By Karen Breytenbach

The Cape Town Memory Project to commemorate ordinary people's struggles during apartheid was launched at the weekend in a packed city hall.

The project would include Mitchell's Plain, Gugulethu, Langa, Simon's Town, Wynberg, Hout Bay and Ocean View, said a member of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Bennie Bunsee.

Worried that the city mainly commemorated its colonial past, mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo and members of the institute had initiated the move to "construct a public conversation", Bunsee said.

Charles Villa-Vicencio, executive director of the IJR, said the project would complete the "unfinished business" of the TRC.

It would include a flagship project and smaller projects for the commemoration of stories under apartheid, including those of the Gugulethu Seven, District Six and Robben Island, Bunsee said.

The building of a public square, park or cultural centre that could double as a tourist attraction might also be in the pipeline.

The broader project would incorporate contributions from NGOs, civic associations, community groups and individuals and focus broadly on how memory was observed.

"More than 50 such projects are envisaged," said Bunsee.

Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court said similar projects in Paris, Mozambique and New York had been launched with great success.

In the spirit of storytelling, Judge Sachs told of veteran freedom fighter George Peake who, in the 1960s, was arrested at the city hall when he defied his banning order from the building, but was consoled by hearing the hall's chimes during his solitary confinement in prison.