'Call to rename Keizersgracht Street the first step in healing process'
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The City called on the public to participate in the renaming of the street.
“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 mayor Dan Plato.
He said the forced removals that took place during apartheid would always bring painful memories to those who lived in District Six, but renaming could help to ignite good memories in those who experienced these removals.
The proposal for the renaming was brought by the District Six Working Committee.
The committee is locked in a battle with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform over its failure to provide restitution to District Six claimants since 1998.
The chairperson of the committee, Shahied Ajam, said: “We applaud the mayor for stepping up to the plate and encouraging people to participate in the public participation process.
“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.”
He said this was the first step in the healing process.
Under the apartheid government, Hanover Street was renamed Keizersgracht Street after the area was declared to be for whites only and the previous residents had been forcibly removed.
During the decade of forced removal, the street grid was reconfigured, and road names were changed. The district was reclassified as Zonnebloem.
The District Six Museum last week launched a campaign calling for the renaming of Zonnebloem back to District Six.
The Cape Argus understands that the process is still under way.
The public participation process will take place from July 15 to July 26.
However, Capetonians can already submit their comments and share their stories with the City by sending emails to [email protected]@MarvinCharles17