TOWERING MOMENT: Zainab Williams was born in Aspeling Street, District Six, before being removed by the apartheid government.
TOWERING MOMENT: Zainab Williams was born in Aspeling Street, District Six, before being removed by the apartheid government.

More street name changes on the cards for District Six

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Jun 23, 2019

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Cape Town - The names of more streets will be changed to their original names in the erstwhile District Six, whose name was changed to Zonnebloem.

Dr Anwar Nagia, founder of the District Six Museum, said: “We as the museum are currently in the process of changing five street names back to their old street names, such as the old Pontact Street and Tennent Street.”

He said there were many elements that they had to look at that still existed in District Six.

“We are in the process of changing five street names, but to us they have already been changed symbolically,” he said. “We are doing this the right way and we didn’t want to do this in a campaign way. Presentations will be made this week to the subcouncil committee on renaming and then we will take it from there.”

The museum started a campaign last year to officially change the name of Zonnebloem back to District Six.

In the apartheid era, District Six was named Zonnebloem when the area was declared whites-only and the previous residents were forcibly removed. It was a farming estate until the early 19th century, when it became a suburb of Cape Town as the population and city boundaries grew.

Zonnebloem became home to freed slaves, merchants, labourers and immigrants. The District Six area is made up of Walmer Estate, Zonnebloem and lower Vredehoek.

Some parts of Walmer Estate, like Rochester Street, were completely destroyed, while other parts, such as Cauvin Road, were preserved but the houses were demolished. In other parts of Walmer Estate, like Worcester Road and Chester Road, people were evicted but only a few houses were destroyed.

City media manager Luthando Tyhalibongo said: “In order for a name to be changed, the procedure outlined in the city’s naming policy must be followed. This includes, among others, for the proposal to be considered by a relevant committee, public participation, a report to council (with detailed technical specifications and an estimate budget for a name change) and a favourable vote by council to approve the name change.”

Tyhalibongo said the city would have to undertake a public participation process to offer residents and interested and affected parties the opportunity to comment on the proposed name change.

A MAP of District Six showing the original street names. District Six Museum

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Cape Argus

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