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This has been an eventful year and Elitsha has been at the forefront of bringing you community, national and international news this year.

In January, Food and Allied Workers Union members at Clover went on a national strike against factory closures, wage cuts and job losses.

Clover workers picketing outside parliament calling for nationalisation of the company under worker and community control. Photo by Mzi Velapi

In February, unemployed youth marched to parliament to deliver an “alternative budget speech that is against austerity measures.”

In February this year, community activists under the banner of Cry of the Xcluded marched to parliament demanding a basic income grant of R1,500. Photo by Nobathembu Ndzengu

On Human Rights Day, South Africans and foreign nationals marched against xenophobia calling for the arrest of violent xenophobes.

Activists and solidarity organisations from Cape Town demonstrate against xenophobia. Photo by Nobathembu Ndzengu

The residents of New Monwabisi Park told Police Minister Bheki Cele about how the lack of services contributes to crime in the area.

Community members, attending a ‘street imbizo’ called by the police, complained about the lack of basic services such as water, electricity, and absence of police in the community. Women do not use the communal toilets after dark because it is unsafe. Photo by Nobathembu Ndzengu

On Easter weekend, residents of Joe Slovo informal settlement were woken by a fire that ravaged the area, destroying over 300 structures and leaving many homeless.

Over 1,500 people were left homeless by a fire that destroyed 300 structures in Joe Slovo informal settlement, according to the City of Cape Town. Photo by Mzi Velapi

We visited the Komati power station in Middleburg in May this year and spoke to the workers who complained that they were not adequately consulted about the switch from coal power to clean energy.

Drone picture of the Komati power station that is one of Eskom’s first coal plants to be decommissioned as part of the power utility’s ‘just transition’ from fossil fuels. Photo by Vincent Mpebe.

The National Union of Metalworkers Union (Numsa) went ahead with their congress, which was held in Cape Town, despite the fact that the union was deeply divided. The congress re-affirmed the status quo in leadership.

Western Cape and Ekurhuleni delegates stormed out of the congress venue citing that the congress is in contempt of court. Photo by Mzi Velapi

In August we visited Marikana township where relatives of the slain workers and survivors of the massacre in 2012 reside. We found the residents still living in squalid conditions that they vowed to continue to fight.

A moment of silence was observed at the koppie where most of the miners were shot by the police in August 2012. All photos by Ramatamo Sehoai

Informal traders resisted forced removal by the City of Johannesburg as it was implementing “Operation Buya Mthetho”.

Thrift stalls, also known as KwaDunusa, are common in central Johannesburg. Photo by Ramatamo Sehoai

A war between factions of Zama-Zamas in the West Rand of Johannesburg prompted the community of Bosmont to call for the deployment of the army to quell the violence.

Zama-Zamas say they get extorted by the police. Photos by Ramatamo Sehoai

Radio Zibonele in Khayelitsha was instructed to close down by Icasa after it failed to renew its licence. After the intervention of the communications minister, the radio station was granted a special and temporary licence by the regulatory body, which expired on the 16th of October this year.

Community meeting at Radio Zibonele after the station went off-air. Photo by Mzi Velapi

We also carried a story about how the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is facing collapse due to political divisions causing strife in the trade union federation. The story followed an interview by the federation’s secretary, Japhet Moyo, with the SABC where he superficially absolved the ZANU PF government of having contributed to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy.

Party politics are said to be at the centre of the divisions in ZCTU. Photo from ZCTU Facebook Page

Public sector unions in South Africa went on strike after the government unilaterally implemented a 3% wage increase whereas the unions were – and still are – demanding 10%.

Public sector unions marched to the Union Buildings. Photo by Ramatamo Sehoai