Major news that rocked the ’Plain this year

The Plainsman featured golf prodigy Aaqil Salie, 6 (Ou toppies discover prodigy in Portland, Plainsman, February 14).

In this year’s Plainsman we’ve not only reported on the challenges and heartache of Mitchell’s Plain residents, but also their triumphs and achievements.

There was the water crisis that took Cape Town by storm but Mitchell’s Plain civic organisations joined the Water Crisis Coalition, representing about 60 civic organisations, to oppose the City of Cape Town’s drought mitigation measures (“‘Water is a human right’, January 17). They were against proposed amendments to the current draft Water Amendment By-law; the proposed water levy, as well as the use of water management devices (WMD).

They tabled proposals for alternative water resources which could be used, including spring water which they wanted made available to the public directly and not through private companies.

We also featured a Colorado Park people’s housing project, which was at the forefront of saving water, with a unique grey water reticulation system, connected to 49 households in the Rou Emoh (Our Home) development (“Scheme breaks mould”, February 21), as well as measures residents took to save water and keep their municipal bills low.

The Plainsman also ran the Water Watch column detailing tips to lower water usage.

In May, Woodlands residents and people who illegally occupied land in the area, condemned the looting of six shops after the City’s Anti-land Invasion Unit forcibly removed squatters from their demarcated plots earlier the same day (“Violence erupts from invasion”, May 30).

Certains groups mobilised and attended meetings with councillors to effect change have their housing woes heard.

Residents of Isiqalo and Mitchell’s Plain were at loggerheads with drastic protesting on both ends.

Isiqalo residents wanted better accommodation and their Mitchell’s Plain neighbours felt aggrieved because their movements in and out of the area were severely curtailed by roads being closed because of protests. The Plainsman chronicled the events (“Isiqalo: Truce declared, May 9).

Police Minister Bheki Cele announced during his budget vote speech on Tuesday May 15 that the construction of Tafelsig police station would start this year and is due to be completed in 2021 (“New station planned”, May 23).

Mr Cele also launched Operation Thunder at the Mitchell’s Plain Indoor Sport and Recreation Centre in Portland on Tuesday May 15, ahead of his budget speech in Parliament. Operation Thunder is a stabilisation operation which will involve the deployment of members of specialised units from other provinces, to deal with crime in the Western Cape.

The Plainsman also documented the gang war that raged for months in the area, claiming dozens of lives and leaving scores injured, including children (“9 killed in 9 days”, April 11, “Gang war rages”, July 18, “Teen dies protecting his friends”, August 1, “Another bloody weekend”, August 18, “No more value to life”, September 26 and “‘Gang’ house menace”, Plainsman October 17). We also reported on the launch of the SAPS Anti-Gang Unit and its successes (“Anti-Gang Unit detectives arrest two of their own”, December 4 and “Bigwig gangsters arrested: Cele”, December 5).

In November, the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) and the Development Action Group (DAG) organised the “Re-Imagining Mitchell’s Plain Summit” to discuss a new vision for Mitchell’s Plain with role-players and stakeholders (“Plan to get ’Plain to take off”, November 21).

And with matric results being announced shortly after the Christmas and New Year merriment, we will have to wait and see whether there will be Mitchell’s Plain high schools again achieving 100% pass rates next year.

Two Mitchell’s Plain matric classes of 2017, Darul Arqam Islamic High School, an independent school in Eastridge, had all its 53 candidates pass the exam; and Spine Road High School, in Rocklands, had all its 193 candidates passing the exam.

In 2015, Spine Road High School made Mitchell’s Plain proud by becoming the first local school to achieve a pass rate of 100%. The school also scored 100% pass rates in accounting (67 candidates), economics (45 candidates), geography (106 candidates), history (44 candidates), mathematics (80 candidates) and mathematical literacy (117 candidates) (“Matric merriment”, January 10).

Basic Education Minister Angie Motskekga will announce the 2018 matric results at an event on Thursday January 3 2019 which will be broadcast live on SABC and a number of other broadcasters at 6pm.