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Old Granary renamed Desmond and Leah Tutu House


The official ceremony to rename the City of Cape Town’s Old Granary building in District Six to ‘Desmond and Leah Tutu House’ took place on Tuesday, 20 February to honour and memorialise the life and work of the late Archbishop and his wife.

The Old Granary building, situated at 11 Buitenkant Street in Zonnebloem, was originally constructed between 1808 and 1813. Over the past 200 years, it has been used as a bakery, granary, jail for women, customs house, court and police office, and Public Works offices.

In 2015, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation co-funded the refurbishment to allow the foundation to use the space as a peace centre, archive centre, museum, and office space.

The renaming follows public participation, and is a joint initiative by the City of Cape Town, Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and Archbishop Tutu Intellectual Property Trust.

‘Since its inception in 2011, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has helped shape our society into a kinder, more tolerant and more compassionate place by speaking out against injustice wherever it occurs, and through ongoing dialogues to help South Africans bridge divides and understand each other better.

‘Following the City and Foundation’s joint refurbishment project, this building today is a wonderful metaphor for the power of transformation and healing. In the words of the Arch at the time of the refurbishment: “We want to use this building, so rich with South Africa’s history of strife and division, to make visible the compassion and dignity needed by our country – and all the peoples of the world – to make global peace a daily reality.

‘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,’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

‘More than just a name change, this act, timed with World Day of Social Justice, reaffirms the commitment to building a society for all, tackling poverty, discrimination, and ensuring everyone thrives. The theme of 2024 is ‘Global Coalition for Social Justice: Bridging Gaps, Building Alliances’. And what a day to honour this South African family for their immense contributions to creating a space for social justice. 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,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Chairperson of the Naming Committee, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

‘The proposal to change the name was set in motion by the Economic Growth Directorate which oversees the management of the Old Granary 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,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos.

WHAT: Desmond and Leah Tutu House
WHERE: Truth To Power Exhibition, Old Granary renamed Desmond and Leah Tutu House, 11 Buitekant St - entrance Longmarket St - District Six, Cape Town 8001
WHEN: Tues to Sat 09:30 - 15:30
TICKETS: Book online | Adults:  R50 Students and pensioners:  R25  | Bank card/smartphone payments on site – Cash free zone  INFO: T 021 552 7524 | Visit  |  See also MapMyWay
PHOTO: Front: Leah Tutu. Back from left to right: Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews, Lungi Morrison (grandchild), Trevor Tutu (son), Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, Nyanison Berris (grandchild), Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Chairperson of the Archbishop Tutu Intellectual Property Trust, and Janet Jobson (CEO of the Trust).

See also Truth To Power Exhibition [18]