Neighbourly Notes – 9 September 2021

TIME FOR TEA: Grade 10 pupils, Aphiwe Gwaxa and Lathita Gobane proudly show off their milk tart made during a recent consumer studies class at Port Alfred High School

IT has been 531 days since the Covid-19 National Command Council announced the start of lockdown restrictions. Fortunately Ndlambe seems to have avoided the worst of the third wave of the Delta variant of the virus. Yet, who knows what lies ahead. Many countries are considering or have already enacted a third dose of the vaccine to their citizens and some are advocating a fourth dose be administered.

THE water crisis in Ndlambe is ongoing and, despite government (both local and national) reassurances that everything is proceeding as per plan, the simple fact is that we still do not have a regular supply of water to many areas. The interim measures established by the municipality in the form of communal tanks have been abused; by contractors stealing water, or residents simply taking more than they should, or through vandalism. But if the bulk water supply projects had been successful, there would be no need for stop-gaps. The question on everyone’s lips is, “Where is the water?” The minister of the department of water affairs (or, at least, the deputy minister) visited the RO plant last week and effectively endorsed what they are doing there. It was a whitewash and served no purpose as the problems remain (it was much the same with the recent eNCA interview). We need water, not excuses. Who is responsible for the failures and who is going to be held accountable? This situation cannot stand, and there must be an independent enquiry to establish what has happened over the last decade that has led to some residents not having water for more than half a year.

THE Van der Riet Street Spring Festival was a success last weekend, bringing together neighbours and friends enjoying delicious food and relaxing to the music of local talent. During these dark days where we have been stuck indoors and isolated, it was great to be out and about in a relaxing and friendly environment, watching young members of a local dance school dancing on the streets or eating some of the tasty grub on sale and taking in the ambience. Despite the restrictions, we need more of these get-togethers to restore our mental health. Humans are a sociable species and a lack of human contact can be as damaging to our health as the virus.

SPRING has sprung (actually, the official date is September 21, but let’s not split hairs) and it is hopefully going to get warmer. We’ve had a few warmer days, but then the cold sneaks back up on us. Yet, day now breaks before 6am and soon it will be before 5am. Roll on summer; we need some light to be shone on our situation.

WE couldn’t leave Neighbourlies without a word about the medical parole of former president Jacob Zuma. Are the people in charge just not listening? The effective release of Zuma is a travesty and simply reinforces that there are different laws for different folk. Whether Zuma is guilty of the crime for which he stands accused, his incarceration was because he ignored the orders of the constitutional court, the highest authority in the country. The entire episode is a sham and proves conclusively that the ANC and its various arms of government are in conflict, as one says one thing while another does the opposite. By allowing this to happen it further points to the fact that the Cyril Ramaphosa faction is toothless and inert. Be very concerned.

GREETINGS and birthday wishes to everyone enjoying another special day in the week ahead, especially Marion Barnard, Lionel Wilson, Taylor Naude, Timothy Rudman, Elzette Reed, Derryn Willis, Eben Groenewald, Julia Painting, Jean Atkinson, Rosemary Nelson, RJ Swart, Matthew Neethling, Keith Cunning, Veronica Mansfield, Ryan Owsley, Helen Emslie, Patrick Kenny, Kelly Bradfield, Trish Versfeld, Stephani de Bruin, Heather Tyson, Jordan Faca, Twins Natalie and Caroline Ross, Colin Wiggett, Clare du Plessis, Dot Parsons, Pietie le Roux, Dee Squires, Corrie Groenewald, Anne McCreath, Nigel Difford, Val Thorncroft, Robyn Cock, Karen White, Robyn Solwandle, Jamie Kleinhans, Jenna Rowe, Mandie Cirhakazi Mangesi, Doris Emslie, Carl Haller, Isobel Meyer, Alec Clark, Dennis Crowther, Nomawethu Seti, Sonelle Muller, Nolonwabo Mani, Denise Rutgers, Van West, Dianne Menin and Elsje Willis.

BUSINESS anniversary greetings and congratulations and may success continue to grace your doors, is the wish we send to all businesses and organisations celebrating, including Kowie Key, Pick n Pay Liquors, DA Office and Diaz Cross Bird Club.

STATS SA published its analysis of the latest economic indicators on Monday. The economic growth rate was 1.2%, up from just 1% last month, a surprise as only a growth increase of 0.9% was expected. However, this is far lower than is required for economic recovery (we require at least a 3% increase). However, this result takes us out of the recession with three months of continuous growth. Still, the other figures remain worrisome with unemployment up from 32.6% to 34.4%. The government needs to step in and resolve the issues by encouraging business opportunities and deregulating to help entrepreneurs thrive. The government’s wage bill (meaning all levels of government) is bloated and unsustainable. We need people in gainful and useful jobs, not working aimlessly for failing municipalities and government departments. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand was trading at R14.32 to the dollar (R16.85), R19.71 to the pound (R21.81) and R16.93 to the Euro (R19.83). Gold was trading at $1,798.92 per fine ounce ($1,928.89), platinum at $1,015.00 ($914.10) and Brent Crude oil at $71.97 per barrel ($41.65).

WEDDING anniversary greetings and congratulations to Rafe and Debbie McKinnon, Fred and Heather Tyson, Andrew and Judy Elliott, Chris and Janice Housten, and Chris and Erica Alexandre.

THOUGHT for the week: “Success is peace of mind, a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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