Neighbourly Notes – 28 October 2021

ROCKING WITH THE TIMES: René van der Merwe paints rocks with messages which she casts far and wide for anyone to find and be uplifted. The message on the rocks contains a telephone number which the recipient can call and say where the rock was found. Van der Merwe said that rocks have been found as far as the Kruger National Park. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

THE Talk of the Town Senior Santa Shoebox collection aims to make this Christmas a little more special for the elderly in the area, of which there are many who might spend this otherwise joyful time alone and without family. Please contribute to this worthy cause with items that the elderly might enjoy. Sweets and other nonperishable food items would be welcome, as would be good quality used items, including clothing. Think about what your granny and granddad would enjoy receiving at this special time of year. Gifts and shoeboxes (or any other suitably-sized box) can be dropped off at Talk of the Town’s offices in Miles Street. We are all going to be old and the elderly deserve our consideration at this time of the year.

TODAY marks 581 days since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed by the SA government. As the third wave of the virus dissipates restrictions have been eased in an attempt to return to full production and bring the flailing economy back into line. SA was relegated to noninvestment status by all the major financial credit ratings agencies (Moody’s, Fitch and Standard and Poor’s) in 2020 and it has remained there over the Covid period. Among other issues, the electrical supply in the country is unstable and cannot be guaranteed, so few investors want to place their money here.

DURING the more stringent lockdown restrictions, the entertainment industry was virtually closed down and many artists went without performing for over 18 months. Now, with restrictions eased, there is a lot going on. The Van der Riet Street festival is this weekend, always lots of fun and worth a trip to taste the food, meet friends and listen to the entertainers. Because of predicted bad weather, the Medolino Farmers Market has been moved to November 6. Medolino is also hosting Port Alfred’s Got Talent auditions at the park on November 27. Also on November 27 the Bathurst Agricultural Society is hosting a Fun Day to generate funds to be used for the proposed 2022 Bathurst Agricultural Show, the first since 2019 There are also many other smaller events at local pubs and restaurants. More information on these and other events will be posted as the information becomes available. Please send us all the information for inclusion in our diary. OH DEAR, loadshedding is back. Having endured last weekend’s loadshedding there was no warning before the lights in the area went off at 7pm on Monday. Stage 2 was implemented until 12 noon on Wednesday when, again without warning, it was upgraded to Stage 4. Check the Eskom web page or another source for more information on loadshedding schedules.

WHO are you going to vote for in the 2021 local government elections on Monday November 1? Who is capable of fixing our water crisis? Political party promises have yielded little in the way of results. But your vote is your right and should you not use it, you will have missed an opportunity to possibly bring about a different outcome.

GREETINGS to everyone enjoying a birthday in the coming week, may the year ahead bring only happy and healthy times or all, especially, Claudine Riddle, John Elliott, Chadley Alexander, Rebecca Simes, Alma Surmon, Kadekile Nosilda, Kyle Menin, Jeremy Briscoe, Val van den Bergh, Gail Elliott, Janine van der Merwe, Maude Cannon, Erin Bowker, Laura Guest, Rose Ryan, Gwen Laubsher, Bryant Letley, Kaylene Hilpert, Oliver Skipper, Amorette Oosthuizen, Jannie Badenhorst, Jason Prince, Nicolene Rieger, Helga Adams, Geraldine Heim, Doreen Tee, Jurie Grant, Neil Doyle, Janie Butt, husband and wife team – Andy and Darice Nicholas, Chris Louw, Johan Roos, Declan Joubert, Gaz Worral, and Anne Muir.

BEST wishes and continued success to the following businesses or organisations who are celebrating another milestone, especially Lunch Box (Alexandria), The Workshop (Bathurst), Debonairs, A1 Pre-Owned Vehicles, PA Floral Art Group and the PA Round Table No 177.

WE learnt of the passing of Mike Kenny in the early hours of yesterday morning. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends, especially his wife Barbara and children Tash, Tiffany and Patrick. Our thoughts are with you at this time as we remember Mike and the important contribution he made to the town.

THE South African economy is at a critical stage and, peering into the future, it seems that while unions and others are demanding pay rises that their companies (or government) cannot afford, most are left with pitifully low increases or no increases at all. Many lost their jobs along with their only form of income during the period of restrictions. Unless some major effort is made by government to fix the problems of electrical power, water scarcity and reducing the crime rate, we will not attract investors and new industry, and the passage down the slippery slope will continue. Another major issue is that of climate change, and the targets set by the major industrial nations toward carbon neutrality. This will put a massive strain on the economy, potentially leading to job losses in the coal industry, from mining to transport. The price of crude oil has now far exceeded the dreaded US$80 per barrel mark and shows no sign of relenting anytime soon. Today it is more than double the price it was this time last year. As we go to press, and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.78 to the dollar (R16.35), R20.39 to the pound (R21.23) and R17.15 to the euro (R19.21). Gold was trading at $1,790.12 per fine ounce ($1,900.71), platinum at $1,043.011 per fine ounce ($870.00) and Brent crude oil at $84.77 per barrel ($40.36).

OUR heartiest congratulations and very good wishes for the future to everyone celebrating a wedding anniversary in the week ahead, especially Dave and Ann Tyrrell, Patrick and Jeanine Kenny, Rico and Belinda Viljoen, Greg and Elzette Reed, Barry and Anne Hartley, David and Lauren Drennan and Athol and Elaine Waters.

CONGRATULATIONS to Colin and Joan Purdon on their 65th wedding anniversary.

THOUGHT for the week: “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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