Mayco gives heritage overlay the nod

2018-12-11 06:01

A public participation process has been recommended for an overlay zone to protect Bo-Kaap heritage.

Last week, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee resolved to support the designation of the Bo-Kaap as a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ) and made the recommendation that Council approve a public participation process for the proposal at its next meeting.

Mayor Dan Plato said: “The Bo-Kaap is one of our most iconic areas with its rich history and unique architecture. Many Bo-Kaap families have been living there for generations and have contributed significantly to our cultural heritage. The City recognises that this heritage should be protected. We therefore recommended to Council today that the City undertake a public participation process about the proposal that the Bo-Kaap be included in a Heritage Protection Overlay as a mechanism for the protection of the area’s unique historical landscape and heritage. Council will pronounce on this recommendation at its next meeting on Thursday 13 December­.”

The Bo-Kaap HPOZ came under consideration after a motion submitted in 2013 by then ward councillor Dave Bryant to have the suburb named an urban conservation area (“Protecting heritage”, People’s Post, 21 October 2014).

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.

According to a report submitted to the Good Hope Subcouncil at the time, the area has been declared a Grade 1 heritage resource by the South African Heritage Resource Agency (Sahra), with the intention of naming it a national heritage site.

However, this has not been done due to “capacity constraints with Sahra”, the report read. As it was seen as “unlikely that [it will be named a national heritage asset] in the foreseeable future”, the report recommended instituting an overlay zone.

Plato added: “In 2016 the process was halted and the HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap was put on hold indefinitely. In early 2018, ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding submitted another motion to subcouncil 16 requesting that the HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap be implemented with immediate effect and that reasons be given for the delay.”

This delay has been addressed in the recent report into corruption and maladministration at the City, carried out by law firm Bowman’s, which raised allegations that former mayor Patricia de Lille may have been behind the halt in the HPOZ process.

The report states that there was “interference and obstruction through instructions from the mayor (De Lille)”.

Plato said: “Due to the period of time that has passed, officials from the City’s Heritage Management Department have advised that a new round of public participation will need to take place. We want to ensure that we follow due process and that we do not cut corners in dealing with this very serious matter.

“The people of the Bo-Kaap deserve a speedy resolution to this matter. This administration is committed to ensuring that there are no further delays in finalising the proposal to protect the Bo-Kaap’s heritage and culture.”


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