Welcome to the
District Six Museum

Donor: Sandra McGregor

Opening Hours

09h00 - 14h00 Tuesdays - Thursdays
09h00 - 13h00 Fridays

Bookings are essential and can be made via Quicket.co.za

General enquiries

About District Six

The area known as District Six got its name from having been the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Its earlier unofficial name was Kanaldorp, a name supposedly derived from the the series of canals running across the city, some of which had to be crossed in order to reach the District (kanaal is the Afrikaans for ‘canal’.)

About the District Six Museum

The ‘Hands Off District Six’ conference of 1988 led to the formation of the District Six Museum Foundation in 1989.
The Foundation worked towards the establishment of the Museum which was launched on 10 December 1994 with its inaugural exhibition called Streets: Retracing District Six.

Gone
Buried
Covered by the dust of defeat –
Or so the conquerors believed
But there is nothing that can
Be hidden from the mind
Nothing that memory cannot
Reach or touch or call back

Don Mattera, 1987

The Homecoming Centre

The Museum has expanded its work from its location in the Methodist Church building at 25A Buitenkant Street, into a neighbouring building. Number 15 Buitenkant Street – now the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre – is known to many Capetonians as Sacks Futeran textile and soft goods warehouse.
In 2002 the Museum was able to purchase the building from a generous grant received from a donor, Atlantic Philanthropies. The then owner, Mr Martin Futeran, offered a substantial reduction on the purchase price and this put it within reach of the Museum from a cost point of view. The building is ideally located just two blocks away from the original Museum building and is symbolically well situated at the edge of the area nominated as a National Heritage Site.

It is made up of 5 interconnected buildings – nineteenth and twentieth century warehouses with a remnant portion of an old-Gothic style Congregational Church as its centerpiece. At the time of purchase it was in urgent need of restoration, and most of the work was made possible by a Legacy grant received from the National Lottery Development Trust (NLDTF).

Restitution

The Restitution of Land Rights Act 22 of 1994 asserts in its preamble, that it aims to:

‘provide for the restitution of rights in land to persons or communities dispossessed of such rights after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices; to establish a Commission on Restitution of Land Rights and a Land Claims Court; and to provide for matters connected therewith.’

District Six and CPUT: a carto-story by Siddique Motala

Strategic Overview

As it grows and develops, the Museum remains committed to its founding objectives, shaped in a new and constantly changing context.  While the historically dispossessed people of the District return to the area as a result of the land restitution process,  the Museum commits itself to deepening its memory work by supporting and facilitating the reconstruction of the landscape and the community in both material and intangible ways.  The Museum commits itself to working with other bodies to achieve these objectives and to serving as a resource for independent community-based heritage projects in Cape Town as well as elsewhere in South Africa.

In 2002 the Museum was able to purchase the Sacks Futeran Building just two blocks away from the main building. The space now serves as the Homecoming Center. Significantly, its network of rooms serve as a platform for the education of school children, university groups, the Museum’s public education events, partnership programmes and as a meeting space for various stakeholder groups. 

Our Mission
An internationally engaged museum of innovation working with the memories of District Six and other communities affected by forced removals, and contributing to the cultural reconstruction and restitution of post-apartheid Cape Town

Our Vision
A vibrant, dynamic and inclusive public culture

Values

  • Unconditional Respect
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Commitment to democracy
  • Critical debate, dialogue and active listening
  • Creativity
  • Ethical conduct
  • The right to speak truthfully and courageously

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2011 / 12

Annual Report 2012 / 13

Annual Report 2013 / 14

Annual Report 2016 / 17

Annual Report 2018 / 19

Latest posts

The history of Keizersgracht, Darling and Hanover Street

The history of Keizersgracht, Darling and Hanover Street

This post is about my journey in discovering the importance of a name. Recently the City of Cape Town renamed Keizersgracht to Hanover Street. It sparked a battle in my mind about the history of Hanover Street. This post is more about how names…

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‘Proudly South African: Dullah, Essa, Us’

‘Proudly South African: Dullah, Essa, Us’

On Saturday 6 July 2019, a full-house at the District Six Museum gathered to pay tribute to two legal icons who both had a historic connection to District Six during the course of their lives. Chair of the Museum board of trustees Judge Siraj Desai, spoke of the…

read more