WITH 528 days of lockdown under our belts, we are now on level 2 restrictions and the entire lockdown thing is becoming second nature to most people. Before leaving the house ensure you have essentials such as your wallet, keys, cellphone and mask. You don’t shake hands with friends or colleagues or hug family members. These things are becoming the new normal as people attempt to conform to regulations. There is still a curfew, now from 11pm to 4am daily, but gatherings for events, except funerals and memorials, can now accommodate 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. Smaller venues are still restricted to 50% of the capacity. Pubs, restaurants and taverns are allowed to open until 10pm, subject to licencing permits, and off-sales of alcohol is allowed from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Parks, beaches and other public areas remain open. Masks are still required to be worn in public places and social distancing observed.
WE had yet another irate reader at the Talk of the Town offices on Monday morning complaining about the Port Alfred Traffic Department, just one of many who have expressed dissatisfaction with the department since even before the lockdowns. Aside from there appearing to be little service offered, one of the main complaints is the apparent ennui of the staff. The fact that customers must stand for hours in all weather with no shelter is unacceptable. As many of the residents are elderly the traffic department is viewed as showing disregard for vulnerable customers. TotT will keep an ear to the ground for more news from the traffic department.
YOU must have noticed the amount of cable being run through town, supplied by Openserve (a division of Telkom). This is just one more from a host of internet service providers who have effectively changed the landscape of our area with poles being erected and trenches dug to accommodate the fibre optic cable to enable fast internet connectivity and bringing us to developed world standards. The internet is a necessary tool for pupils and students, business people and everyone else. However, we are not the developed world, the water debacle being a prime example of government’s inability to implement systems that work as designed. Who is controlling these fibreoptic suppliers and is there an overall plan in place? We cannot allow companies to dig up the town and erect obtrusive poles without an agreed plan.
AS far as the water situation is concerned, there is still nowhere near the 2Ml per day output as promised, and excuses are being made as to why the plant is not performing. Contractor QFS has blamed the water quality in the river necessitating additional prepossessing before the RO stage. Surely this should have been taken into account by the contractor, and not something they “discover” after they commission the plant? It seems QFS dropped the ball, similar to what happened to them in Cape Town. With some residents having received no water for six months and more, someone must take accountability for this.
DON’T forget, coming up this weekend is the Build it golf day in aid of the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen (Saturday September 25), and the Music at the Mill at Bradshaw’s Mill on Sunday. These are two important events on the social calendar and well worth attending, particularly now that we are at level 2 of the lockdown.
CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone having a special day in the week ahead, especially to Dean Charter, Jenna Pretorius, John Hobbs, Selby Tarr, Dillan Dugard, Kathleen Sansom, Nancy Meyer, Amy Bennett, Gillis de Korte, Carole Hill, Jacobus Nel, Su Reed, Glenda Jakins, Norman Whale, Van West, Dawn McQuillian, Alan Gunn, Di Menin, Leon Erasmus, Liezl van Zyl, Warren Bowdler, Rob le Roux, Priscilla Mike, Judie van Wyk, David Painting, Tisha Marshall, Jane Bladen, Elene Daubermann, Robin Hyde, Bruce Frederichs, Christo Paul, and Lucille Louw.
THERE are many businesses and organisations celebrating an anniversary at this time of the year. Congratulations to all and we wish everyone all the very best for the future, especially The Kowie Striders Club, Kowie Key, RE/MAX Kowie, Marko Polo and Coastal Blue Star.
THE country’s finances are in a mess and, according to finance minster Enoch Godongwana, the wish-list as proposed by the ANC recently would cost in the order of R73.5bn. This included such items as a state bank (R10bn), state worker increases (R19.6bn) and settling Gauteng’s toll road problems (R4.6bn). As the ANC is now asking for crowd funding to pay for its workers’ salaries, this must cast considerable doubt on the majority party ’s ability to control finances. Brent crude has breached $73 per barrel and this, combined with the weak rand will undoubtedly lead to yet another fuel price increase. The only good news this week is that stock values have increased since the lockdown level was decreased. With last year’s in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.32 to the Dollar (R16.44), R19.81 to the Pound (R21.20) and R16.92 to the Euro (R19.49). Gold was trading at $1,800.98 per fine ounce ($1,964.61), platinum at $982.00 per ounce ($944.18) and Brent Crude Oil at $74.30 per barrel ($42.07).
WEDDING anniversary greetings to everyone celebrating another year and may joy and contentment continue to be yours, especially to the following couples, Craig and Penny Robertson, Mark and Tracy Deenik, Andrew and Tonia Walker, Godfrey and Kathy Elms, Sean and Jackie Elms, Ian and Haruyki Currie, Robey and Christy Pretorius, and John and Janet Basson.
OUR condolences to the family, friends and past pupils of Jenny Groenewald, a former teacher at Port Alfred High School, who sadly lost her battle with cancer. May the happy memories you shared sustain you through your loss.
THOUGHT for the week: “We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
BEST regards as always,