Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum
The Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum pays tribute to the thousands of migrant labourers who suffered under the apartheid system.
One of two museums in South Africa that focuses on labour, has won numerous awards and has been crowned Best Museum in the Western Cape 2014/15
Outside Somerset West, just 40km (25mi) from Cape Town, you’ll find the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum. The memorial recalls the harsh apartheid system of migrant labour in which many thousands of black South Africans had to leave their families to find work close to the cities.
The museum is a reminder of the horrific living conditions that the migrant labour system imposed on the workers. The single-sex hostels remain a blight on South Africa’s conscience and the pass-book system remains one of apartheid’s greatest evils.
Lwandle was established in 1958 with hostel accommodation for workers in the fruit and canning industry. The hostels were intended for single men only and the conditions were appalling, with four to six men occupying a small, confined space and sharing the most rudimentary ablution facilities.
After South Africa’s democracy in 1994, the government turned the hostels into family-type accommodation. Residents felt that there should be a reminder of the way their people had been treated and so it was decided to establish a museum.
The Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum was officially opened on May 1, 2000. The exhibits commemorate the trials, tribulations and triumphs of migrant workers and hostel life in Southern Africa.
Here you can learn more about the migrant labour system that shaped many of the social problems South Africa has today. Walk through an original hostel and see the conditions for yourself. Spend time with members of the community and hear their real stories first-hand.
While you’re here, enjoy a walk around Lwandle township and meet some of the locals along the way. The township walk starts from the museum and includes visiting the Hector Pieterson Library, the famous Hostel 33, the Town Square, a tavern, shops and homes as well as the arts and crafts centre.
Martin Melck House is one of the oldest colonial homes in South Africa named after its first owner. Its history is intimately entwined with that of Cape Town itself.
PRINS & PRINS DIAMONDS MUSEUM OF GEMS AND JEWELLERY
This unique museum project takes visitors on a journey from when diamonds first began to form three billion years ago and their 150 km journey to the surface, following the unique path of South African diamonds from their origin in extinct volcanoes to the deposits along our coastline. Learn about unique and rare gemstones, and see how jewellery has changed through thousands of years. The story about South Africa’s mineral wealth is told, not only for diamonds, but also for our Platinum and Gold deposits.
This cultural village aims to remind us of our origin and serves as the reservoir for African knowledge pertaining to nature and traditions, giving us an opportunity to celebrate who we are through music (wonderful sounds from live bands) or from its’ distinct fineness of cuisine, topped up with African (local) arts and crafts.
Hot summer sun, extra long days and warm nights, sun-kissed skin and time to spend with loved ones; summer in Cape Town is the ideal time to get outdoors and enjoy getting closer to the spectacular nature that is within minutes from the bustling city.
Diamonds were formed three billion years ago by molecular-changing heat of around 1 300 °C, deep within the Earth’s crust. If you didn’t know that, then you have not been to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.
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