- Understand the history and impact of racial segregation in Cape Town
- Learn about the vibrant community that was forcibly removed from the historical District Six area of Cape Town
- Engage and interact with staff members who have personal, intimate stories to share about their life in District Six
The District Six Museum caters for locals as well as foreigners, and is an educational experience for both adults and children. Visitors learn about this once colourful hub for musicians, artists, and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ gangsters, that faced a 20-year long period of demolition and forced removals during the apartheid era. Engage with photographs, recordings and testimonials, which offer further insight into the turbulence of apartheid. In between exhibitions, share in the stories of District Six with engaging and friendly staff members, the majority of whom were displaced residents themselves and have intimate and personal stories to share.
The District Six Museum was not always a powerfully moving home for the stories of the areas former residents. Prior to its current purpose, it was a wine shop until the Methodists took it over in 1883 and founded the Buitenkamp Methodist Mission Church. The District Six Museum Foundation was only established in 1989, and the museum itself came into being in 1994. Currently, the museum serves as a remembrance of the once lively multi-racial area that was forcefully removed during apartheid in the 1960s and 1970s.
District Six Museum
Advice for visitors
Be warned: it is impossible not to be emotionally touched when visiting this site. Nevertheless, it is an important place to visit to help create a stronger understanding of South Africa’s rich history. Make a point of joining in on a guided tour from a genuine ex-resident of the original District Six. You will gain a real sense of what it was like for the people back in those days. If you need a break, there is a wonderful coffee shop which offers drinks and snacks – it’s a great place to make an introduction to the Cape’s traditional sweet treat of koeksisters.
Did you know
The ground floor of the museum is covered by a large street map of District Six on which are handwritten notes by former residents indicating where their demolished homes once stood.