Neighbourly Notes – 20 May 2021

IN THEME: After the graduation ceremony last Friday night, Stenden SA staff members, from left, Wouter Hensens, Meagan Alexander, Ronel Bartlett and Lindy Hulley take time to relax and socialise with guests. Picture: JON HOUZET

CAN you believe it’s now 419 days since the national lockdown came into effect on March 27 last year, but that is just one problem the people in the area are having to deal with. Uncertainty about registering for the Covid-19 jab is proving a challenge for many and the question of whether or not to take the vaccine is still being debated. Monday saw the new rollout of the vaccines to those over 60 years of age, but to qualify to get it, it is essential to register before attending a clinic. There is now a move to extend the length of time between administering the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to allow more people to receive the first dose for at least partial assurance. SA really dropped the ball with respect to acquiring vaccines, and its rollout of the vaccines is confusing and cumbersome.

THEN there is the problem with Eskom’s power supply. Sunday evening saw the electrical utility introduce load-shedding once more because, they reported, 10 power units had broken down. This is absolutely unacceptable, and any privately-owned company in any civilised country that failed as often as Eskom has would have been closed down years ago and those capable of providing electricity appointed to replace them. Electricity is an essential resource and Eskom should be given no leeway to hold the country to ransom. Most people cannot afford generators and even many businesses just go without and close up shop when the power goes out. Enough is enough. Eskom must go.

NDLAMBE’S water crisis was largely self-created by the municipality through poor planning, incompetence and irregular tenders that led to litigation. It is clear the original plans to supply water to the area were seriously flawed and now, after more than a decade of water shortages, we still have no water, despite hundreds of millions or rands having been spent on the water crisis by the municipality, provincial and national government and entities like Amatola Water. The softly, softly and working together approach by various community and civic organisations such as the Port Alfred Residents and Ratepayers Association (Parra), the DA and others has achieved nothing and has given the municipality far too much room to cover its errors. The time to take a stand is long overdue.

FINALLY, we have the sewage problem. After talking with Ndlambe infrastructure director Noluthando Vithi when the latest attempt to repair the sewerage was initiated, we were pleased when she promised regular updates on the sewage situation. Disappointingly, we have received no notifications whatsoever since then and, in the meantime, sewage continues to be a problem.

ON a national level, the ANC does not even obey its own rules, and cadre Ace Magashule defied the ANC NEC (its highest rule-making authority) and spoke to supporters at the trial of Jacob Zuma, another ANC renegade, on Monday. ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, in an interview on SABC’s Morning Live on Monday stated, in often contradictory language, that everyone must strive for unity while, at the same time, he condemned Magashule’s actions. If members of the ruling party cannot obey its own rules, why should anyone?

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day next week, especially for Ted Matthews, Anton Gouws, Billy Patterson, Denise Cock, Gavyn Letley, St Marietha Petzer, Justin Thackeray, Ruth Wewege, Gayle le Roux, Anna Jo Bandy, Mia Groenewald, Jean Bothomley, Duzi Mklaipi, Jacques Scheepers, Julie Bessinger, Hester du Plessis, Tessa Chunnett, Barbara Davisson, Alf Beavis, John Edmund, Mark Burgess, Nosise Silatsha, Mxolisi Mgeni, Chris Alexandre, Robey Pretorius, Mike Whelan, Qondile Mthwalo, Louise Wilks, Mabel Coetzer, Peggy Schuddinh and Natalie Okonski Wantenaar.

CONGRATULATIONS and further success to all businesses and organisations on another anniversary, especially for KFC, Cosi Home, and the Collegiate high and junior schools which celebrate their 146th.

THE international markets should begin to level out over the next few months as Europe, the UK, China and the US roll out their vaccination programmes, but there is still a long way to go. India is in a crisis, fighting a more virulent strain of the Covid-19 virus. As India is the hub of vaccine production for the world (including SII, Bharat Biotech, Panacea Biotech, Sanofi’s Shanta Biotech, Biological E, Hester Biosciences and Zydus Cadila, and have an installed capacity to manufacture 8.2 billion doses of different vaccines per year) it is yet unclear how this will be translated to the supply of vaccines. Fluctuating economies will persist until the Covid-19 issues are resolved, so we can expect more volatility in the coming weeks and months. Elon Musk’s attempt to increase the value of cryptocurrency Bitcoin (or perhaps an attempt to scuttle it?) was just a blip on the financial radar but does prove that we invest way too much power in a single individual. The price of Brent Crude oil is close to the $70 per barrel mark, and this will have far more of an effect on the world economy than any change in the value of cryptocurrency. With last year’s figures in brackets, at the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R14.03 to the Dollar (R18.36), R19.92 to the Pound (R22.48) and R17.12 to the Euro (R19.96). Gold was trading at $1,870.13 per fine ounce ($1,735,10), Platinum at $1,217 per ounce ($703.19) with Brent Crude Oil at $69.46 per barrel ($29.45).

CONGRATULATIONS to Jean-Luc and Crystal Darné on the birthday of your beautiful little girl, Ruby-Mae. We know that she will bring you and your family such joy and happiness. WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes for many more even better years ahead to Anthony and Sharon Rudman, Ronnie and Audrey Slaughter, Douw and Simoné Potgieter and Cyril and Laurie Ridden.

HEARTFELT congratulations to Eugene and Jenny Pincente (Terrey), of Forest Downs, who are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary on May 27. The couple met in Cape Town while Eugene was completing his national service in the navy. Married in Wynberg in 1971, they later moved to Port Alfred where they ran two businesses, Catch-a-Wave and Slenderline. Talk of the Town, along with your family, hope you enjoy your special day.

THOUGHT for the week: “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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