TODAY is day 408 since the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed on March 27 2020. Walking around town these days one observes that people care less and less about wearing masks all the time, despite the regulations. Sunday evening saw the first 350,000 vaccines arrive in the country. This is the Pfizer two-dose vaccine so, effectively, 175,000 people can actually be vaccinated with this delivery. In a nation of almost 60 million people, this is just a drop in a very big ocean. The country was very slow to obtain vaccines and may well pay the price as the virus mutates (the so-called variants of the virus). India is experiencing a more virulent and potentially more fatal variant, recording huge numbers of people infected and dying, though its death rate is much lower per million people than in SA. When everything is said and done, the percentage of deaths versus infections is still relatively low around the world. ON the local front, there is still no water in many of the taps in Port Alfred (including Nemato an d Station Hill). It seems the problems the RO plant project is encountering are just getting worse, and now we will have to wait a further two months before it is online. However, according to the municipality and its satellites, everything is in order. Sewage is still a major issue in town and overflows and spills are common. Though TotT was promised regular updates on the state of the sewerage, since our initial meeting we have heard nothing further. No wonder our readers express that frustration on social media pages. Please bear in mind that our official publication is a newspaper, not a bulletin board. We receive information, such as municipal press releases, and place it in context with other information (often from diverse sources) and compile the facts as they are understood. That is the job of a newspaper, to present the information in a manner that is accurate and understood by our readers. By contrast, our Facebook group and page are a form of bulletin board where aside from us posting news, our readers can express their opinions. We do not allow racist, vulgar or violent posts, but otherwise people may express their opinions freely. Perhaps people are mistaking news with propaganda?
THERE should be a lot of people enjoying a warmer wintertime this year because of the blankets, lovingly crafted from wool, that were donated to some of our charity organisations in town on Monday. The women of Damant Lodge have been knitting blankets for many years now to donate to the needy, and there are many residents who are very happy with their efforts. Incidentally, please donate any wool you have to spare to the Damant Ladies Knitting Circle.
ON the political front, the ANC is disintegrating before our very eyes. That members can completely ignore or even actively rebel against decisions of the party’s highest authority (not to mention Zuma’s rebellion against the judgment of the Constitutional Court) means that there is no discipline in the party. The DA, the official opposition, seems completely inert and has its own problems to worry about. That effectively leaves the EFF and the rest to battle it out for the scraps that fall from the table. A recent message on our Facebook groups suggests people should only vote for parties that stand a chance of winning a seat. What utter nonsense. Vote for the people who have your best interests at heart, not the party. Vote for people who do not dismiss your complaints as “whining ” and who fully understand the area. Political parties are the problem here and, when you vote, you effectively hand control to them. Rather hand your control to someone who you know is going to help you solve your issues.
HAPPY birthday greetings and good wishes to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Keith Reid, Len Holford, twins Darcie and Olivia Squires, Charmaine de Klerk, Dylon van der Spuy, Brandan Rudman, Kirsten Baart, Ntombise Diamond, Marge Strange, Lindy Hulley, Nicole Norden, Rafe McKinnon, Edward Donaghy, Heather Jones, Nan Robinson, Vicky Nelson, Connie Abbott, Beryl Bentley, John Gaylard, Antjie Rodgers, Jannie Malan, Stewart Kemp, Elize Esteves, Lauren Pretorius, Sonja Blenkinsop, Cheryl Larson, Donné Mather-Pike, Kristen Wilson, Debbie Axe, Nolungile Gula, Ronald Jones, Quinton Ruiters, Marion Cleugh, Hein Swart, Bev Scoble, Michelle Seegers, Terry Brickhill, Chris de Wet Steyn, Margaret Frances, Brian Kibby, Colleen Wood, Lêlin Frankenfeldt and Rowan Haller.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and good wishes for continued success go to businesses and organisations – Kowie Key (in Van der Riet Street), and St John’s Anglican Church (183rd anniversary in Bathurst).
THE fuel price decreased on Tuesday at midnight and, as from yesterday you were paying 9c less per litre on petrol (all grades), 31c/l for 0.05% diesel and 30c/l for 0.005% diesel. Illuminating paraffin decreased by 32c/l. While the money is better in your pocket than anywhere else, the decrease is insignificant compared to the spate of devastating increases we have endured since the start of the year. With 2020’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R14.50 to the dollar (R18.70), R20.09 to the pound (R23.25) and R17.44 to the euro (R20.46). Gold is trading at $1,790.49 per ounce ($1,706.58), platinum was trading at $1,244.79 per ounce ($777.55) and Brent crude oil at $67.66 per barrel ($31.74).
CONGRATULATIONS and continued happiness to everyone celebrating a wedding anniversary in the week ahead, especially Shane and Chelsea van Eeden, Okkie and Chantelle Goosen, Tony and Trish Versfeld, Cliff and Jacqui Tutton, Peter and Edna Smethurst and Ivor and Lesley- Ann Phillips.
THOUGHT for the week: “Mothers hold their child’s hand for a little while, but their heart forever” – we wish all mothers a happy, peaceful day on Sunday.
BEST regards as always,