Cape Town - Summer days and celebrations
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March 8, 2004 #issue 02.
Celebrating in District Six
A welcome homecoming - for some..
On the calendar
Cape Town events..
Welcome <> to the
second edition of the Cape Town e-Bulletin.
The month has certainly sped by since the first e-Bulletin was mailed
out - and the summer weather is still lingering, with delightful warm
days and cool evenings..
The Cape is in a winter rainfall zone so the summers are generally dry.
Cape Town's location and the surrounding mountains determine our
weather to a great extent - and believe me when you're between seasons
it changes regularly.
In summer when the 'Cape Doctor' South Easterly wind blows, the hot
days become more bearable, but be prepared to hold on to your hat!
Spring (Oct-December) is an excellent times of the
year to visit the Cape. Accommodation is easier to obtain and there are
less tourists crowding the beaches and other popular attractions.
Autumn (March-May) is also worth considering - if
you don't mind the occasional rainy day.
Right now we're preparing to vote in April for our
government elections, and the various political parties in contention
for seats in parliament are making themselves heard in the media and in
the form of posters adorning every lamp post in Cape Town and elsewhere
in South Africa.
It is seen as a foregone conclusion that the current ruling party - the
ANC (African National Congress) will again emerge
victorious in this third free election since democracy in 1994.
Historically the ANC and it's leading role in the 'struggle' for racial
freedom has become the symbol of freedom from racial
oppression and as a result it enjoys majority support in many
Unfortunately the ANC has failed to deliver on its
promises - in the eyes of many, and its support base has eroded
That leaves the DA (Democratic Alliance) as the most
likely official opposition and they have been feverishly canvassing
support from lower income groups in order to minimise their public
image of appearing to represent the more affluent sections of local
Throw in all the other minority parties for luck and we should end up
with an interesting general election..
South Africa is rejoicing with the news that Benoni home girl Charlize
Theron won the best actress academy award at the
recent Oscars ceremony. Talented she is, but this is the pinnacle of
Well done Charlize!
The Cape Town e-Bulletin will put your finger on the
pulse of this vibrant and fascinating city.
Find out what's happening in Cape Town from the street up.
You'll read about popular surrounding attractions - with a touch of
Cape history thrown in..
Discover the people of Cape Town and what they do
with their lives.
Your Cape Town e-Bulletin will provide useful
information to prospective Cape Town visitors - but hopefully you will
also become a part of it..
feedback and participation will help this ezine
I look forward to giving you a monthly insight into the Cape lifestyle.
Cape Town Travel Adviser
in District Six
Home at Last?
On 11 February 2004 a ceremony of significance took place at
Zonnebloem, the original District Six land on the outskirts of Cape
District Six was the name allocated in 1867 by the local government to
the 6th municipal region of Cape Town. This area bordering the eastern
fringes of the city became home over the years to a vibrant and diverse
community of people from all walks of life.
Immigrants and wealthy merchants mingled together with labourers and
freed slaves in this colorful environment of many cultural influences.
Despite impoverished conditions in parts of District Six, the area of
43 hectares provided homes, schools and a stable environment to the
inhabitants, and the population grew steadily.
In February 1966 the Apartheid regime of South Africa applied the terms
of its Group Areas Act which officially confined
people to certain areas based on their race and skin color. District
Six was declared a White Group Area.
Between 1968 and 1982 the 66,000 inhabitants of this community were
forced to move out of District Six. Their homes were demolished and
they were relocated to various undeveloped townships on the Cape Flats.
The bulldozing of District Six became a national symbol of government
repression, highlighting the experiences of many
other communities in the Cape and elsewhere that had been
Since South Africa acquired a democratic government in 1994, various
land claims have been made by the ex residents of District Six and
their families under the land restitution program.
The much publicised ceremony in District Six on 11 Feb was an emotional
and symbolic reminder of the family turmoil endured by the previous
residents. Before the large crowd - 24 families were officially given
ownership of terraced houses which were still in the process of being
Guest of honour was 'Madiba' himself, ex president Mr Nelson Mandela
who, amid cheers and weeping from the crowd, unlocked the doors of the
first two uncompleted houses in Chapel st., new homes for the Murat and
4000 of these housing units will apparently be provided over the next 3
years to ex residents and their families, according to promises made to
the crowd. This commitment would rehouse but a few of the approximately
66,000 people who were evicted fom their homes.
One of the highpoints of the occasion was the assurance to the
thousands by mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo that the name 'District Six' would
be restored. It remains to be seen how long that formality would take
to be put into effect, but it was a hope that many
in the crowd shared.
On the Calendar
We're all winding up for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour
on 16 March as reported last month. 104 km around the Cape Peninsula
It's become very much a traditional event despite the increasing cost
of participation, and now that the original route over Capmans Peak has
been restored, it's more popular than ever with several top
international riders taking part. Good luck to all!
That's all from me for now <>.
Speak to you next month.. and remember, your comments are welcome
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