The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town

Old Granary Building Rechristened ‘Desmond and Leah Tutu House’

Michael Hawthorne

CAPE TOWN – In a moving ceremony and tribute to their lasting legacy of reconciliation and social justice, the City of Cape Town officially renamed the iconic Old Granary building in District Six as ‘Desmond and Leah Tutu House’ on Tuesday, 20 February 2024. The event marked the World Day of Social Justice.

The building, a piece of Cape Town’s rich history, has served many purposes over the past two centuries. This latest chapter is thanks to a 2015 partnership between the City and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation who jointly refurbished the historic space. It stands as a beacon of transformation and healing in South Africa.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis highlighted the significance of this renaming: “‘Given all the challenges facing South Africans today, we could all use a reminder of the hope and optimism we’ve come to associate with the Tutu name. A reminder that we must never give up working towards building a free, fair, prosperous and inclusive country and city.”

Deputy Mayor and Chairperson of the Naming Committee, Alderman Eddie Andrews, emphasized the collaborative spirit behind the name change: “Everyone who passes this building will see its new name, and know this is where we are bridging the divide and building alliances. I also want to thank the public for participating in this renaming process, and for making their voices heard in the renaming of this building in honour of two of Cape Town’s most treasured citizens.”

Alderman James Vos, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, underscored the ongoing vision for the building, “Our vision is to carry on the legacy of Desmond and Leah Tutu who have not only made notable contributions to the political and socio-cultural identity of Cape Town and South Africa, but are global icons for virtue and fortitude of character.”

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has, since its founding, strived to make South Africa a more compassionate and just place. For those who enter Desmond and Leah Tutu House, there will be a tangible reminder of this mission and their powerful voices against injustice.


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