IT’S been 398 days since the national lockdown was announced, and the vaccine rollout resumed again yesterday after a pause, while cabinet and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) assessed some rare cases of blood clots. These occurred in eight women under 50 years of age (originally just six women) after almost seven million people in the US had been given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Two of the women subsequently died. Health minister Zweli Mkhize is satisfied that there is more risk to health in not taking the vaccine, stating on a TV interview on SABC last Monday that there was, “less than a one-in-a-million chance of this affecting women”. However, a warning will now be printed on the label of the vaccine warning of the possibility (remote as it may be) that blood clots could develop. If you take the J & J vaccine, be aware of the potential for blood clots and speak to your medical health practitioner should you have any adverse effects after being vaccinated.
IT must have come as a shock to many, and especially to the staff at Talk of the Town, to hear that our colleague and friend, Jessica Bohnen, died in a tragic road accident while travelling on the R67 near the Mansfield turnoff on Sunday evening. Though Jess had not worked from the office for some time, choosing rather to work from home when the initial Covid-19 restrictions were imposed, she was an essential part of the TotT family, not to mention the essential graphic design work she did for The Rep in Komani and the Go & Express in East London. We cannot adequately express our grief over the untimely passing of our friend, Jess, and we will miss her greatly. Our sincere condolences go to her mom and dad, Debbie and Len, to her partner Eric Voogt, and to her many friends from the area and elsewhere.
WHILE on the subject, the R67 is one of the most dangerous roads in the area to travel on at night, especially around the Thornhill Mansfield turnoffs. There are a few dips and blind rises, large potholes and no lighting whatsoever. But perhaps the most dangerous thing about travelling the road at night is the number of stray cattle that wander in the area. Ndlambe Municipality should have addressed this untenable situation years ago.
SINCE President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the 2021 local government elections would take place on Wednesday October 27, we have officially entered into election season once more. A time when politicians begin attending every event imaginable to spread the message of how their party has done so much (or could do much) to relieve poverty, the lack of housing, jobs, sewage and water issues; the list goes on. Promises will be made and will evaporate once the elections are over. This is also the time when protests are most prevalent and people unite to complain about lack of housing, jobs, money and so forth. The same cycle of excitement and disappointment has been the case, certainly in this area, for years and nothing ever changes. The latest protests at the Thornhill turnoff on the R67 will probably make no difference, just as these haven’t in the past. Plan to make your mark in October, as united we will win the fight for better services in our area. Remember, according to our constitution you are the bosses and the government employees are the servants. Ask yourself, “if nothing has changed, and I am still voting for the same person/party, maybe it’s time to consider voting another way?”
HAPPY birthday greetings and many more to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Graham Webber, Steve Lambert, Timothy Riddin, Monty Colville Reeves, Lindsey van der Schyff, Kyle Henning, Natasha Kenny, Trish Reed, Zel-Rene Jacobs, Caitlyn Japp, Tristan Clayton, Elize Esteves, Helen Thompson, Richard Msesiwe, Rob Joiner, Siyamthanda Rungqu, Wilma Sieker, Daphne Smith, Roma Young, Albert Johnson, Loretta Hawkes, Gerhard Strydom, Gavin Muir, Pieter van Niekerk, Sharon Hammond, Yvonne van Gass, Anet Fraser, Gavin Dell, Jean Hope Bailie, Matt Wood, Gerald Denston, Carlynn Garden, Dulcie Lewis-Williams, Heather Jones, Dick Schuurman, Basil Rudman, Glynis Mather-Pike, Ntsikelelo Nodwala, Justin Sheffield, Bess Nel, Anton Maclean, Pumza Rungqu, Jenna Barnard, Kathy Duffy, Deane Eales, Tyler Pullen, Lynn Rodgers, Juanita Lax, Margie Stephenson, Ross Purdon, Kristen Fletcher, Storm Olivier, Ntombise Diamond and Angela Sousalis.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations followed by good wishes for continued success go to the following businesses and organisations, especially Pam Golding Boknes, Oxygen Fitness (Rosehill Mall), Buco (PA), and certainly not forgetting the AA, which was founded in Port Alfred in 1961.
THERE isn’t much to say about the markets at the moment that hasn’t already been said. The markets are still in a state and have been since the start of the pandemic. At this time, the value of the markets is dependent upon the speed and effectiveness of the vaccine rollouts more than any other factor. However, trade restrictions in some countries are another factor that will come into play more once countries recover from the pandemic. The Covid crises in India and some European countries are exacerbating the situation and, added to the unrest in Hong Kong, Myanmar and elsewhere have investors hesitant to place their money anywhere at this time. Brent Crude has slipped back to closer to $60 per barrel after soaring above the $67 per barrel last week. This is good news for SA that has been hit with substantial increases to duel price adjustments over the last few months. Gold and platinum are holding their own. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R14.24 to the dollar (R18.57), R19.78 to the pound (R23.22) and R17.22 to the euro (R20.21). Commodities such as gold were trading at $1,7792.12 a fine ounce ($1,708,62), platinum at $1,237.00 a fine ounce ($777.70), with Brent crude oil at $64.50 a barrel ($20.36).
WEDDING anniversary congratulations with best wishes for many more years of happiness ahead for all couples having an anniversary, especially John and Diana Lardner-Burke, Clinton and Lize-Marie Millard, Michael and Moira Schnehage and Paul and Gillian Lacey.
THOUGHT for the week: “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
BEST regards as always,