File photo: Ross Jansen / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The renaming of Zonnebloem back to District Six is awaiting approval after the support application was officially submitted.

This comes after the renaming of Keizersgracht Street to Hanover Street recently took place, which made former residents happy.

Western Cape Cultural Affairs and Sport Minister Anroux Marais said: “It is hoped the name change will clearly communicate to the community and residents of District Six that you have been seen, you have been heard and that you do belong.”

The public process submission conducted by the District Six Museum and submitted to the Western Cape Provincial Geographic Names Committee in June stated that: “Mapping places of memory had formed an important part of the National Heritage Site public process.

"In all mapping activities, reference was always made to District Six, never to Zonnebloem. lt soon became clear that seeing the name ‘Zonnebloem’ each time they referenced a map was offensive to the community, as it reminded them of the act of obliteration. Seeing it on a map several times over brought home the fact that officially, District Six did not exist.”

District Six working committee chairperson Shahied Ajam said: “There were only a handful of objections to the District Six name change. There should be no objections, because the people of District Six have suffered enough.”

Ajam said District Six represented a place of peace, diversity and inclusivity, but was also a place of poverty and an under-served community due to the racist policies of the apartheid government. The fact that so many people in the community could still maintain their dignity and community spirit under the circumstances was still a source of pride today.

The spokesperson for Marais, Stacy McLean, said the National Geographical Names Committee’s (NGNC's) next meeting is in November. If the NGNC approves Minister Marais’ supported application, it will be sent to Minister Nathi Mthethwa for approval and to be gazetted, possibly in December.

Once gazetted, if no objections transpire after 30 days, then the name becomes official.

@Sukainaish

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Cape Argus