From politics - the fall of former president Jacob Zuma and the rise of President Cyril Ramaphosa - to the polony that carried a deadly disease, it has truly been a year of the survival of the fittest.
When the year began, all eyes were on Ramaphosa, the newly elected president of the ANC who had to decide on Zuma’s demise. He had been elected the party’s president at the ANC’s 54th national elective conference on December 18, 2017.
Weeks went by with no word from the ANC on what would happen to Zuma. On February 14, Zuma finally resigned. Ramaphosa was inaugurated as president on February 15.
Borrowing from jazz musician Hugh Masekela’s song Send Me (Thuma Mina), Ramaphosa launched the Thuma Mina campaign, which he said was “for all of us to take action and work for our communities”.
Also early in the year, the country experienced a listeriosis outbreak.
More than 200 people lost their lives, with Tiger Brands recalling 3500 tons of its Enterprise ready-to-eat processed meat products.
This came after the ST6 strain of listeria was found at its Polokwane plant.
On March 4, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said 180 people had died from listeriosis between January 1, 2017, and March 2, 2018, adding that there had been 948 confirmed cases.
In September, Motsoaledi announced that the outbreak was over.
Earlier this month, the South Gauteng High Court gave attorney Richard Spoor the go-ahead to proceed with a listeriosis class-action suit.
South Africa experienced terrible economic challenges after it lost investors. Part of Ramaphosa’s strategy has been to engage with investors across the globe to encourage them to pump money into the country’s economy to help boost job creation.
Through the tough economic times, fuel and food prices soared.
Petrol prices increased to just above R17 a litre in November. In March, motorists had been paying R13.54 a litre. The Automobile Association said it expected a huge decrease in the petrol price in the first week of January.
Then there was the VBS Mutual Bank heist investigation, which fingered high-profile politicians among those who benefited irregularly. Several municipalities were found to have invested millions of rand in the bank that was meant for service delivery.
EFF leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu were among those linked to the VBS graft, but they have denied the allegations.
And who can forget former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba’s 13-second sex video, which almost broke the internet?
He has since resigned as both minister and member of Parliament.@smashaba