The year we got used to a Covid world

The new sports kits provided by Sentinel News and presented to the Sentinel Primary School in Hangberg.

Sentinel News takes a look back at the news that made headlines in 2021 as we say goodbye to a year that many would sooner forget but one which still had moments worth remembering.

The Covid-19 pandemic took centre-stage in 2021, with news of prominent figures and local celebrities losing their battle to the deadly virus. This was the year when we started to get used to a world where masks, social distancing and sanitising were the norm.

The year started off on a sad note for Hangberg, which lost dedicated community worker Pastor Phillip Frans to Covid-19. He was well known for the annual Christmas party he held for children in the area (“Hout Bay bids farewell to pastor,” Sentinel News, January 15).

At Hout Bay police station, a new gardening initiative was launched to help keep Imizamo Yethu youngsters out of trouble (“Growing a better future,” Sentinel News, February 5).

As pupils prepared to return to the classroom, after spending months at home because of the pandemic, schools had to take precautions to avoid becoming Covid-19 incubators (“Pupils prepare to return to class,” Sentinel News, February 12).

In March, a 46-year-old man was gunned down in Hangberg after dropping off his child outside the Sentinel Primary School. The Hout Bay Community Police Forum introduced a plan to improve safety at schools (“Safety plan for schools,” Sentinel News, Friday 5 March).

A fire claimed the life of a pregnant mother and her unborn child in Imizamo Yethu while firefighters trying to get to the blaze were harassed by residents there (“Firefighters harassed in IY,” Sentinel News, Friday March 12).

In April, the first part of a road-rehabilitation project started in Imizamo Yethu (“Road to recovery,” Sentinel News, April 9).

A notice advertising a tender for the building housing the Hout Bay Seal and Rescue Centre sounded alarm bells about its future (“Future unclear for seal centre,” Sentinel News, April 16).

In May, a new football club, FC Hout Bay, was formed after the community pulled together and raised the necessary funds to purchase a 3rd Division franchise. The club is now used to battle social ills in Hangberg, (“FC Hout Bay has new goals to score,” Sentinel News, May 7).

Sentinel News decided to give back to the Hangberg community, fully sponsoring football, basketball, netball and volleyball kits for Sentinel Primary School (“New kits, new start,” Sentinel News, Friday May 14).

In June, Hout Bay heard that a world-class sports facility was on the cards for the community. The facility would include gym equipment and multi-purpose courts, (“’World class’ facility for Hout Bay,“ Sentinel News, June 6).

Hout Bay’s first Covid-19 vaccination site opened at the Dominican Grimley School for the Deaf, on June 9 (“Vaccine site up and running,” Sentinel News, Friday June 11).

July got off to a disastrous start for Hout Bay, with winter flooding, mud slides, blocked roads and continuous rainfall (“Rain wreaks havoc in Hout Bay,” Sentinel News, July 2).

Mandela Park community worker Joseph Cele lost his life after his shack caught alight. Residents pulled him from the flames, but he died of his injuries in hospital (“Man dies in Mandela Park fire,” Sentinel News, July 16).

In August, Hout Bay police reported that their patrol vans were being attacked and vandalised as officers responded to complaints in Hangberg (“SAPS patrol vans under attack,” Sentinel News, August 6).

Sixty shacks were destroyed and scores of people were left without shelter when a fire swept through Imizamo Yethu (“Another fire rips through IY,” Sentinel News, August 20).

Body body parts found on Hout Bay Beach were sent for DNA testing to determine whether they were the remains of a man who went missing at sea earlier in the year (“Human remains found on beach,” Sentinel News, September 3).

Imizamo Yethu residents took to the streets in September and burnt tyres to protest over the poor state of their roads (“IY residents vent their road rage,” Sentinel News, Friday September 17).

The IY leadership and taxi organisations demanded that the City do full road repairs and not just patch-up jobs (“Fix our roads – no patch ups, say IY leaders,” Sentinel News, October 1).

As the municipal elections approached, FC Hout Bay found itself in a unique situation: three club bosses were each standing for different parties in the ward (“One club, three candidates, same goals,” Sentinel News, October 8).

On election day, voting stations experienced several hiccups and the continuous rainfall did not help (“Despite hiccups, voters make their mark,” Sentinel News, November 5).

Cape Town’s new − and youngest − mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis announced his mayoral committee last month, which included a couple of new faces, such as Hout Bay ward councillor Roberto Quintas, who was elected as the new mayoral committee member for transport (“Mayor announces his new committee,” Sentinel News, November 26).

Pastor Phillip Frans was well known for his efforts in the Hout Bay community, especially his famous Christmas parties for the children. He died earlier this year due to Covid-19.
The Hout Bay Community Police Forum came up with a new safety plan for schools after a man was gunned down outside Sentinel Primary School.
Hout Bay’s first vaccination site opened at the Dominican Grimley School for the Deaf in June.