Looking back on the year that was

District Six Claimants and D6WC picketing outside the Western Cape High Court

As 2018 draws to an end, we look back at some of the stories that made headlines in the Tatler this year.

With Cape Town facing the prospect of being the first major city in the world to run out of water with Day Zero looming on April 12, many organisations were looking for a high-tech or out-of-the box solutions to deal with the water crises.

Schools like Rustenburg Girls’ High School were looking to limit toilet flushing by implementing a We R Waterwise indicator, which limits the number of times the girls flush the toilet (“Schools number one way to save water, Tatler, March 8) while an old hospital like Groote Schuur was looking for new boreholes (“Borehole plan for hospital,” Tatler, February 8).

Many Cape Town residents also gathered at the Cape Town Civic Centre to hold authorities accountable for the scarcity of water in the city (“Coalition opposes amendments to by-law,” Tatler, February 1).

This has also been the year that affordable housing for Salt River and Woodstock was placed on the agenda and District Six claimants would finally get some positive news regarding their land restitution.

The District Six Working committee (D6WC), which was formed in 2013, helped by law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright started the process of taking the government to court for taking too long to settle the restitution process (“D6 claimants take government to court,” Tatler, April 26).

In the court case at the Western Cape High Court, on November 26, High Court Judge Jody Kollapen ordered the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to come back to court in February with a clear plan for the redevelopment of 42 hectares in District Six (“Victory for District Six claimants,” Tatler, November 29)

Residents of Salt River, supported by activist organisation Reclaim the City, attended a public meeting at the Salt River Market site to find out whether social housing planned for that site would get the green light from the City ( “Council to decide on Salt River site,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, November 29).

Residents received some good news when the City of Cape Town agreed on December 13 to transfer the Salt River Market site for a mixed-use development that could deliver more than 820 affordable housing units to lower-income families (“Salt River affordable housing development gets the nod,” Tatler, December 14).

This has also been a year of violence.

It started with the abduction of Kenilworth botanists, Rod and Rachel Saunders in KwaZulu-Natal by people apparently affiliated to the Isis terrorist group (“Abduction mystery,” Tatler, March 22).

It ended tragically when in May, DNA tests onfirmed that the body found in the Tugela River in February was that of Rod (“Botanist’s body found in Tugela River,” Tatler, May 3) and then in June, Rachel’s body was identified by the Hawks. (“Botanist’s body identified,” Tatler, June 21)

Groote Schuur Hospital celebrated its 80th birthday, having been catapulted into the history books when Dr Christiaan Barnard did the first human heart transplant there in 1967 (“Groote Schuur celebrates 80th anniversary”, Tatler, March 22).

In April, the Girl Guides set a new Guinness World record for making the longest string of bottle caps. The money raised went to Operation Smile (“Girl guides set new Guinness World Record,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, April 12).

We found out more about the 116-year journey of the Western Province Chinese Association, (“Chinese association finds a home in Obs,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, September 13) and Sans Souci Girls’ High School welcomed its first principal of colour, Ruschda O’Shea (“Sans Souci welcomes new principal,” Tatler, April 12)