Neighbourly Notes – 4 November 2021

NO HEADACHE AT ALL: Owner and chef of Rise Café, Andre Nel, centre, in Halloween theme headgear for the Van der Riet Street Festival last Saturday. With him are staff members Anika Sesman, left, and Nosi Masekwana. Picture: JON HOUZET

IT’S been an exciting week with the local election that took place on Monday. Were the results what you had anticipated or were there a few surprises? Now on day 588 of the lockdown, the regulations did not seem to present any problems at the polling stations. By now, people are used to having their hands sanitised before they are allowed entry into a public space. The voting itself seemed to go off without a hitch, although some residents were unhappy that they had stood in line for hours before being informed they were at the wrong polling station. Generally, however, the 2021 municipal election, at least local, ran smoothly if just a little slowly.

AT the time of going to press it appears the ANC’s national majority in municipal councils of over 50% has been severely reduced. With most of the votes counted it seems that the ANC’s proportion of council seats will be around 46%, the DA around 22% and the EFF around 10% of the council seats.

SO, who is your new councillor? Have you met him or her? Do you think we are better off after the elections? If you have a comment, please email me at the address at the top of the page and I will put together a story showing your hopes for the future of the area and any concerns you have.

PERHAPS this should go under the financial section but it is such big news it will affect every single person in the country in one way or another. The price of fuel had a dramatic increase on Tuesday at midnight with petrol seeing a R1.21 per litre increase, and diesel a massive R1.48 per litre. The price of illuminating paraffin increased by R1.45 a litre. Such enormous increases cannot be absorbed by business and will therefore be passed down to consumers. This means the prices on grocers’ shelves will increase and inflation will ensue. Would it have made a difference in the voting strategy of the electorate if these increases had have been announced a day earlier?

PORT Alfred, as is the same at any seaside town around the world, has a large feral cat population. Left to their own devices these cats would overrun the town. Some concerned citizens have taken it upon themselves to prevent cat over-population by trapping the cats and taking them to the vet to have them sterilised and released again. This is important work, but it needs funding. There will be a white elephant stall outside The Bagman at the Anchorage Mall on Saturday starting at 9am until 2pm to help raise funds for the project. Please visit The Bagman on Saturday and do your bit in assisting the Feral Cat Project.

THIS Friday is November 5, a date to remember if you are British who build bonfires and burn an effigy of Guido (Guy) Fawkes, but do you know why? It is in commemoration of a day in 1605 when Fawkes and his Roman Catholic coconspirators attempted to blow up the Palace of Westminster. The plan was to set off an explosion during the opening of parliament in protest over James I’s protestant government. It is recorded that Fawkes, a Roman Catholic convert and military man, was so angered by the oppression of Catholics in the country that he left the British army and travelled to Spain. He was recruited in the Netherlands by the true instigator of what became known as the Gunpowder Plot, Robert Catesby. Fawkes planted 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under parliament, but the plot was discovered and Fawkes was imprisoned, tried and sentenced to death. He was to be executed opposite the Parliament building but, either he fell or jumped from the gallows ladder and died of a broken neck on January 27 1606. Nevertheless, in true English style, they still quartered his lifeless body.

ALTHOUGH the weather had been kind at the start of the week, by Thursday the weather service is suggesting temperatures will drop significantly and by Friday we will see rain in the form of showers that will lead to more substantial rain over the weekend.

HAPPY birthday and good wishes to everyone celebrating such an occasion. Congratulations to Bridget McNeilis, Mary Hechter, Candice Bradfield, Stan Weyer, Warren Soltz, Mary-Ann Gailey, Bryan Smith, Jamie Edwards, Jean McCowan, Ann Green, Linda Wedderburn, Nriam Farhaher, Yma van Zyl, Connor Bessinger, Hermaine Kritzinger, Kevin Heny, Christopher Green, Karen Marais, Roy Somers, Paul Probert, Jim Truscott, Elaine Jupp, Beryl Kemp, Norah Bennett, Moira Schnehage, Cliff Kemp, Jamie Butt.

BEST wishes and congratulations to the following businesses on their anniversaries and may these lead to even more success in the future. Good luck to Andy’s Service Centre and 24-hour Fresh Stop, Volcanik and Sunshine Juice.

AS already mentioned, fuel prices increased significantly on Tuesday at midnight and this will have a telling impact on commodity prices. The price hike is one of the largest we have experienced and is blamed on crude oil availability and price as well as the current dollar to rand exchange rate. This is not news that can be simply dismissed but a sign of how badly the plan to encourage investment (and thereby stabilise the currency) has been implemented. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand was trading at R15.40 to the dollar (R16.10), R21.00 to the pound (R20.88), R17.84 to the Euro (R18.81). Commodities such as gold were trading at $1,779.34 per fine ounce ($1,897.35), platinum was trading at $1,038.28 per ounce ($874.00) with Brent crude oil at $84.08 per barrel ($39.63).

SINCEREST condolences to the family and friends of Anton Strombeck who passed away recently. May memories of good times spent together carry you through this sad time.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes to all couples celebrating this special occasion, especially Jan and Elva Niemand, Richard and Carla Hill, Pierre and Lodine Norden, Barry and Anne Hartley, Gunther and Nola Johannsen, Athol and Cynthia Canny, Paul and Stacey Botha.

THOUGHT for the week: “To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”

BEST regards as always
The Team

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