The multi-coloured area of "District Six" in Capetown, South Africa, is being demolished.
GV District 6, Capetown, South Africa, showing streets and houses.
GV House PAN TO street and man washing pavement. (2 SHOTS)
GV Children standing outside house in District 6 and playing in street. (3 SHOTS)
GV Derelict house PAN TO street.
SV People moving furniture from house across road. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN FROM District 6 TO demolition men knocking down houses. (6 SHOTS)
GV ZOOM INTO SV Children outside derelict house.
GV People washing and cooking food in area demolished.
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Background: The multi-coloured area of "District Six" in Capetown, South Africa, is being demolished. By the end of the year, this once-flourishing and vibrant area of the "coloureds" in South Africa may be nothing more than a memory.
SYNOPSIS: District Six had its beginnings more than 300 years ago. The area was so-named in 1867 after being declared the sixth district of Capetown. The area only began to grow after the freeing of slaves in 1833.
After large slum areas were burnt in 1901 following an outbreak of bubonic plague, new buildings sprang up. The district flourished and grew into a densely-populated metropolis. There are few of South Africa's coloured people today who can't trace their ancestry back to this cosmopolitan community. District Six was the most multi-racial area which ever existed in South Africa. But, for the last 30 years, the area's been under a cloud of uncertainty. Little has been done to maintain or improve District Six.
In 1966, the Minister of Community Development, Pieter Botha - now South Africa's Prime Minister -- declared the area white. He said that, over the years the coloured and Indian people had mostly become inhabitants of backward areas. To improve such areas it was necessary to move the inhabitants. He gave a promise that no person would be moved until alternative accommodation had been found for them.
The South African government's move was described as causing more misery and hard feelings that the proclamation of District Six as a white area. The wave of protest it caused has continued almost unabated until this day. Mr. Botha declared District Six would be redeveloped as a business and residential area for white people. His government's plans for the area have been described as a symbol of the excesses of apartheid. Demolitions have been in progress for the last 13 years, and only 10,000 people are left in District Six today. Most of the people who've been evicted have been moved to townships, badly troubled by lawlessness on the Cape Flats. The years of bulldozing and official harassment have had a devastating effect on the people of District Six. The spirit that once thrived in the area is reported to have been largely broken by years of insecurity which has resulted in apathy and despondency.