Neighbourly Notes – 8 July 2021

LOST TO TIME: TotT noticed a clock in the Port Alfred Civic Centre and donated by the Port Alfred Rotary Club to Ndlambe Municipality in 2005 was missing from its plaque. We asked long-time Rotarian Heather Howard about it. She said: ‘It was donated to commemorate Rotary International’s 100th anniversary. It was an electric one attached to a plug and every time they vacuumed the carpets they unplugged the clock! I actually don’t know what happened to it. I must draw our board’s attention to it. Picture: JON HOUZET

TODAY marks the 468th day of national lockdown, tomorrow (Friday) will mark 67 weeks of mask wearing, social distancing and being sprayed with alcohol (while, at this time, you can’t purchase alcohol to drink). As the infection rate increases in Gauteng, attributed to the Delta variant, it is possible new amendments to Level 4 lockdown will be announced. Businesses and everyone else are concerned that a hard level 5 lockdown will destroy the economy of the country and lead to a severe decrease in available jobs, redundancies and increased poverty. This will inevitably see a sharp increase in crime, something we are already experiencing. The facts are that, although almost all industries have suffered under lockdown restrictions, certain ones have been devastated. Tourism and the hospitality industries, on which the economy of Ndlambe depends, might never fully recover. We need to ensure that our current actions do not lead to a level 5 lockdown, the consequences of which could turn Ndlambe, and specifically Port Alfred, into a ghost town.

ONE of the area’s biggest problems is a totally inadequate supply of water. As has been discussed elsewhere, the scarcity of water has been a problem since the 1970s, if not before. Successive attempts to rectify the situation have been tried and they have failed, usually at a point when only partly completed, leaving the area without water for days, weeks and even months. Now, at a time when our new 2ML seawater reverse osmosis (RO) plant is apparently running at full capacity, many parts of town are still getting no water, and efforts to fill communal tanks around town has been open to abuse, unauthorised fill-ups and vandalism. The municipality has even been carting water from the RO plant to high-lying areas. But we are not even receiving water at the volume and pressure we were getting from the now-empty Sarel Hayward Dam, boreholes and dune wells. We are in fact receiving far less.

IT would seem that, if you are a highprofile politician the law does not apply. Even if the highest court in South Africa, the Constitutional Court, rules against you, it is your right to ask for a rescission, as long as you’re a political leader. That is the message the ConCourt effectively broadcast when it decided to grant a hearing on Monday next week for erstwhile president, Jacob Zuma. With no new evidence, factual inaccuracies in his submission to the court and having refused to give his side of the story before both the Zondo Commission and the ConCourt, there should be no chance of a rescission. Perhaps, rather, Zuma should be afforded an extended sentence for wasting the court’s time. Worse, the Pietermaritzburg high court heard a submission by Zuma to overturn the ConCourts order. We’ll find out on Friday morning if he was successful but, at the time of writing, no arrest had been made. Absurd in the extreme, it is unconscionable that the high court even heard Zuma’s submission as a lower court can not overrule a ConCourt judgement, despite the nonsense spouted by his attorney, the EFF’s Dali Mpofu. But more disturbing is the silence of politicians who should be upholding the constitution against anarchy. Where are the police? Why are so many people gathered at Nkandla and no one is doing anything about it? Obviously, the law does not apply to everyone.

HAPPY birthday to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead. May there be many wonderful times ahead for all, especially Justin Maddocks, Brandon Phillips, Layla Jonker, Phyllis Futter, Ben Beetge, Johnathan Riddin, Steve Gardner, Joan Boucher, Joshua Linforth, Jacques Johnson, Derrick Newson, John Crawford, Siobhan Stötter, Beryl Gass, Dulcie Lewis-Williams, Mary Walker, Peter Metcalf, Simon Boucher, Jolanta Hanstein, Ian Cunningham, Lydia Gimbel, Cheryl van de Spuy, Liezel van der Westhuizen, Lynette Matthews, Zandisile Qakamfana, David Roll, Inez Victor, Ryan Murphy, Marleen Coetzee, Ronald van Niekerk, Johan van Zyl, Portia Gwente, Rob Owsley, Carel Scheepers, Oliver Robinson, Peter Fleischack.

BUSINESSES celebrating the success of another year – best wishes for many more anniversaries to ReMax Ocean Club Kenton-on-Sea, and Sungwa Bricks.

THE global economy is still reeling from international lockdowns and markets are unsettled, making it difficult for speculators to ascertain what constitutes a safe bet for investment. Many nations around the world have had to borrow money to aid their ailing economies and all this will have to be paid back, leaving them vulnerable for years to come. China is moving rapidly through the developing nations offering aid in the building of new industries, specifically electrical and water recovery plants, two essential utilitarian services urgently required in those countries. Well over 50% of the world’s data farms used to mine cryptocurrency data are housed in a single country, China, making cryptocurrency data farms extremely vulnerable to hacking. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cannot agree to oil production levels, but this could actually work to our advantage and could see oil prices dropping in the not too distant future. However, there’s no relief yet, as the fuel price increased again on Wednesday morning: Unleaded petrol by 26c/l, leaded by 29c/l, diesel by a whopping 42c/l and illuminating paraffin by 36c/l. At a time when money is scarce and the economy is failing, the knock-on consequences of fuel hikes will make things more expensive in the shops. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.28 to the Dollar (R17.17), R19.75 to the Pound (R21.41) and R16.89 to the Euro (R19.35). Gold was trading at $1,810.40 per fine ounce ($1,776.57) with platinum at $1,108.00 ($741.93) with Brent Crude Oil at $75.73 per barrel ($43.16).

IT was sad to hear of the passing of Wally van der Meulen recently. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

CONGRATULATIONS to all couples celebrating a wedding anniversary this week, especially Darryl and Jolanta Hanstein, Ryan and Jo le Roux, Gavin and Amanda Rathbone.

THOUGHT for the week: “Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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