Local councillors have urged the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority to urgently instate a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ) in the Bo-Kaap, following recurring protests in the community.
Ward councillors Dave Bryant and Brandon Golding have cosigned a motion, which they served at the Good Hope Subcouncil yesterday (Monday 18 June).
During recent protests, Bo-Kaap community members handed over a memorandum to City officials, which demanded that the HPOZ be signed into effect immediately.
The motion states: “During the recent protests in the Bo-Kaap the mystery around why the Bo-Kaap HPOZ has still not been implemented again came to light. Golding, the current ward councillor, has met with local civic associations to discuss this matter and committed to finding out more as to why there has been a delay in the implementation of the HPOZ.”
The Bo-Kaap HPOZ came under consideration when the then ward councillor, Dave Bryant, submitted a motion in 2013 to have the suburb named an urban conservation area.
The HPOZ would place limitations on development in the suburb, one of the oldest communities in Cape Town, to protect the heritage and traditional homes in the suburb.
The motion states that after submitting the initial motion in 2013,
“Bryant worked with members of the Bo-Kaap Civic Association and attended a number of meetings along with City Heritage professionals to workshop the matter further. The process was very positive and the draft HPOZ was completed, set and ready to go in 2016, but for reasons unknown the HPOZ was never signed off by the mayor. The majority of the Cape Town CBD is covered by HPOZs but Bo-Kaap and Vredehoek do not currently have any HPOZ protection.”
Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, says there is a lot of “misinformation about the protection status of the Bo-Kaap heritage homes”.
Several heritage protection mechanisms are already in place, he explains.
“No home of heritage value may be altered, let alone considered for demolition, without authorisation in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act. The Act is a national act that is implemented and enforced at a provincial level by Heritage Western Cape,” says Herron.
He adds Heritage Western Cape is an independent authority and that the City has no influence over its decision-making processes.