Thank you for soldiering on
Well, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba didn’t deliver too much good news during his Mid-Term Review Budget speech on Wednesday. The money man's biggest shock was that revenue shortfall (taxes to SARS) would be R50.8 billion below the R30bn shortfall than was anticipated in the February budget. There was other bad news of course (we can’t afford nuclear power; SAA and the Post Office need more bailouts worth billions; the public wage bill is out of control and so on).
We’re all hurting and we get it. But in Grahamstown, we also have a few little stories to brag about. Before Starbucks showed up on our shores, we had Mugg & Bean. Its local franchise, in the Pepper Grove Mall and owned by Craig Foord turned two this week (see page 13). If residents were not patronising it, Mugg & Bean would not have celebrated even its first birthday. Grahamstown thanks you, Mugg & Bean.
Then there is the Indigo School, a little pre-school in Sunnyside that recently celebrated an important annual festival. The school celebrated its Colour Run at the Botanical Garden last week as part of the Diwali Festival of Lights (see page 19). Diwali’s main themes are the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair, which are good values to impart to our youngsters, many of whom are often scarred by terrible experiences as they grow up. Grahamstown thanks you Indigo School.
Back on page 29, new real estate franchise Chas Everitt is a proud associate of ‘Know The Score’, which gives our readers a round-up of all the town’s sports scores. It has to be said that despite the tough times, Chas Everitt opened doors to business no too long ago. Grahamstown thanks you Chas Everitt.
Speaking of new business, there is EC’s Fit & Go, a brand new tyre-fitment centre owned by Evan du Preez (see page 14). Du Preez would not have invested all that money in equipment and floor space if he didn’t imagine that there was some space for him in our little town. He has obviously employed some people who were perhaps previously unemployed; he will pay taxes; increase competition and look after some of the town’s motorists. Thank you Evan du Preez.
Finally, there is the grandma of all them - Clumber Church that celebrated 150 years last weekend (see page 18). The church has roots in England where some people, fed up with hard times and penury brought on by the Industrial Revolution, decamped South, to become part of the 1820 settlers. The church has provided counselling, hope and solace to so many people for so many years. Thank you to the congregation of Clumber Church; and thank you to everyone, including the wonderful choirs, that made their celebrations possible.
South Africa is living on edge. But somehow, our little town soldiers on.