Reflecting on triumphs and challenges of 2017

Matrics in the southern suburbs celebrate passing their exams.

As 2017 draws to a close, the Tatler looks back on the year that was and some of the big community stories that made it into print.

The year got off to a good start for the seven Metro Central schools that notched up 100% matric pass rates for the fourth year in a row (“Sweet victory for matrics,” Tatler, January 12).

In January, Woodstock’s community police forum declared a dispute with the Woodstock police over a breakdown in communication, and a meeting with police top brass was held to try to resolve the impasse (“Break in communication,” Tatler, January 19).

February saw the start of the Bromwell Street battle, when residents were threatened with eviction to make way for a multi-million rand development at the Old Biscuit Mill (“Judge has ‘no sympathy’,” Tatler, February 2).

The issue of affordable housing in the city again came to the fore when it was revealed that the old Woodstock day hospital would be turned into one of six projects offering affordable inner-city housing to thousands (“Plans to turn hospital into housing,” Tatler, February 9).

In March, residents of a Communicare complex in Rondebosch accused the social-housing agency of turning a blind eye to their deteriorating living conditions (“Elderly tenants feel ‘trapped’,” Tatler, March 2).

A week later, the drought was officially declared a disaster by the City of Cape Town.

Residents heard there were only 113 days of water left, (“Drought declared a disaster,” Tatler, March 9).

In April, estate agents warned that downgrades by rating agencies could hurt property values and sales in Kenilworth and Claremont Village(“Junk status may hurt property values,” Tatler, April 13).

May got off to a rowdy start, when Newlands residents accused Stormers supporters of disturbing the neighbourhood with their late-night carousing (“Red card for rowdy rugby fans,” Tatler, May 4).

In Kenilworth, residents complained about poor security at the city-owned Rosmead sports grounds (“Call to secure sports field,” Tatler, May 11).

In June, work stopped on the controversial cycle lanes linking the CBD with Woodstock, Salt River, Observatory and beyond. Some felt the project had been a big waste of money.(“Wheels come off cycle lane project,” Tatler, June 1).

Meanwhile, the City gave the green light to a developer to build 500 homes, a hotel and shops at the Kenilworth Racecourse.

This sparked fears that it would destroy a sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna (“Hotel and 500 houses for racecourse,” Tatler, June 8).

Lynfrae was shocked in July when resident Richard Smith was attacked in his home (“Lynfrae resident stabbed in burglary,” Tatler, July 6).

In August, the return of the Open Streets Festival was announced – it was held in October, during Transport Month (“Opening the streets,” Tatler, August 10).

And Woodstock residents accused a film crew of ruining a neighbourhood dog park(“Dog park destroyed,” Tatler, August 24).

Rondebosch rail commuters found themselves in a stinky situation in September when subways were found choked with rubbish, (“Stinky subway,” Tatler, September 7).

That same month, a 26-year-old Rondebosch youth pastor was arrested after allegedly posing as a teenage girl to lure teenage boys into sharing naked pictures of themselves with him (“Pastor porn scandal,” Tatler, September 14).

October started with yet another robbery at the Kenilworth Centre – the second in a month, (“KC store robbed… again,” Tatler, October 5).

In Woodstock, three men were shot in two separate incidents in the space of two days (“Three shot dead,” Tatler, October 12).

Development headaches continued in Newlands, when residents opposed an application for two blocks of flats – a total of 58 units, basement parking and a visitors parking lot, (“Residents fume over flats plan,” Tatler, November 2).

Hundreds of Observatory residents turned out in record numbers at a community meeting in November to oppose developers accused of trying to capture the neighbourhood’s civic association(“Civic exec kicked to the kerb,” Tatler, November 30).