TODAY, March 18, is the 357th day of our national lockdown and most activities are allowed under level 1 restrictions. We still have to wear masks in public and sanitise before entering shops, and a curfew is still in place, but things are generally getting back to normal. The issue of vaccination is still contentious and the number of vaccines available is still low. This will cause issues for travellers as many countries require visitors to produce a vaccination certificate to ensure they do not bring Covid-19 and its variants to their country. If you plan to travel, rather speak with a qualified travel agent to ensure you comply with all necessary restrictions.
IT was a scene of morbid curiosity and sympathies for the victim along the banks of the Kowie River on Tuesday morning as scores of people stopped to see the site where a bakkie landed in the river. We have few details to share at this point as the SAPS are still preparing a fuller statement, but it appears that a woman in her 30s drove her vehicle off the road and into the river, resulting in her death. Though expressing sympathy for the victim, our Facebook readers cautioned that accidents of this nature were inevitable given that there are no lights along that stretch of road and cattle wander, unsupervised. On a dark early morning it is possible cattle were responsible but, at the time of writing no details have been released.
THE Fun Weekend at the Bathurst Showgrounds at the end of May should bring much-needed revenue for the Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS), which runs the show each year. BAS president Danny Wepener thanked all those who had contributed to the success of the show over the years and asked that as many people as possible attend the Fun Weekend (while lockdown restrictions will be observed). And don’t forget the Wellness Weekend this Saturday and Sunday all around Bathurst.
AT last, the Khoisan people are being recognised and our article on the meeting held at Station Hill shows that the nation’s First People are an integral part of the South African family. “!Gâi goas. !Gâi angus.”
THE Al Imdaad Foundation arrived in Bathurst on Monday and gave out care hampers to some of the less privaleged school children from Qhayiya Primary and Velile High School. Each hamper included a pair of school shoes, a blanket and a mask-kit. A total of 60 children were awarded hampers and Port Alfred Social Development’s Bulelwa Gemashe was specifically thanked for her role in identifying the children. AM Patel, provincial project manager of Al Imdaad, said he was greatful for the support he had received on the foundation’s national Back to School campaign.
ESKOM is at it again with loadshedding and CEO Andre de Ruiter recently announced that loadshedding will be with us for the next five years. This is totally unacceptable if we are attempting to build a new economy as no investors will put money into a country that can’t even provide a constant electrical supply. Instead of demanding more, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the rest of the top six appear to be comfortable with this arrangement. It is time for ordinary folk to stand up and be counted. Loadshedding is not the solution to SA’s woes. We need more reliable sources of electrical power and, if this means a State Owned Enterprise bites the dust, so be it. Same goes for SAA, Denel and the other bankrupt SOEs. South Africans can no longer afford to foot the bill to keep inefficient and money-draining institutions up and running. Let’s have a country that actually works and not constantly funding corruption, incompetence and inefficiency.
ON a far less important issue, why can’t we have some consistency in the doling out of sanitiser? Some have a pleasant smell and easily evaporate, while others don’t and feel more like crude oil, making you want to wash your hands immediately.
GREETINGS and good wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday next week, especially Sheldon Elliott, Danielle Cannon, Lynne Liebenberg, Abit Cheater, Lynette Millard, Miemie Golding, Hilda Green, Lana de Aroja, Edna de Villiers, Fanie van den Berg, Melinda Smit, Anthony Bowdler, Meagan Alexander, Tricia Border, Melissa Spira, Lauren Randall, Merle Thorp, Marilyn Charter, Mark Kieck, Lauren Botha, Lynn Manning, Jeanette Botha, Mervyn Kanes, Adele Steck, Hannah Beukes, Amillia Snyman, Susan Hunt, Rocky Pang, Nadine Vertue, Belinda Nel, Bronwyn Norman, Brendan Samuel, Aimee Roesstorff, Walter Probart, Sallie Bryant, Jan Scholtz, Jean Pierre Hunke, Janay Clayton, Paula Stander, Lindi Dickie, Michelle Henn, Wendy Lenard, Nicole Muller, Wilf Slade, Theo Botha, Jean Thomas, Rosalie Hare, Bettie Hodges, Richard Pullen, Sandra Catherine, Gene Haefdle and Denise Clayton.
EVERY success for many more years to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary. Best wishes to The Kenton Workshop and the 111th anniversary of the Full Gospel Churches of SA.
WITHOUT going into details, the markets are still reeling from the pandemic and accurate predictions are difficult. While the US stimulus package has excited investors there, the disastrous vaccine roll-out in the EU is causing more wobbles in the market, and Covid-19 variants, along with politicians’ expressing uncertainty regarding vaccine effectiveness are making investors worried. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the currency was trading at R14.91 (R14.61) to the Dollar, R20.73 to the Pound (R19.32) and R17.75 to the Euro (R16.48). In the commodities department, gold was trading at $1,735.38 per fine ounce ($1 318.35), platinum at R1, 130.00 ($855.85) per ounce and Brent crude oil at of $68.15 ($67.48) 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, Lesley Stevenson.
WE mourn the loss of another one of Port Alfred’s stalwarts, Rocky Rowe, aged 71. He was born on the February 9 1950 and lived a full life, until he sadly left the world on March 5 2021. His family has asked that those who knew him join them to celebrate his life and send him off with love this Friday, March 19 at 2pm at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club.
CONDOLENCES also to the family and friends of Francois Vosloo, a long-serving member of the Port Alfred Masonic Lodge, as well as a local farmer, who died recently after a long battle with cancer.
BEST wishes to the following couples on their upcoming wedding anniversaries – Clifford and Candy Dell, Schalk and Nicole Voster, Mark and Marizka Burgess, and Carl and Natasha Haller.
THOUGHT for the week: “For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.”
BEST regards as always,