District Six Museum, Cape Town
A Cape Town
museum commemorating District Six, a former residential area that the Apartheid
government of South Africa
decreed a "whites-only" area in 1966. The multi-ethnic (and predominately Muslim) inhabitants were forcefully relocated and the old houses were then bulldozed to make space for a new housing project. Renamed "Zonnebloem", the housing project was left largely unrealized and the area undeveloped. Only a few new buildings were erected initially, including a new university building. Beginning in 2003, work on new residential houses commenced which are given "back" to former residents. The process is, however, not without its political complications.
In 1994, the District Six Museum was launched to commemorate the brutal destruction of a formerly vibrant and defining part of Cape Town and what was lost in the process.
The "Museum" is a somewhat quirky but utterly endearing mix of traditional museum, art gallery and community space. Since it is run by former District Six residents, it is very personal. A little gem of a place. Absolutely worth a visit when in Cape Town
– perfectly complementing the area's premier dark site, Robben Island
, as it shows another side of the Apartheid
ideology (though by no means one that's any less evil than the better known repression of the black majority and the ANC).
Opening times of the Museum are Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Mondays only to 2 p.m., last admission at 1.30 p.m.).
Admission: R20 per person, R5 per school-going child and free entrance for former District Six residents and South African pensioners.
not far from the City Hall at 25A Buitenkant Street in central Cape Town