The Cape Town area known as District Six (so called for its geographic position on the municipal map of the city) developed into a dense residential area close to the centre of Cape Town during the second part of the nineteenth century.
Home to a diverse community with a wide range of historical origins, neglect on the part of landlords and local authorities led to the area becoming rundown. The government repeatedly directed requests to the city council and the landlords – most of whom were white and not residing in the area – to upgrade what was fast becoming a slum on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On 11 February 1966, the government declared District Six a white area under the Group Areas Act, and the wholesale removal of the inhabitants was started – mainly to areas away from the city. This process took fifteen years and some 60 000 people were removed.
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About the Author
Cloete has held photographic exhibitions in South Africa, the USA, Europe and Japan, and a collection of his images of Albert Luthuli are held in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Late journalist of the Cape Times newspaper