Residents of District Six to urged to attend the final leg of public hearings, aimed at redeveloping the area

Image: Department of Human Settlements

District Six Development Project in Cape Town, Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town is calling on residents of District Six to attend the final leg of its public hearings, in order  to listen to the outcome and give input on its Public Realm Strategy which is aimed at redeveloping the area.

In 2020 the City invited the public to an online meeting and held a series of engagements with the community to hear proposals on the process to be followed for the new spatial development.

Group Areas Act 

The purpose of the Public Realm Strategy is to enhance the quality of the streets and public spaces in District Six, taking into account the area’s unique heritage, its legacy and the vibrancy it once had.

District Six has often been described as a melting pot of a lively community with many cultures and a rich musical history.

In the 1966 however, it became a symbol of oppression when the apartheid government forcibly removed residents after it enacted the Group Areas Act. The law declared prime land in the City Centre was reserved for Whites-Only suburbs and the homes of black and coloured residents were demolished with bulldozers.

Public Realm Strategy

In 2018 the District Six Working Committee won a land restitution case that forced the speeding up of the building of homes for land claimants.

Now plans are afoot to optimise the use of public spaces and streets.

According to Deputy Mayor, Eddie Andrews they have had public engagements last year which were very robust. And that the next step is to once again engage the community for further input.

He adds that, ” The days will be from Tuesday and Thursday between 8am and 5pm, then Saturday between 9am to 3am. This is important to get what people want it to look like.”

Community involvement 

Residents who now live in the high density apartments proposed to have the open space and buildings that serve as a memory.

Caretaker Shahnaz Arnold explains that, ” The plan was for people to be outside their houses. To connect the way they use to before. A bench on the corner, trees, and activities for youth to play, this was spoke about extensively and to also drive economy. ”

The community is looking to use the opportunity to create a vibrant economy.

“When we talk economy we talk about what new Hanover Street will look like. We wanted more space for little coffee shops, a tailor and all the things we used to connect with and encourage entrepreneurship” Arnold added.

 

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