A selection of photos to remind our readers of what happened in Makhanda during 2020: the year Covid-19 changed the world, and our town. Most of these photographs were published in Grocott’s Mail. Compiled by Donnay Oosthuizen
JANUARY The Women Riders World Relay comes to town, hosted by the Graham Hotel.
JANUARY Mary Waters Secondary School principal Faith Coetzee addresses learners ahead of the announcement of the Matric results.
JANUARY Morgan White and Helen Holleman in Jarvis Street at the start of what became the River Rescuers movement.
JANUARY Incoming National Arts Festival CEO Monica Newton and artistic Director Rucera Seethal pose for a welcoming interview photo at the Black Power Station.
JANUARY Children and parents gather in the quad at NV Cewu Primary on the first day of school.
JANUARY The Department of Agriculture delivers long-awaited drought relief to farmers.
FEBRUARY Members of the Methodist Church bring sanitary pads and toiletries for the girls at Amasango School.
FEBRUARY Municipal buildings get a facelift thanks to MBB Consulting.
FEBRUARY KFC Mini-Cricket co-ordinator Renaldo Gombert with the T-shirts for young Makhanda cricketers selected to attend the SA-England Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
FEBRUARY A security guard at Fort England Hospital blocks the reporter from photographing protesting staff.
FEBRUARY The SAB League kicks off at JD Dlepu.
FEBRUARY Swallows and Bedford Crusaders in a close match at the Oval in the Mayoral Cup rugby contest.
MARCH The all-women leadership team of the National Arts Festival three weeks before the national lockdown was announced – and at the start of the most challenging year yet for the iconic Makhanda event.
MARCH Electricians work on the Currie Street substation after a suspected infrastructure thief was found electrocuted inside it (he was alive).
MARCH Basil Mills waits to fire the starting gun at the Makana Brick Nite Race.
MARCH SAPS March and Drill specialists from Uitenhage come to the Indoor Sport Centre to train Makhanda school children.
MARCH Nomfundo Xaluva stars in Masicule! 2020 and takes time out to share her experiences and ideas with Rhodes music students, as well as learners at her Alma Mater, Victoria Girls High School.
MARCH Kutlwano ‘Kepa’ Kepadisa conducts the Masicule! Massed choir with soloist Nomfundo Xaluva.
MARCH The African Connection women’s soccer club gets new kit thanks to the Washing Well.
MARCH The landfill in focus again as the Makana Unity League brings a contempt of court case against the Mayor and Municipal Manager.
MARCH Panicked shoppers queue outside Shoprite on 25 March after the National Lockdown is announced.
MARCH Police conduct a search on day one of Lockdown.
MARCH The Army on duty in the first few days of the lockdown.
MARCH Donnay Oosthuizen and Velile Vacu together with Rhodes University Community Engagement staff got Grocott’s Mail – and with it important Covid information – out into the community during the Covid-19 lockdown.
APRIL Nosifundo Mfabana of African Connection football team demonstrates a stretching technique. With sport halted during lockdown, we shared home fitness tips from coaches and players.
APRIL With the Two Oceans Marathon along with other sporting events cancelled, Sally Price-Smith with husband Colin, raised funds for feeding schemes by running a marathon in their back garden.
APRIL Grocott’s Mail dedicates its remaining budget to making sure residents on the town’s margins get accurate information about Covid.
MAY Emergency workers meet after the ambulance base is closed due to two staff members testing positive for Covid-19.
MAY HI-Tec Security personnel on duty at the entrance to Pick n Pay in Pepper Grove Mall. Their security tasks expanded to dispensing hand sanitiser, monitoring customer numbers and ensuring all customers wore facemasks.
MAY Food4Futures volunteers pack food parcels. With most informal economic activity halted, the hunger crisis hit early in the lockdown.
MAY With PPEs inadequate and in short supply, the Gift of the Givers delivers gloves, N95 and surgical masks and sanitiser to Settlers, Temba and Fort England hospitals, Joza Clinic, and the prison and police stations.
MAY Tom Jeffery’s Lockdown Sunrise at Grey Dam. Like many, he was thrilled when Level 4 meant he could get out for sunrise again – the photographers favourite time for shooting.
MAY A home brewer whose illegal home made beer was destroyed by soldiers during the lockdown. The alcohol ban freed up hospital casualty and trauma wards to deal with the rising number of Covid cases.
MAY Lawyers for the Unemployed People’s Movement prepare for the virtual hearing of an appeal application against Judge Stretch’s January ruling to put Makana Municipality under administration.
MAY Women outside the Magistrate’s Court in Makhanda on 28 May 2020 wait to hear about maintenance payments they have not received since March.
JUNE Long queues formed all over town the day the bottle stores opened under Lockdown Level 3.
JUNE Graeme College staff and SGB members inspect a classroom ahead of welcoming the return of grades 7 and 12 back to the school.
JUNE PJ Olivier learners queue on the school quad ahead of screening at the start of the school day.
JUNE St Mary’s learners on the school quad. Markers o the ground ensure social distancing.
JULY The River Rescue team in action on Mandela Day.
JUNE The first Virtual National Arts Festival launches on 25 June.
JUNE vNAF studio host Nontobeko Sibisi guides audiences through the first virtual National Arts Festival.
JUNE Tony Timm does the Covid-safe version of Makhanda’s traditional annual midwinter Polar Plunge.
JULY Students in a paid learnership gather at the Department of Labour to complain that under lockdown, they’ve gone three months without their stipend.
JULY Makana Fire Services monitor a dramatic veld fire in Featherstone Kloof.
JULY The River Rescue team in action on Mandela Day.
JULY Police act on a spate of vigilante attacks. This Vukani couple were injured by rubber bullets in the crossfire.
JULY Rhodes University Community Engagement’s Nosi Nkwinti prepares to deliver vegetable seedlings to various Makhanda food-growing projects – one of a number of moves to improve food security in town as hunger digs in.
AUGUST 32GB SD cards with personalised learner support materials were hand-delivered to homes of local learners by the Rhodes Vulindlela Project.
AUGUST RIP Lynette Marais. The former Executive Director of the National Arts Festival, passes away in Makhanda on Friday, 28 August 2020 after a short illness.
AUGUST Game reserve staff, vets and anti-poaching activists protest outside the High Court ahead of the appeal by convicted rhino poachers, the Ndlovus.
AUGUST A car ends up in a 3m x 3m hole left by in Fitzroy Street following repairs to a burst water pipe.
AUGUST Good Shepherd Primary School teacher Bronwen Gush welcomes her Grade 2s back to school after an absence of almost rive-and-a-half-months.
AUGUST As Covid cases rise, Community Health Workers ask the Department of Health to give them permanent employment, with the security that goes with it.
AUGUST The UPM starts one of 25 community soup kitchens across the city.
SEPTEMBER Zwelethemba Yaka uses his free time to cut back overgrown vegetation and ensure visibility in the Newtown cemetery, where muggers lurk.
SEPTEMBER The Museum team gets called out after the Fort Selwyn wall collapses.
SEPTEMBER Hi-Tec staff gather to honour the company’s late co-founder, Andrew Butters.
SEPTEMBER EFF members protest outside Clicks following an alleged racist hair advertisement.
SEPTEMBER The Makhanda Legends protest against corruption outside the City Hall.
SEPTEMBER Child Welfare Director Woineshet Bischoff retires and Martha Thompson steps into her shoes.
SEPTEMBER Makhanda unites in the Jerusalema Dance Challenge.
OCTOBER eNkanini resident Asanda Bobo addresses fellow protesters outside the city hall about their demand for electricity in the informal settlement.
OCTOBER Feeding scheme representatives accept the proceeds of the Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset’s virtual GBS Mountain Drive Half Marathon.
OCTOBER Mihlali Ncula meets Warrant Officer Tim Hackart in an emotional reunion, 21 years after he and Jeffery Jacobs rescued her from a drain.
OCTOBER: National Councils of Provinces members on a site visit to Makana Municipality’s James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works.
NOVEMBER Remembrance Day in Makhanda.
NOVEMBER The Woodworkers Guild opens up a new workshop, where aspiring woodworkers can learn skills.
NOVEMBER The Gift of the Givers installed new toilets in Luzuko Preschool after vandals destroyed them during lockdown.
NOVEMBER Rotary members inspect the new toilets and supporting infrastructure installed at Ntsika Secondary School, funded by Rotarians including n ew tanks and guttering for rainwater harvesting; disabled toilet facilities; pedal bins in each of the girls’ toilet blocks and male toilets.
NOVEMBER – Tsepiso Nzayo runs from Port Elizabeth to Makhanda to raise funds for arts development in Makhanda.
NOVEMBER Cyclists in the G2C cycle race from Makhanda to Port Alfred.
NOVEMBER Alicedale residents receive food parcels from East London based Faith Cares River Ministries Church.
NOVEMBER The Gift of the Givers steps in at Settlers Hospital to refurbish a ward as a high-oxygen facility for Covid patients.
NOVEMBER The high-risk complex at Fort England Hospital is left unguarded as security strikes over late payment.
NOVEMBER A special ceremony at the Bible Monument commemorates the historic exchange of Bibles between Afrikaans- and English-speaking communities.
NOVEMBER Peter Sidiya settles down with the last ever print edition of Grocott’s Mail on Saturday 28 November 2020. GMDirect continues on email and WhatsApp.
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