The District Six Museum was established in 1994. It serves primarily as a remembrance of the forced movement of thousands of people in District Six during the Apartheid era in the 1970s.
The museum is now a famous tourist area that a lot of tourists visit for educational purposes, to experience the reality of this once colourful hub that those helpless people called home.
Brief History of District Six Museum
After the abolition of slavery in the 1800s, thousands of freed slaves from different races settled in the area of District Six, and it soon became an extremely populated area filled with people of different kinds and professions.
There were artisans, immigrants brought into the area by the Dutch East India Company, merchants, etc.
However, in 1966, while the apartheid movement was still flourishing, it was announced that the District was to become a white population-only area, and it began a process of forcing over 60,000 people away from their homes.
Their houses were demolished, and many of them were pushed toward the Cape Flats area.
Many years later, in 1989, the District Six Foundation was founded in an attempt to make right the wrongs from the past.
An integral step taken in this direction was the establishment of the District Six Museum in 1994.
An old Methodist church in the area became the location of the museum, and it has been a strong memorial for such an unpleasant historical incident.
Today, the managers of the Museum indulge in activities and initiatives to ensure adequate development of the district.
With resources derived from tourists and other sources (like donations), they are committed to building new housing, supporting cultural activities, etc.
Also, visitors can explore old traffic signs, photographs, historical declarations, exhibits about the demolition, and several other items that give further insight into the turbulence of apartheid.
Why is District Six Museum Famous?
The Museum is famous for being a gateway to an expression of the horrible waves of apartheid that was prominent in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.
On the floor of the museum, there is a large map of the district that contains handwritten notes belonging to the thousands of people of different races who used to live in the area, noting where their houses were located.
It serves as a remembrance of the once bubbling multi-racial community that was forcefully removed and saw the displacement of over 60,000 inhabitants.
The efforts of the District Six Foundation in preserving the memories of District Six are applauded and celebrated.
The promotion of the museum to remain a vehicle for advocating social justice is part of the reasons for its popularity.
Additionally, the District Six Museum represents an institution that is vehemently proactive in the reconstitution and reconstruction of the museum.
The influence of the museum is even all over Cape Town, advocating a society devoid of racism, sexism, etc.
Its significance to tourists
Hence, tourists from different places in the world keep trooping down to the Museum to have a personal feel of the practical experiences of the former inhabitants of the area, as it has become a platform where these people share their memories.
Other tourist places in the former Apartheid include Constantia Valley, Addo National Park, Blyde river canyon, and Mandela House among others.
Things Tourists Should Know About The Museum
First, tourists can explore the Museum to discover the cultural and historical facts of the District and understand the unique lifestyle of this part of Cape Town many years ago.
Tourists should know that a visit to the District Six Museum is more of an educational adventure that affords them the opportunity to interact with the events that took place in the area during the Apartheid era.
It will be encouraged to interpret the historical facts in today’s realities of discrimination.
While the Museum is not 100 per cent perfect, as a tourist, you are sure of an environment where there is unconditional respect irrespective of gender and tribe, with great attention given to professionalism.
It is a nice thing to know that integrity, ethical conduct, as well as creativity, are paramount here. At the museum, every tourist enjoys the right to speak truthfully and courageously.
Visitors can decide to take a guided tour of the district itself, as there are workers at the Museum whose job is to act as informative guides.
They will do a fine job of ensuring that your understanding of Cape Town becomes enhanced with District 6 as a reference point.
Where is District Six Museum situated?
The Museum is located at 25A Buitenkant St, Zonnebloem in Cape Town (in the heart of the city).
What’s the time of visit?
Tourists can visit anytime from Monday to Saturday. However, on Mondays, the museum is open for tourists from 9 am to 2 pm.
But from Tuesday down to Saturday, visitors can access the museum from 9 am to 4 pm.
Travel advisory to District Six Musem
Foreign tourists should be careful when within Cape Town, since there have been cases where locals targeted tourists for petty theft.
So, while the city is a great destination, it is filled with a measure of crime.
However, despite the fact that there are safety concerns attached to Cape Town, millions of tourists still come over here annually.
Generally, if a visitor can maintain a level of awareness and adhere to basic security guidelines, they will be fine in Cape Town.
What’s the entrance fee to District Six?
Admission costs R50 per person. If you want an ex-resident to guide you, you only have to pay R60.
However, discounts are offered to students with valid student cards. Nevertheless, ex-residents from District Six as well as other areas of forced removals, including pensioners that are South African, can enter for free without paying anything.
The District Six Museum is a famous tourist area in Cape Town that is being greatly utilized for educational purposes.
The museum welcomes numerous visitors every week, also serves as a platform where debate and policy development is initiated.
- District Six. “Museum Information.”. districtsix.co.za