At first consideration, 2020 was a challenging year. At the same time, it has taught us a lot – the need to slow down, the need to nurture strong connections and relationships, the need to be agile and the need to be willing to adapt.

2020 has also brought much to celebrate locally and globally.

Locally-produced My Octopus Teacher, was nominated for several awards and even won the Critic’s Choice Documentary Award for Best cinematography and Best Science/Nature Documentary. Producer Craig Foster used the platform to share his great learnings the importance of nurturing relationships, building trust and being patient.

We saw several prominent leaders and organisations show care by reaching into their own pockets to assist The Solidarity Fund which was set up to mobilise South Africa in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether straight donations or via payroll giving, R 3.12 bn was received.

Retailers and product suppliers have the opportunity to enjoy cost savings (of 20%) and reduce their carbon footprint (by 40%) on in-store display shelving by making use of Durban-based Barrows Global’s PolyAl unit. Made entirely from recycled long-life liquid cartons without compromising on look and feel, this revolutionary solution is designed to move from a linear to a circular economy where waste is minimised and reuse is the order of the day.

South African National Space Agency (SANSA) gained approval from government to enter into a partnership with NASA to host a Deep Space Ground Station which will be based in Matjiesfontein in the Western Cape. It will support human spaceflight missions as the fourth such site globally – hopefully as soon as from 2024.

Having seen more than 29 million visitors reach the top of its summit, Table Mountain Arial Cableway was voted Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction by the World Travel Awards.

COVID was everyone’s main focus for the year irrespective of their location. COVID brought fear and sadness, but also brought out good in people. Let’s focus on the positive as we welcome 2021, inspired by author Vern McLellan’s words:

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”