11 February 1966
The memory of District Six, also known as Kanaladorp (kanala is a Malay word meaning ‘help one another’), is marked by the event of 11 February 1966. On this day the district was declared a ‘White area’ under the 1950 Group Areas Act of the Apartheid government. Before the passing of the Group Areas Act, multiracial spaces such as District Six were not uncommon as residential areas were segregated on the basis of class rather than race.The aim of the Group Areas Act was very much to racialise space.At the time of the proclamation 56% of the district’s property was ‘White’-owned, 26% ‘Coloured’ owned and 18% was Indian owned- therefore P.W Botha’s 1966 announcement stating that District Six would be redeveloped for White occupation was met with widespread protest.However, for the residents of District Six, their fate was sealed. The first demolitions began in 1968, when homes and businesses were destroyed, and the only buildings left standing were places of worship. Over a period of 15 years, non-White members of the District Six community were forcibly moved, mainly to the Belhartownship,Rylands Estate and Hanover Park on the Cape Flats.