AFTER 554 days (last week’s figure was incorrect), South Africa is still on Covid-19 restrictions and people are becoming fatigued. Many are asking why, now that the third wave of the virus has apparently passed us by, and with no identified fourth wave on the horizon, why restrictions are still in place. Passing the peak of the third wave was originally announced by acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi in June, shortly after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was placed on special leave because of nefarious business dealings. But the virus still being around, there were further infections in the Cape and Gauteng. As the number of cases declines, people are getting frustrated with lockdown regulations, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors. As of September 29, in South Africa there were 45,771 active cases, 2,765,700 recoveries and 87,417 deaths attributed to Covid. We do not know if the pandemic is over or if it will persist and become endemic, like the common cold (another coronavirus) or influenza. People who have chosen to take the vaccine might be faced with needing booster shots for some time. However, once the virus reaches a critical mass, herd immunity should kick in where the virus still infects some but natural immunity makes the symptoms far less severe. Alternatively, we might see another more virulent or deadly variant (mutation) evolve and be forced to start the entire process over again.
THE Build It Golf Day was a great success on Saturday and Port Alfred Soup Kitchen was the overall winner. Sponsors donated generously to the event and ensured the Soup Kitchen could continue operating and providing much-needed food to the underprivileged in the area. The Build It Golf Day will now become an annual event.
ANOTHER event last weekend was Music at the Mill, organised by Historic Bathurst. It was a free concert held at Bradshaw Mill in Bathurst. Local artists performed for free and locals took advantage of the warm sunny day and came out in their numbers to enjoy the afternoon. It was a great afternoon and let’s hope it is just one of many we can enjoy in the not-too-distant future.
THIS week Talk of the Town celebrates 25 years of serving the community. Since its inception in 1996 a lot has happened in the area and lots of changes have taken place. From the amalgamation of various small municipalities (Alexandria, Kenton-on-Sea, Bathurst and Port Alfred) into a single municipality named Ndlambe, to the changing face of the town we have reported on all the major events happening in our area. We have shared stories of heroism, loss, crime and politics. Yet, as a community newspaper, we also report on local events such as charity fundraising, floral art group meetings, milestone birthdays and various other events on the social calendar. We have had our own share of tragedies, including the death of TotT co-founder Barbara Hanstein and the loss this year of our colleague Jessie Bohnen and various other sad events that have befallen us. But we have also celebrated the births of babies to staff members, or receiving awards from the community for the work we do. We have really enjoyed working for the people of the town to keep them informed and up-to-date on events in and around the area. Here’s to what the next 25 years will bring.
HAPPY birthday greetings and congratulations to everyone celebrating special days in the week ahead, especially Daniel Baker, Jenny Henning, Bronwyn Fick, Donnae Colesky, Peter Beaumont, Sean Cullen, Heather Green, Chase Dell, Shaun Wilken, Pieter Steenkamp, Gordon Japp, Fanele Siyolo, Ingrid Griffiths, Di Cockcroft, Zoë Wille, Ava Beukes, Basil Solz, Penny Maddocks, Grant Mouton, Bronwyn Murray, Tanja Jacobs, Andrea Kemsley, Chris Avis, Linda Schlemmer, Franco Klopper, Jonty Alexandre, Gordon Naysmith, Carla Gailey, Louw Potgieter, Layton Hilpert, Fernando Gallant, Lucinda de Vos, Margie van Lier, Kerryn van der Walt, Dot Thorburn, Kristy Henderson, Karen Lee, Alf Steck, Lizelle Rielly, Liz Briggs, Nick Howard, Brenda Shelton, Yvonne McDonald, Darrren Coetzee.
CONGRATULATIONS to all businesses and organisations celebrating another anniversary and good wishes for further success to GBS Mutual Bank (on 144 years), Tectronic, Happy Hours Pre-primary, Top Carpets and Floors (Grahamstown), Postnet, Cosi Home and RD Patternmakers, Coastal Car Care.
THE South African economy is not in a great state at this time due to a number of factors. First, the rand has significantly weakened in comparison to other developing market currencies. Political instability (and the fact that the leaders of the party in power cannot afford to pay their own staff) do not inspire investors into placing their money in South Africa. As the fuel price inevitably increases due to the weaker rand, and China, one of biggest trade partners in terms of raw materials, begins to pull back its orders for our products, so the economy is likely to weaken further. At the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R15.12 to the Dollar (R16.93), R20.58 to the Pound (R21.70) and R17.65 to the Euro (R19.81). Gold was trading at $1,734.07 ($1,882.93), Platinum at $945.00 ($869) and Brent Crude Oil at $79.34 ($41.66).
HAPPY wedding anniversary wishes for many more years ahead of continued happiness, especially to Adrian and Cathleen Anderson, Terry and Sonia Blenkinsop, Anton and Annelien Gouws, Peter and Stevie Godson, Hans and Jo-Anne Fourie, Brett and Ingrid Newcombe, Dries and Annatjie Liebenberg, Loua and Devon Coetzee, Jonathan and Jenny Lynn Tuppy, Gilbert and Marlene Coetzee, Owen and Colleen Moore.
THOUGHT for the week: “Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something and it’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit”.
BEST regards as always,