IT is now 482 days since the national lockdown was first introduced. A Covid-19 vaccine rollout was proceeding slowly, but even the slow pace has been interrupted by riots and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where delivery of vaccines has been curtailed in certain places due to safety concerns. Even so, infections are down and we appear to have crested the third wave. As of Wednesday July 21, 2,085,119 people in South Africa have recovered from the Covid-19 coronavirus, 67,676 have died, and there are 158,437 active cases.
THE latest unrest does not appear to be as much about the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, as it is simply a spark that ignited the flame of discontent, brewing for best part of three decades. Poverty and growing unemployment has not been sufficiently addressed and the unrest is an indication of the general displeasure of many South Africans who are, by and large, no better off than during the days of apartheid. Many are in worse circumstances with unemployment figures spiralling out of control, made worse by the lockdowns. It is therefore not difficult to understand why people are rebelling. This, however, does not condone any of the actions undertaken by mobs of looters, whether it is the destruction of property or the pillaging of malls. The perpetrators and instigators of such acts must face the full might of the law. The Zuma arrest was used an opportunity for rabble-rousers to fan the flames.
WHAT did you do for your 67 minutes to celebrate Mandela Day on Sunday? The significance of the day was somewhat overshadowed by events happening in KZN and Gauteng. But still, individuals, businesses and organisationsgave up time to serve their communities in various ways, many choosing to give food to the less privileged in our society. Following last week’s riots and looting and the subsequent closure of businesses and job losses, it might mean considerably more mouths to feed by the time the next Mandela Day comes around. See our front page article regarding some of our locals who put their 67minutes to good use and helped others for Mandela Day.
HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead. Congratulations especially to James Taljaard, Sue Croukamp, Vukile Balura, Clifford Dell, Roy Guest, Leonora Goodwin, Kim Radloff, Elizabeth Dickson, Brenda Spilken, Forbes Coutts, Rosemary Hare-Bowers, Angela King, Melinda Pieterse, Dawn Goble, Peggy Franks, Billy Woods, Kelly Brittle, Wilma Jurgenson, Shirley Cock, David Macgregor, mother and daughter Carol and Abigail Hartenzberg, Julie Slizuik, Bryn Lewis, the Strohm quadscelebrating their 28th birthdays – Jason, Candice, Amy and Byron, Samuel Hawkins, Val Baker, Phillip Smith, Awie Gretton, Dagma Rampf, Lyndon Bartlett, Barbara Wesson, Brenda Thomas, Tim Dold, Tania Adams, Dion Rieger, Khanyisa Daweti, Gary Bull, Wilma Kruger, Michael Austin, Charmaine Botha, Wendy Coetzee, Claude Cockcroft, Terri Harrewyn, Bruce Steele-Gray, Kye Macgregor, Rob Pringle, Jean Hazelhurst and Mary Pottinger.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and every success for your continued success to Coastal Spares (PA), Jumbo Store (Makhanda), PA Kenrich Motors, PA Cement Products, plus 114 years of Scouting in the world this year.
THE newish Delta variant of the Covid-19 pandemic is causing concern among traders. The crude oil prices appear to be stabilising at around the $70 per barrel mark. Opec+ is still negotiating among its members to stabilise the production of crude oil and thus the price of Brent Crude, while other non-Opec-aligned countries are waiting to see what happens next. The Delta Variant is also causing infection rates to rise, even in countries where their vaccine roll-out has been largely successful. A resurgence of Covid-19 with a new (and potentially more harmful) variant is always possibility and so governments have urged people to be vaccinated. Yet, there is a strong contingent of people around the world who, for various reasons, refuse to take the vaccine. While some countries have hard lockdowns, others are relaxing restriction, making international transportation, business and tourism confusing and complex. For example, the UK relaxed almost all restrictions to its citizens this week while Africa, along with other developing nations, is experiencing a peak in the third wave of the virus. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.51 to the Dollar (R16.48), R19.80 to the Pound (R20.92) and R17.07 to the Euro (R18.85). Gold was trading at $1,818.05 per fine ounce ($1,826.04), platinum at $1,079.00 per ounce ($850.74) and Brent Crude oil at $68.62 per barrel ($42.87).
IT was a shock to many to learn that local resident Mark Everton had passed away on Thursday last week. A memorial service, limited to 50 people, was held at the Full Gospel Church in Port Alfred on Tuesday this week. Theson of Margaret Beaud, brother of Sandra Naude, father to Joshua Everton and husband of Alison Everton, Mark was one of the biggest Elvis Presley fans ever and performed shows around the area as an Elvis tribute artist. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes for many more to all couples celebrating another year together, especially David and Lisa Lawson, Neels and Erika Snyder, Bevan and Linda Edwards and Dale and Leonie Wepener.
THOUGHT for the week: “Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.”
BEST regards as always,