Moves have been made to change the name of Keizersgracht Street back to Hanover Street.     Leon Lestrade  African News Agency (ANA)
Moves have been made to change the name of Keizersgracht Street back to Hanover Street. Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)

Call for Keizersgracht Street to be changed to Hanover Street.

By Francesca Villette Time of article published Jun 11, 2019

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The fight for restitution in District Six has intensified with a call for Keizersgracht Street to be renamed Hanover Street.

The latest request by the District Six Working Committee comes as the province’s Geographical Names Committee meets on Friday, where changing Zonnebloem back to its original name of District Six is expected to be discussed.

In the Keizersgracht application, addressed to mayor Dan Plato, committee chairperson Shahied Ajam said Hanover Street was the lifeblood of the area, and not only a place where old friends would meet, but also where they said goodbye to loved ones who died as a result of heartache caused by forced removals.

The street originally ran east from Buitenkant Street, right up to Tennant Street. “The street could then take back its rightful place in history, which of course would be an important step in the healing process for the dispossessed people of District Six.

“And what a wonderful and historic moment it would be should Hanover Street be officially unveiled to the community on the very fitting date of September 24, 2019, Heritage Day. A symbolic gesture of great political, cultural and historic significance,” Ajam said in the application.

Plato said yesterday that the City followed due process in issues like renaming streets, so that everyone could be heard.

“I think it is important that our communities are proud of where they stay and that they feel part of and have a connection with their local suburb, and the greater Cape Town.”

City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said: “If the proposed name complies with the City’s naming and nomination policy, the members will recommend that the City follows a public-participation process which will offer residents and interested and affected parties the opportunity to comment on the proposed name change.

“Once concluded, the City’s Public Participation Unit will compile a report about the outcome of the public participation process and submit this to the Mayoral Committee for consideration.

“The committee will then make a recommendation to the Council for final decision.”

Museum director Bonita Bennett said that they supported the call to rename Keizersgracht Street, as it was part of the reclaiming of District Six.


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