IT is now 412 days since the National lockdown came into effect on March 27 2020. We are still months away from an effective vaccine roll-out programme and there are few doses of vaccine actually available to South Africans. Although it has been clearly stated by the government and the health department that no-one will be forced to take the vaccine, the introduction of vaccine passports has been proposed whereby access to certain facilities can only be gained if you can prove you have had the jab. Specifically, such passports are intended make to international travel safer, but many object to having to take the vaccine for any reason.
CRIMINAL activity is increasing in the suburbs and the incidents of house robbery and theft have increased substantially since the beginning of this year. However, this week TotT was flooded with reports of crime in the area. Most of the crimes reported involved break-ins at residential premises and in many cases, the residents were still at home. This presents an existential problem in that violence could accompany such incidents. At this time everyone needs to be careful and vigilant and report all suspicious activity to the SAPS and/or your local security company. This week’s front-page story illustrates the high level of crime in the area. Make sure all your windows are adequately protected with burglar bars and that doors are kept closed and locked and alarms are set, even when you’re at home. On the other hand, we must not become prisoners in our own homes, afraid of strangers and constantly looking for danger where none exists. Fear is the criminals’ greatest weapon, so we must be positive that criminals will not win. If we stand together and look out for one another, we can win against the criminals.
THE Bathurst Fun Weekend is getting closer. Although it will not be the full Bathurst Agricultural Show as we have come to know it, it will nevertheless feature many of the events and activities of a full show. For example, the ride-on lawnmower races will be held on the Saturday (May 29) and a potjie competition will take place on the Sunday (May 30). There will be stalls, live entertainment and music all day long as well as an opportunity to see some antique tractors, vintage cars, the ponies at the riding club on the Saturday, belly dancers and line dancing on Sunday and a whole lot more. See the TotT and look on our web pages, Facebook and Twitter, to see more information.
THIS week we heard of another family left bereft due to losing all their personal possessions in a fire. There could be a case for deliberate arson in this one, but in many instances of this nature fires are caused by lighting poorly positioned gel stoves that fall and spill the gel, leading to substantial fires and potential loss of life. In 2021, after 27 years of democracy, there should be no-one without sufficient water and electricity, thereby obviating the need for gel stoves.
THE water crisis is ongoing and, although many parts of Port Alfred now have water, there are some areas that haven’t had water at their taps for months. The latest water schedule implemented by Ndlambe Municipality in recent weeks was to ration water, alternately switching off one side of town for four days and then the other in order to build capacity in reservoirs. But this scheme was abandoned last week after the municipality admitted it was not working. The municipality has decided to leave the water flowing without restriction for as long as it lasts, which according to the municipality’s consulting engineers, is just 25 days. But by then they hope to have the QFS seawater reverse osmosis plant up and running to replace dwindling water sources like the Sarel Hayward Dam. Just bear in mind that, as the water available to the town decreases, the higher elevations will be first to be affected and the lower elevations (such as the Kowie Flats) will be the last.
HAPPY birthday greetings and every good wish for the year ahead to everyone celebrating a birthday in the coming week, especially Natalie Hanstein, Jakkie Westraadt, Angus Schlemmer, Almarie Garner, Malcolm Noel, Carmantha Barkhuizen, Terry Brickhill, Nan Robinson, Thelma du Preez, Annetjie Schoeman, Wayne du Plessis, Kristin Waters, Kelly Fella, Zoe Koch, Jenny Pincente, Carla de la Mare, Caitlin Barnard, John Lardiner-Burke, Gavin Deenik, Rose Bartlett, Linda Gibson, Roy McLean, Gail Turner, Kay Hartzenberg, Paul Haywood, Lal Purdon, Darren de Bruin, Cuan Macgregor, Risha Faca, Karen Hecht, Taylor du Plessis, Joan Dyson, Bev Scoble, Andrew Goetsch, Travis Jacobs, Ann Meyer.
TO all business and community organisations who are enjoying another anniversary, we extend our sincere congratulations and may you have continued success in the future to Ocean Basket, Leach Pharmacy, Kingston Farm and Restaurant (Bathurst), The Sandbar Floating Restaurant (Bushman’s), First Port Alfred Cubs and Scouts, the Bathurst Methodist Church.
THE internal fracture within the ANC has serious implications for South Africans, specifically on the economic front. The fact that politicians are refusing to obey their own party or even the law (and, in the case of former president Jacob Zuma, both, as well as failing to present himself at a state funded inquiry that he established) does not bode well if we are to build the confidence of investors. When the Covid 19 pandemic is contained, SA will be faced with an even bigger challenge if it is to claw itself back to prosperity. An unstable government will not help in this regard and will further retard our recovery. At the time of going to press the rand was trading at R14.00 to the dollar (R18.20), R19.78 to the pound (R22.50) and R16.98 to the Euro (R19.74). Gold was trading at $1,833.64 per fine ounce ($1,704.17), platinum at $1,241.00 per ounce ($773.00) with Brent crude oil at $68.55 per barrel ($30.60).
WEDDING anniversary greetings and congratulations for many more to everyone celebrating this special occasion in the week ahead, especially Hector and Kathy MacDonald, John and Karen Kew, Gordon and Muriel Gill.
APOLOGIES to Rosemary Hare-Bowers whose name was provided to me for last week’s Neighbourlies photo. The photograph was actually of Tisha Marshall. Rosemary has still a way to go before she even reaches 90 and is a long way off from Tisha’s 102 years.
THOUGHT for the week: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”.
BEST regards as always,