Walk to commemorate end to slavery

This year marks 180 years since Cape slaves were set free and to celebrate, the Constantia Heritage and Education Project (CHEP) is inviting all to a commemorative Heritage Day walk.

The annual walk will take place in Constantia, where many of these former slaves from Groot Constantia Farm were granted land in Strawberry Lane after they were emancipated. But under the apartheid era Group Areas Act, they were forcibly removed.

The CHEP has for the past four years led an initiative to bring former and current residents together to keep alive and tell the stories of the people who lived in Constantia before the forced removals.

Committee member Claire-Anne Lester said it’s also an opportunity to conscientise people who currently live in the area: “We want to facilitate building the community. We want to tell the story of slavery and forced removals and we want those who were affected to come and tell their stories,” said Ms Lester.

The walk will take place on Heritage Day on Monday September 24, leaving High Constantia at 10am. The group will walk down Constantia Main, Pagasvlei and Brounger past Peddlers on the Bend and down Strawberry Lane and will end at the commemorative plaque at the entrance to the greenbelt. There will be speeches and laying of flowers on route.

There will also be tea and entertainment after the walk at the Garratt Hall in Eskol Lane.

CHEP seeks to ensure that stories are preserved so that they can be experienced by those who do not know and to ensure to build and maintain an honest and meaningful conversation with current Constantia residents, so that future generations may view each other as fellow citizens and so that a way may be found to heal a fractured past. For more information, contact Claire-Anne on 078 198 1156.