11 February 1966 – 11 February 2019

Remembering the declaration of District Six as ‘whites only’

In the face of so many issues that impact negatively on our communities and the growing disappointment of so many, commemorating significant past events becomes more and more difficult. Occasionally overwhelmed by present issues, it might seem like an indulgence to mark the past.

But, despite the potential for the issues of the day to completely absorb our attention and energies, we know that it is dangerous to live in the ‘now’ only. Legacies live deep and we need to acknowledge them appropriately.

In this context, we invite all Capetonians to once again join us in the annual commemoration which is significant to the District Six community. The walk of remembrance marks the day that District Six was declared a White Group Area in 1966.

Remembered in different ways over the past number of years, the former and returning residents have worked hard to ensure that the day will be remembered by generations beyond their lifetimes. Connections are made between this past traumatic day and its current translation into a positive signifier. It was on 11 February in 2004 that the first ‘Return of the Elders’ took place. We remember the elation of that occasion when Mr Dan Ndzabela and Mr Ebrahim Moerat (both now deceased) received the keys to their new homes from the late President Nelson Mandela. There was joyous acknowledgement of the place of that day in his own life as well, marking his release from prison in 1999. On that day in 2005, another celebratory event took place when the next group of returnees received their keys as well.

On this day we acknowledge the tremendous impact of the draconian Group Areas Act under Apartheid, and its lasting legacy in the communities of people who were directly affected by it: District Six, Sophiatown, Bokaap, Windermere, Sakkiesdorp, South End, Fietas, Constantia, Claremont, Tramway Road and so many more.

On this day we also renew our pledge to ensure that the right to memory is non-negotiable, and its place in nation-building is to be affirmed. We remind ourselves of the unfinished business of land restitution, and of the ongoing displacement of people even as we inhabit the space of the new South Africa.

Join us at the District Six Museum on 11 February, starting at 11h00. We will walk together to the cairn of stones in Hanover Street (now enclosed by CPUT residence fencing), and end at the Homecoming Centre. You are invited to bring a stone from your community to lay on the cairn.


Six-months’ contract position available at District Six Museum

Short-term position at District Six Museum

Project support to the Director’s Office

(6 months fulltime)

Do you want to be part of a cutting edge heritage institution? Would you like to join a dynamic and creative team who are committed to telling the story of forced removals in Cape Town and South Africa, and exploring contemporary legacies? If you are passionate about these issues and if you have the required skills, you should consider coming to work for the District Six Museum.

Flowing from its recent strategic planning process, several projects have been prioritised by the D6M team. A number of these are located within the director’s office while in the development phase, which includes raising funds for implementation. This office is in need of short-term support for this work. The three main areas in need of support are:

  • Coordination of the National Heritage Site project;
  • Visioning of the Memorial Park project (as part of the NHS project);
  • Support for implementation of memorialisation projects;
  • General support for projects located in the director’s office.

This position will suit a recent graduate or early career heritage practitioner who is interested in the area of intangible heritage, site-specific memorialisation and community engagement. Being funding dependent, this is a six-month position.

 Key responsibilities include:

  • Documentary and policy review (National Heritage Resources Act provisions and procedures);
  • Gap analysis of work-to-date and documents generated by processes;
  • Archival research;
  • Convening internal and stakeholder think-tanks, linking with other projects and initiatives both internally and externally;
  • Conduct and administer oral histories or general interviews as needed;
  • Document and track administration of project meticulously and thoroughly.


  • A post-graduate qualification or equivalent in museum, heritage, or related studies;
  • Some experience of the working in the above areas of research / project support / administration or communications, even if on a part-time basis, with demonstrable capabilities.
  • Working knowledge of MS Office suite of programmes.
  • Meticulous and organised.
  • Research skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing.

Own vehicle and drivers’ licence would be an advantage although not required.

How to apply?
Submit CV with a covering letter and two contactable references for attention of THE DIRECTOR to bonita@districtsix.co.za,. Please copy nicky@districtsix.co.za.

Please include a recent writing sample (not older than six months) which could be an article, essay, blog post or proposal of approximately 250 words in length. If you do not have a writing sample, please write a motivation of the same length, explaining why your skills, aptitudes and experience are suited for this position.

If you prefer you may hand deliver your application to the front desk of the Museum, 25A Buitenkant Street.

Closing date: Monday 14 January 2019

The position is immediately available and interviews will be scheduled soon after the closing date.


On behalf of the Museum’s board of trustees, thank you for attending the Museum’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday 1 September. Your supportive presence was much appreciated.

If you have not received a copy of the Museum’s Annual Report and would like a copy, please contact nicky@districtsix.co.za

Chair of the D6M board of trustees Judge Desai giving an overview report at the AGM

Chair of the D6M board of trustees Judge Desai giving an overview report at the AGM

AGM attendees listening attentively to the reports being presented

AGM attendees listening attentively to the reports being presented

Youth input

Youth input

Annual Report

Annual Report


Monday 24 September 2018

The District Six Museum’s Heritage Day programme is linked to the exhibition which will be opening on 20 September (Kewpie: a daughter of District Six). It will continue the celebration of Kewpie’s life in community, and will include a site walk with storytelling, which will start at the Homecoming Centre at 10h30.

Ex-residents will be participating in a series of preparatory workshops leading up to Heritage Day. The dates for these are:

Saturday 8 September, 9h00 – 15h00 at the Lydia Centre for Memory in Chapel Street

Saturday 15 September, 9h00 – 15h00 at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

Saturday 22 September, 9h00 – 15h00 at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

For more information about the workshops please contact Tina Smith on 021 4667200 or at email tina@districtsix.co.za


Kewpie: daughter of District Six

The name ‘Kewpie’ is a familiar one to many District Sixers. Known as a style-leader and sought-after hairdresser, Kewpie lived a life of perseverance, loyalty and persistence even in the midst of a disintegrating District Six. Not immune to the impact of forced removals, Kewpie and others like her were determined to make life go on even under changing and devastating circumstances.

The District Six Museum in partnership with GALA (the Gay and Lesbian Archive) invite you to visit an exhibition which pays tribute to Kewpie’s life and times. It explores the life of Kewpie (1941–2012), who was also part of a queer community that was highly visible and integrated into the broader community, playing an important role in the fabric and culture of District Six.

Kewpie: daughter of District Six will be open to the public at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre from 21 September 2018 until 18 January 2019. Opening hours are from 9h00 to 16h00 from Monday to Friday, and by arrangement for group bookings on Saturdays. There is no charge for visiting the exhibition.

Enquiries: reception@districtsix.co.za / Tel: 021 4667200