Welcome to the
District Six Museum
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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
A vibrant, dynamic and inclusive public culture
- Unconditional Respect
- Commitment to democracy
- Critical debate, dialogue and active listening
- Ethical conduct
- The right to speak truthfully and courageously
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…
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…
Join the District Six Museum and the Steve Biko Foundation in this round-table discussion on Thursday 9 May from 6.00 – 8.30pm- one day after the country’s sixth national democratic elections. The venue for this discussion will be the District Six Museum’s….