District Six , Cape Town

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District Six , Cape Town
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District Six , Cape Town

District Six was Cape Town's most mixed areas until it was declared a whites-only area under the 'Group areas Act of 1950' and the apartheid government in 1966.

The area was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally formed as a community for the freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a lively centre with good links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the history of removals had begun. In the process, over a century of history, of community life, of solidarity amongst the poor and of achievement against great odds, was imperilled.

In 1970 it was razed to the ground by bulldozers after the forcible removal of its 60,000 inhabitants. The first to be moved out of District Six were black South Africans, who were removed under protest onto the desolate plains of the Cape Flats.

That year the government renamed the area Zonnebloem after in an effort to attract developers, to turn District Six into what would be a modern suburb. However protests successfully dissuaded developers from taking work in the area. Apart from the Oriental Plaza, a small gesture to Indian traders removed from the area, nothing was built.

District Six itself became probably the most powerful symbol of what apartheid did to families and communities in South Africa .

Today, disagreements over the land are still ongoing. The area however is a very nice place to walk around and the District Six Museum is very interesting.

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