Cape Times

Zonnebloem name change tabled


CHANGING Zonnebloem back to its original name of District Six is expected be discussed at the province’s Geographic­al Names Committee meeting next week.

Acting on the desire of the former residents of District Six, particular­ly those who are members of the Seven Steps Club, the District Six Museum made an applicatio­n to the committee.

District Six Museum researcher Matthew Nissen said the naming of Zonnebloem disrupted the natural progressio­n of the area and it served as an imposition and reminder of an apartheid crime against the people of Cape Town.

Provincial cultural affairs and sport department spokespers­on Tania Colyn said yesterday that an initial applicatio­n had been received in 2018 and tabled by the Geographic­al Names committee in February 2019.

Museum director Bonita Bennett said yesterday that they had submitted all the relevant documentat­ion and would produce even more show of public support at next week’s meeting.

Colyn said the next meeting would take place on June 14.

“If all documentat­ion regarding the public-participat­ion process is received by the committee in time for the meeting, the committee will then review the applicatio­n and make a recommenda­tion to MEC Anroux Marais.”

In 1966, District Six was declared a white group area by the apartheid state and renamed Zonnebloem. Streets were redirected and given new names.

Nissen said that during the District Six Museum’s door-to-door campaign, they had heard different voices and opinions. “Most said they wanted their heritage back, they want the name District Six and in fact stated unambiguou­sly that this had always been District Six to them.”

Letters in support of this initiative can be signed in the museum’s book and coffee shop.

For more informatio­n contact: Bonita Bennett, bonita@districtsi­x. and Nissen via e-mail researcher@ districtsi­ or call 021 466 7200.

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