With the restrictions on international travel and the restrictions on movement during lock down, the museum was not able to generate income. They have reopened to staff from 1 September 2020, with reduced working hours. The lack of income means that they are not able to sustain staff salaries and operational income for the coming months, and in this context, the potential closure of the Museum is a reality.
The Museum is open by appointment during September, Tuesdays – Thursdays and will reopen to the public 1 October 2020. All health and safety regulations are in place.
Why it’s important to stay open
The Museum is a well-known tourist destination in Cape Town, but the majority of its work entails workshops with former residents of District Six and education programmes with schools and universities. With doors closed and restrictions on movement, it is difficult to sustain these programmes. While people can ask for online offerings, the learning and reflections enabled by the museum’s programmes are lost.
The District Six Museum is committed to a practice that relies on working with communities to tell their own story. Their archive is a treasure trove of oral histories about District Six and other areas of forced removal in Cape Town. With District Six being the largest urban forced removals that took place during apartheid, research, exhibitions and education work has led to the creation of a public space which not only tells this story, but also places it in the context of the larger impact of spatial apartheid on South Africa.
A place people call home
District Six Museum prides itself on being a place that people call home; a space where people meet socially, whether during monthly Supper Clubs, participating in workshops, meeting old friends during Seven Steps Club mornings or making new ones.
The District Six Museum covers its operational expenses which includes staff salaries and administrative costs through the income generated by feet through the door.
When District Sixers were handed their eviction notices, in true District Six fashion they renamed these notices “Love Letters”. This was a cynical comment on the casual indifference handed down by the Apartheid state, who saw only a “black spot” that had to be removed, and not the deep ties that bound a community together.
District Six Museum is now asking you to send us a Love Letter, but this time, with real love and care!
How to help
You can send a Love Letter in one of the following ways:
A monthly donation of R50. This is the value of an entrance fee.
A once-off donation of R110. This is the value of a guided visit.
Larger once-off donations are welcome.
They are also asking people to support the online shop: www.districtsix.co.za.
They will continue to provide customised programmes on an online platform for schools and universities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Tours in September are available on an appointment basis between Tuesdays-Thursdays. Book a slot by calling 021 466 7200.
Send your Love Letter via:
Account no: 070 293 686
Branch code: 020 909
Swift code: SBZ AZA JJ
Your support will ensure that our programmes continue, that the doors stay open and that we continue to work in meaningful ways with our community.