Posted by: nancycurteman | March 8, 2010

Cape Town’s District Six

The District Six Museum in Cape Town serves as a memorial to the 60,000 people who were forcibly removed from the inner-city residential area known as District Six. The museum provides a space for former inhabitants of District Six to share their memories through the huge collection of photographs, paintings, artifacts, and physical remains of the area like street signs, books and even a recreated barber shop.

In the 1970s the apartheid government declared District Six a “whites only” zone and, using the excuse that the area was crime-ridden and dangerous due to interracial interaction, they relocated all coloreds and blacks to the Cape Flats, a sandy piece of land about 25 kilometers away.  The government bulldozed the old houses leaving only a couple of churches untouched. District Six remains largely undeveloped today.

This cruel removal of people from their rightful homes gave birth to Khyelitsha Township and contributed to Cape Town’s high crime statistics.


  1. I did not know this. This makes the title of the movie “District 9” a little more clear.


    • Is the movie District 9 about Cape Town’s infamous District 6?


      • Hi Nancy, very fascinated that you are writing about Cape Town in your new novel. I live in this beautiful city and have just completed a novel set in … Texas. I also have a memoir set in SA & Cape Town. Regarding District 9 – probably inspired by the apartheid wastelands of District 6, but it is for me about a whole lot of other stuff as well … All the best and hope you get to visit again soon. cheers Jonah Becker


  2. […] Cape Town’s District Six […]


    • Hi Nancy, very interesting that you are writing about Cape Town, I’m an author, have lived in the beautiful city 35 years now. I have an apartheid era memoir and my other books are based in …. Texas! Anyway,good luck with the new one and I hope you visit CT again soon. If you need any local knowledge, please just ask. regards Jonah


      • Jonah, Thanks for visiting my blog. My novel is set in Cape Town and a place I call Ikhaya that is modeled after Khayelitsha township. We visited your beautiful city a couple of years ago. Interesting that you have written other books set in Texas. Quite different from CT. Thank you for your kind offer of local knowledge. I am trying to find out a bit more about police procedures in Khayelitsha. I may call on you for help. Pleasure to “talk” with you.


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