On July 7th, 1950, the Group Areas Act No. 41, a component of Apartheid law, went into effect. With the help of later modifications, this law provided the government the authority to create racial separated zones within urban areas. Zones “where members of one specific race alone could live and work” could be designated in some locations (L. Thompson, 194). People were being forcibly removed from the “wrong” ethnically classified districts as early as 1954. Some of South Africa’s oldest and most thriving communities were destroyed as a result of this eviction of residents from their beloved homes. District Six in Cape Town is perhaps one of the best-known instances of this.
Whites and coloured people have coexisted peacefully in this inner-city neighborhood, known in 1867 as the “Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town,” in what is regarded as a thriving melting pot in the heart of the city. As “homes were bulldozed and the residents transported to the sandy, wind-swept Cape flats,” many non-white people were forced to leave their homes with nowhere to go (L. Thompson 194). The empty space where District Six formerly stood is a permanent mark on this city and its history. It serves as a reminder of the errors made prior to South Africa finally establishing a democratic state.