeded $70 per barrel. As previously stated, the pandemic has had a disruptive effect on the international markets and companies are desperate to recoup some of the money lost. In January 2020, Brent Crude was selling at about the $70 per barrel mark but, as the pandemic progressed, Brent Crude was being sold at a loss and stockpiles were built to store oil until the demand and the target selling price justified it. Many companies halted or significantly curtailed oil production but are now ready to make up for lost revenue. With two hefty fuel price hikes recently, and another on the way, don’t be surprised if the price of petrol exceeds R17 per litre before the end of the year. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the Rand was trading at R15.39 (R16.04) to the Dollar, R21.41 to the Pound (R20.73) and R18.33 to the Euro (R18.19). In the commodities department, gold was trading at $1,708.94 p r fine ounce ($1,666.83), platinum was trading at $1,159.76 ($796.62) with Brent crude oil at of $67.69 ($50.36) per barrel.

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 and Lesley Stevenson.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Doreen Smith who passed away on Thursday March 4. We especially think of her husband Henry and their daughter Lynda in their time of loss.

BEST wishes for many more and congratulations to all couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries this week, especially Peter and Mauneen Charter, Andrew and Wendy Cock, Colin and Louise Wiggett, David and Kim Wilson, Quinton and Paula Fick, Ian and Marion Macpherson and Gordon and June Sheasby.

THOUGHT for the week: “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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