Tonight with Lester Podcast

Zonnebloem name change


Guests : Bonita Bennett | Director at District Six Musuem |                Haroon Gunn-Salie | 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. 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.

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