Neighbourly Notes – 7 October 2021

WELCOME THE SINCLAIRS: Having arrived in the Eastern Cape in February this year, Pete and Judy Sinclair have relaxed in the sun on Sunday October 2 at the Music at the Mill event. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

TODAY marks 560 days since the national lockdown was announced on March 26 2020. Last Thursday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lowering of the alert level to Level 1. This means that many businesses will be able to operate as normal and that, for the most part, travel, visits and other social activities are again allowed. Curfew is now from midnight to 4am, bars and restaurants must close by 11pm and no alcohol, on- or off-sales, will be allowed after 11pm. Indoor venues can allow 750 people entrance, and outdoor venues from 500 to 2,000 attendees. In case of smaller venues, 50% capacity is the stipulated maximum. Funeral attendees will now be limited to 100 people, from 50, and mask wearing in public places is still mandatory.

LAST week TotT celebrated our 25th anniversary. The paper has been reporting on local stories for a quarter of a century. We strive to inform the people of the area on current happenings, with social, political and business stories the foundation of our paper. But it is your support, in sharing your stories, in purchasing the newspaper and in supporting us by advertising in our paper that has enabled us to do what we do. Talk of the Town would like to thank you all sincerely and look forward to serving the community for another 25 years.

RECENTLY, our sister newspaper, The Herald, published a press release from the municipality’s reverse osmosis (RO) plant contractor, Quality Filtration Systems, stating that the RO plant had produced a milestone 100 million litres of potable water and assuring the residents that everything was working as planned. This puffery piece was printed without context of Port Alfred’s ongoing water crisis and stirred the anger of residents who know that such a press release is simply a smokescreen to obscure the fact that the plant has failed to even meet its own design criteria. Some residents have been without municipal water since November 2020. After the angry calls and emails from irate residents, senior reporter Guy Rogers was commissioned to write a follow-up article for another of our sister newspapers, the Weekend Post, which was a far more accurate version of what has transpired during the RO plant debacle. As we have said, browsing TotT’s online stories about the RO plant saga over the past 18 months would have provided the context needed.

TOTT attended the presentation of the bronze-level President’s Award to youth at Nomzamo Senior Secondary School last Friday. The President’s Award is the South African version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, internationally recognised to produce strong and competent leaders. It was rewarding that so many youths are willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved in serving their communities. As a DoE award recipient I can confirm that the journey from Bronze, through Silver and ultimately Gold is quite arduous and there are many challenges. Some are physical in nature, some require thought and strategy while others simply mean serving those who are unable to help themselves. The rewards are that each participant gets to experience what true service is and be better enabled to tackle situations they will face in later life with confidence due to the skills learnt during the journey. Well done to all the recipients of the President’s Award. You are part of the solution to problems SA and the rest of the world faces today.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone enjoying a special day, especially Eric Garner, Lynette Shelton, Jocelyn Kirkup, Elmien Kew, Monique Hunke, Hallé Hilpert, Wally Hill, Hennie de Bruin, Chris Avis, Andrea Kemsley, James Mpolongwana, Joy de Bruin, Sarah-Jane Taljaard, Felix Shepherd, Calla van Heerden, Barry Griggs, Joan Strachan, Charles Watson, Doreen van Damme, Ola van Niekerk, Isobel Taute, Riley Hilpert, Kristin Bunge, Carla Gailey, Lucinda de Vos, Chris Johnston, Rosita Winter, Ben Kember, Dorothy Bowen, René Denis, Joani Stötter, Dax Wilmot, Nicole Flanagan, Chantell Saunders, Pieter Bezuidenhout, Samantha Costa, Jan Simpson, Denis Stirk.

BEST wishes and congratulations to all the businesses having an anniversary and here’s wishing you all continued success, especially to Remax Kowie, Thospark, Sparrow Pools, Paws and Claws.

IN case you haven’t been following the story, there is a time-bomb just waiting to explode and reveal how many South Africans are involved in the Pandora Papers scandal. The papers reveal that some of the most rich and famous people hide their money in offshore tax havens, often involving money laundering to avoid paying their share. People such a King Abdullah of Jordan, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and a host of others have been named in the papers. So far, the almost 12-million papers, disclosed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists comprising 600 journalists from 117 countries, has linked 56,493 cases where South Africans have conducted alleged nefarious financial transaction. This will have a significant effect on the markets worldwide. A more immediate problem for the country is that the rand broke through the $15 mark and is still hovering there and showing little signs of relief, particularly with local elections just around the corner. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the Rand was trading at R14.98 to the Dollar (R16.66), R20.40 to the Pound (R21.47) and R17.38 to the Euro (R19.59). Commodities were trading with Gold at $1,797.54 per fine ounce ($1,888.14), Platinum at $959.00 per ounce ($880.32) and Brent Crude Oil at $81.53 per barrel ($42.20).

CONGRATULATIONS to JP and Jess de Klerk on the birth of their beautiful little girl Emily Grace. We know that Emily will only bring joy and love to you and your family.

MAY continuing happiness be with the following couples as they celebrate their wedding anniversaries with good wishes for many more. Congratulations to Warwick and Leonie Beetge, Hans and Jo-Anne Fourie, Jim and Pauline Reynolds, Dave and Delene Hawkins, Luke and Cindy Charter, Rob and Dianna Owsley, Wayne and Lizelle Rielly, Brenda and Russell Shelton, Ronald and Junette Smith, Dylan and Tania Murray, Wade and Lauren Labuschagne, Robert and Jenne Boyce, Mauritz and Ria van der Merwe.

THOUGHT for the week: “Time is that fleeting moment when the future passes into the past. So use every moment; grab it, embrace it and make it into your own memories”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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