Taking a look back at 2023

Mackenzie Knott, 10, and her dad Gareth of Table View

Tabletalk takes a look back at the news that made headlines in 2023, reflecting on significant moments.

In January, more than 200 people were left displaced after 106 shacks were destroyed in a fire that swept through the Usasaza Street shanty town in Dunoon. No injuries or deaths were reported. Community activists encouraged the victims to occupy vacant plots and rebuild (“Dunoon fire victims threaten to occupy land,” Tabletalk, January 11).

In February, Dunoon residents were happy to have a mobile police station in their community, after having to travel to Milnerton police station to report crimes or have their documents certified (“Dunoon welcomes new mobile police station,” Tabletalk, February 15). But, in March, there were calls for a more permanent solution (“Dunoon needs proper police station – residents,” Tabletalk, March 29).

In April, Sub-council 1 chairwoman and DA councillor for Ward 107 Nicolette Rheeder resigned to relocate to the Netherlands (“Ward 107 up for grabs,” Tabletalk, April 5). The DA’s Jonathan Mills became the ward councillor in July, gaining 94% of the votes (“DA retains Ward 107 in landslide victory,” Tabletalk, July 5).

In May, protesting Milnerton residents handed over a petition with more than 500 signatures to mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews, calling for the City to investigate “illegal buildings, brothels and boarding houses” in their area (“Call for action against dodgy developers,” Tabletalk, May 10).

In June, Mackenzie Knott, 10, and her father, Gareth, of Table View, hiked up Table Mountain’s 13 peaks to raise funds for the non-profit, Fit 4 Rhinos.(“Girl, dad and soft toy climb 13 peaks for rhinos,” Tabletalk, June 28).

In August, squatters living on the Omuramba Road pavement in Joe Slovo Park cleared off after the City was granted a court order to evict them. The squatters told Tabletalk they had been living there after losing their jobs during the pandemic (“Squatters’ eviction for public good – councillor,” Tabletalk, August 2).

In September, artist Anton Smit displayed a 33-metre long wall of 500 wooden masks along The Subway at Century Boulevard (“Anton’s art at Century City subway,” Tabletalk, September 27).

In October, the body of a homeless man was found in a dilapidated council house along Justin Street, in Brooklyn. The City says there are plans to demolish the house but it has not said when this will happen (“Body found at Brooklyn ‘house of horrors’,” Tabletalk, October 25).

In November, three gymnasts from the Mega Gymnastics Academy, Kaylee Maltz, 15, Chantae Moller, 15, and Emma-Jane Smuts, 14, represented South Africa at a competition in the Czech Republic (“Gymnasts strive for podium finish in Czech Republic,” Tabletalk, November 15). Kaylee and Chantae both made the vault and beam finals at the competition, and Kaylee placed second overall in vault receiving a silver medal (“Gymnasts shine,” Tabletalk, November 29).

This month, the City said it would be taking the owners of a Summer Greens property to court for illegal building after a man and his dog burnt to death there. However, residents say the authorities should have acted a lot sooner (“City sues over fatal shack fire,” Tabletalk, December 6).

Wes Abrahams, 49, and Basil Hendricks, 59, were among squatters who were evicted from the Omuramba Road pavement in Joe Slovo Park (“Squatters’ eviction for public good – councillor,” Tabletalk, August 2).
Milnerton residents held a protest against dodgy developers in May (“Call for action against dodgy developers,” Tabletalk, May 10).
Artist Anton Smit displayed a 33-metre long wall of 500 wooden masks at the Century City subway.