Fahmida Choonara | email@example.com
12 March 2023 | 17:00 CAT
2 min read
Eight District Six sites in the Western Cape have been declared national heritage sites by the South African Heritage Resources Agency. These are the Seven Steps of Stone; the Al-Azhar Masjid, the Zeenatul Islam Masjid, the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Parish Centre and convent; the Moravian Church building, the Jewish cemetery; Harold Cressy High School and Trafalgar High School.
Judge Seraj Desai, the District Six Museum Board chairperson, joined Annisa Essack on Radio Islam International and explained that it was not entirely a happy situation.
Looking at the situation from a historical perspective, Desai described that one-third of the land in District Six was appropriated for the Cape Technikon. Some lands were returned to previous occupants due to the several campaigns launched.
Desai said that the institutions were protected mainly due to the then Government not wanting to demolish the masajid and thus having to extend the same courtesy to other religious groups.
The Seven Steps of Stone, found within the precincts of CPUT, was the most visited landmark where people gathered, made famous by a song sung by David Kramer & Taliep Petersen.
Desai says the Seven Steps of Stone should be open to the public to allow them to appreciate its monumental history and significance.
The museum mainly attracts foreign tourists; however, during COVID-19, there were few visits, but since the reopening, there has been an increase in tourists. Desai invited schools and other organisations to visit the museum, showcasing the Cape’s distinct melting pot of history.
Listen to the full interview on Your World Today hosted by Annisa Essack here.