The City of Cape Town wants residents and interested parties to share their views on a request to give Keizersgracht in District Six back its historical name of Hanover Street. From 1968, more than 60-thousand people were forcibly removed to the Cape Flats, over 25 kilometres away, after the apartheid government declared District Six a whites-only area under the Group Areas Act of 1950.
Mayor Dan Plato says the forced removals will always bring painful memories to those who lived in District Six.
“With the legacy of Apartheid still present in many aspects of our daily lives, we need to be mindful of the ways in which we can contribute to addressing the wrongs that were committed. One such way is to restore historical names of places, streets and facilities that may have been changed during Apartheid. While there are many hardships that people will remember, there are some names that bring joy to our communities, and with that the memories that have positive associations,” said Plato.
“The proposal is that the renaming could assist in igniting good memories for those who suffered from and experienced these removals.”
“I am now calling on residents to please share their views with us so that the City Council can consider the comments, and make an informed decision about the proposal to rename Keizersgracht.”
The proposal for the name change was sparked by the District Six Working Committee.
“We applaud the mayor for stepping up to the plate and encouraging people to participate in the public participation process,” said the chairperson of the committee, Shahied Ajam.
“We know that Hanover Street was the nerve centre of District Six in former years, and it must take its rightful place in history as well as in society.”
Last month, the District Six Museum launched a campaign to have Zonnebloem renamed back to District Six, a process which is now underway.
The public participation process for the renaming of Keizegracht will officially take place as from 15 July to 26 July 2019. However, Capetonians can already submit their comments and share their stories by sending emails to email@example.com.
Written submissions can also be dropped off at the City’s subcouncil offices.