Looking back at the year 2018

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

It seems only fitting that we started the year and ended it with news about the drought and residents allegedly selling water.

From drought and dogs on greenbelts to baboons and bees, this has been an eventful year in the Constantia valley.

Apart from the drought, stories on property-related issues, especially new developments, have taken up many pages (“Building creep scorn”, Bulletin, May 10).

We covered plans on the Solomon Family Trust (“Move on drop-off site”, Bulletin, August 2), developers flouting city building regulations (“Lawyer in property row”, Bulletin, June 21), a raid on Ebor Road in Wynberg (“Eye on Wynberg hot spot”, Bulletin, November 22) and derelict buildings at Waterloo Green in Wynberg (“Victory for Waterloo”, Bulletin, March 1), Students Way in Plumstead (“Residents unite against property”, Bulletin, January 25), and Central Primary School in Diep River (“No joy at primary school site”, Bulletin, September 20).

Behind the scenes are the ratepayers’ associations who provide comment after spending many hours researching the endless planning conditions.

In June, traffic was diverted from Westlake Business Park after what was planned as a peaceful protest turned sour when tyres were burnt and rocks were thrown by residents asking for decent service delivery (“Westlake protest fury”, Bulletin, June 7). A high school, a library, a taxi rank, speed humps on every road, a community hall and sports facility were among their demands.

Ward councillor Penny East has promised to provide an update early next year.

There were a number of murders in the valley with the most high-profile being that of the school administrator Gill Packham whose charred remains were found in a burnt BMW at Diep River station (“Shock in wake of burnt body found in Diep River”, Bulletin, March 1).

Her husband Rob Packham is charged with her murder.

Wine farms dominate Constantia Valley and hit our headlines with Groot Constantia celebrating 333 years as the oldest wine producing farm in the country (“Celebrating 333 years of wine production”, Bulletin, July 19).

From the breaking news story of baboons being hunted on two wine farms (“Permission to hunt baboons”, Bulletin, July 4) and the latest mass die-off of bees (“Poisoned colonies a loss for beekeepers”, Bulletin, November 22; see page 8), the Bulletin was there to bring you all the details.

In March Western Cape MEC of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, visited Wynberg to warn vendors about the outbreak of listeriosis (“Listeriosis awareness spreads to taxi rank”, Bulletin, March 15).

We also celebrated centenaries with Joyce Young, Iris Winstanley, Margaretha Warren and Margaret Ellis but it was Frances Rutgers who pipped everyone to the post (“Still active at 103”, Bulletin, September 13).

Next year will be dominated by national elections. We look forward to informing you about all the relevant information needed to cast your vote.

Until then, we wish you well over the festive season and look forward to hearing from you next year.