Two Bits – 13 January 2017

It is remarkable how smoothly this past holiday season ran, not only in that the weather was perfect for beachgoers, but how the authorities worked together to ensure the period was problem-free.

The problems at Blythedale beach on December 16 were serious, and it is heartening to have Mayor Mthembu’s commitment to plan to draw the crowds bent on extreme partying away to Nonoti next season. Time will tell how that pans out.

At all major North Coast beaches at Christmas and New Year we had the police out in force, inspecting cars for alcohol and drugs and confiscating whatever they found. Police on horseback patrolled Ballito beaches, where their presence was a moderating influence.

The cops got a hard time from people who came to Ballito to braai on the beach and were denied, but they stuck to their guns, much to the relief of beachfront residents.

The three reported drownings are always sad, though considering how many tens of thousands flocked to the beaches, it was remarkably few. Everyone has been full of praise for the lifeguards and how they handled themselves.

Even the Works department roused itself and most of the potholes disappeared early in December. In fact, there was so little to complain about the guys at the golf club ran out of conversation at times!

Not to be outdone, even the electricity department has been getting in on the act. I complained bitterly last year about not being informed of events like power failures, and lo and behold, from December I have been receiving SMSs telling me about power outages.

Unfortunately they’re a bit cryptic, like this one: “KDM notice: Power outage on the South and West part of the estate / Cause unknown / Duration unknown” and a contact number. They don’t say which estate but hey, full marks for getting a SMS system off the ground. It can only get better.

I have been forced to take the highway from home to Ballito as the coast road was a complete pain, so that’s an indication of how popular the beaches were. I have never seen so many cars jam-packed into all the available parking and then some.

Shopowners might say they could have done with a few rainy days to draw the holidaymakers into the shops, but from what I saw the shopping centres were jammed to the rafters anyway.

So, a great season and well done to everyone involved. My wish for 2017 is that service delivery gets better for everyone throughout the Ilembe district, that our local representatives act responsibly in their control of the public purse and that each and every one of us discovers a way to contribute to a better North Coast.

Every one of us has the power to make life for those around us a little better with very small actions. A smile, a thank you. Remember, even the Great Wall of China was built one brick at a time.

* * *
Hollywood actress Zsa Zsa Gabor died on December 16 at the age 99, after nine marriages. Asked what sort of housekeeper she had been during her marriages, she retorted, “I was an excellent housekeeper! Every time I got divorced, I kept the house!”

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