Looking back

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

It feels like it was a long time ago when every media outlet was warning residents about the looming Day Zero. Desalination plants, tighter restrictions and empty dams were the words on everyone’s lips as we all rallied to save water.

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, raised concerns in January, about the impact Day Zero would have on the tourism industry.

Some hotels removed bath plugs and installed water-saving shower heads (“Day Zero looming,” Atlantic Sun, January 18).

If there’s one issue that’s been high on the agenda, it’s been developments. From Bo-Kaap to Sea Point to Camps Bay, residents have been fighting tooth and nail against the developments in their areas. The modus operandi has been almost the same – City and developer vs ratepayers and residents. It was only in Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay that residents accused their ratepayers’ association, Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association,(SFB) of being captured by developers (“Seaboard captured,” Atlantic Sun, February 22).

Then there were the Bo-Kaap protests. And not just your usual protests, the community held a mass iftaar (boeka) protest in Wale Street which saw hundreds of residents and children gathering along the road to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadaan – and voice their concerns.

The protests continued every evening at the intersection of Wale and Buitengracht streets, resulting in traffic chaos in the Bo-Kaap (“Bo-Kaap vows to continue to protest”, Atlantic Sun, May 31).

They all started peacefully until one Monday evening when tensions flared and the younger residents burnt tyres in the road.

The residents, young and old, united and protested for weeks against rate hikes and the developments in the area. They continuously called for the area to be declared a heritage site. The protests went on for months, with court cases, and at some point, an auction group cancelled the sale of two pieces of land which are regarded as sacred, at the historic Tana Baru cemetery (“Cemetery auction stopped,” Atlantic Sun, June 14).

One of the unforgettable days in the area was when residents united to block the developer’s crane from entering. Residents call this day “crane day” and we saw the strength and bravery of residents, particularly women, in Bo-Kaap who clashed with the police to protect their community (“Chaos as Bo-Kaap residents block crane,” Atlantic Sun, November 22).

On the other side of the mountain, the closing of the Camps Bay Bowling Club might have marked the end of an era for the community, but the memories and friendships formed will forever tell its story.

It was on June 25 that the club was told by the City to vacate the premises. The bowling club lost a long battle to have its lease renewed by the City which planned to rezone the piece of land for educational purposes.

On June 23, social members, league bowlers and young and old community members gathered at the club for the last day to reminisce about the place they called their second home for decades ( “Club evicted,” Atlantic Sun, June 28)

In July, we reported on the new body that was formed solely to fight the then proposed Maiden’s Cove development – Maiden’s Cove for All (MCA). The application was filed by the Bungalow Owners’ Association (BOA) asking the court to review and set aside the City’s decision to sell and lease the land between the Clifton bungalows and Camps Bay. The organisation wanted a correct public participation process where the City would include the voices of those who use the space. The City and the developer eventually announced their withdrawal to oppose the application – a decision that was welcomed by the applicants and local ratepayers who were supporting the applicants. (“Developer withdraws,” Atlantic Sun, November 1)

And then on a sad note, the Sea Point community unexpectedly lost its beloved resident, Theodore Yach, who held the record for swimming between the mainland and Robben Island 108 times. Mr Yach died at age 60 after he was admitted to hospital (“Swimmers honour Yach, Atlantic Sun, October 25).

And finally, Ward 54 residents parted ways with their councillor, Shayne Ramsay, who resigned from the DA for personal reasons (“Councillor Ramsay leaves the party,” December 6).