MSUNDUZI Municipality’s water was ranked one of the best in the country after being awarded Blue Drop status for the third consecutive year. Blue Drop certification is awarded to municipalities that score higher than 95% in all criteria. Msunduzi scored 97.97%. This shows that the water is above average.PIETERMARITZBURG, and the country as a whole, faced the dire consequences of a country-wide drought this year. Msunduzi’s water and sanitation department worked hard to put measures in place that would prevent the possibility of water shedding in the city. Residents battled water shortages throughout the year, which are still a reality as the drought is far from over. Umgeni Water implemented a drought levy to manage the crippling effects the prolonged drought is causing. A STRONG sense of community with an attractive appearance is how Msunduzi residents described what it is like living in the city however key of their list of things to improve is the safety and cleanliness of areas. The findings came from the Municipal Services and Living Conditions Survey. PIETERMARITZBURG’S Grey’s Hospital became the sixth hospital in KwaZulu-Natal to join the “green” movement by making the hospital more eco-friendly. Other hospitals include Edendale, King Edward, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central, Ngwelezana and Port Shepstone. The hospital joined the internationally recognised Global Green and Healthy Hospitals initiative, which serves to create a global network of hospitals and health systems seeking to improve environmental performance, while sharing best practices and finding solutions to the common challenges they share. SCOTTSVILLE School was rocked by allegations of alleged rape of pupils by a counsellor at the school. The counsellor is currently still in jail and continues to apply for bails which has been denied three times since the middle of the year. The case is ongoing. PIETERMARITZBURG Children’s Home celebrated its 130th birthday this year. PCH is the oldest residential facility in Pietermaritzburg, established as the first children’s shelter in the city and KwaZulu-Natal by Mary Elizabeth Cook in 1886. CASCADES Lifestyle Centre opened with bigger and better facilities including underground parking, larger Woolworths with coffee shop, a rebranded and newly located Coffeeberry and more still to come.