Self-Empowerment: District Six (1867 – )
Posted by tahirfarrath on February 12, 2010
(History of Muslims in South Africa)
With the Malay Quarters well established by 1760 along the slopes of Signal Hill, known as the Bo-Kaap, another area situated within sight of the docks was named in 1867 as the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans and labourers. On 11 February 1966, the government declared District Six a whites-only area under the Group Areas Act, with forced removals of residents starting in 1968. By 1982, more than 60,000 people had been relocated to the sandy, bleak Cape Flats township 25 kms away. (These low paid people now had less money to spend on their daily needs, and must get up earlier, stand in ques for their transport to the White areas, and of course, get home later from work.) Since the fall of apartheid in 1994, the African National Congress has recognized the older claims of former residents to the area, and pledged to support rebuilding. On 11 February 2004, exactly 38 years after the area was rezoned by the government, former president Nelson Mandela handed the keys to the first returning residents, Ebrahim Murat (87) and Dan Ndzabela (82).