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Almost a Century - Alfred Harold Honikman

Paperback Published: 28th September 2007
ISBN: 9781598583885
Number Of Pages: 344

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Alfred Honikman was born in Cape Town South Africa in 1910. That year, his country was unified and became part of the British Empire. After growing up in Cape Town, he graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Cape Town and went to work in Johannesburg. Returning to Cape Town after several years, World War 2 interrupted his new architectural practice. In 1945, he was discharged from the Army and 3 years later, was elected to the City Council of Cape Town. That was the year that General Smuts and his United Party were defeated by the Nationalists and the system of 'apartheid' became South Africa's 'way of life'. The Government's pro-German (Nazi) sympathies, drew Honikman into anti-apartheid politics. He was elected to the Cape Provincial Council but soon found some members of his Party toying with apartheid. In 1959 he withdrew from party politics and resigned from the Provincial Council. The following year he was elected Mayor of Cape Town. The government severed relations with Britain, and South Africa became a republic. Honikman attracted the wrath of the Government by accepting Sir John Maud's (the British ambassador's) invitation to propose the toast to Her Majesty the Queen at the British Embassy's annual celebrations. Honikman's proposals for the rehabilitation of District Six were rejected by the Government. The entire area was declared "White," and the residents - entirely "Colored"- were given notice to vacate the area within two years. Thereafter Honikman occupied different offices in local government until his retirement in 1980 when he left South Africa to live near his family in Santa Barbara California. In 1985 he returned for the naming of 'Honikman Square' in his honor. I first saw Alf Honikman after he became Mayor in 1961 and he called at Cape Town City Council's Table Bay Power Station to deliver his Christmas Message to the staff. We saw then that Alderman Alf, as he became affectionately known, valued the common touch' and encouraged dialogue with staff members as well as ratepayers of his beloved City. In those dark days, he ensured that representation of disenfranchised people was made to the absolute limits of the repressive laws then in place. Aldermen Alf was always ready to consider advice given and offer constructive criticism if he held opposing views. Supreme sadness weighed heavily on him as Chairman of the Works Committee when his officials had to carry out the repressive government's instruction to demolish District Six and decommission infrastructure that had served the community for decade upon decade. The cries of anguish of washerwomen whose livelihood was taken away when we closed Hanover Street Wash-house was but one example. It is indeed unusual to be spared to see such great changes in one lifetime and it is a matter of pride that Alderman Alf has seen the phoenix rise from the ashes. Dismantling of Apartheid and the restitution of land previously lost to people whose voice is once more part of daily debate on an equal footing provides a great sense of satisfaction. David Bradley retired Deputy City Engineer

ISBN: 9781598583885
ISBN-10: 1598583883
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 28th September 2007
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.48

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