Bo-Kaap heritage public participation starts

Cape Town - 181120 - Chaos unfolded in the Bo-Kaap, when angry residents of the area who were blocking a Blok crane from entering the neighbourhood clashed with police. Earlier in the year, Bo-Kaap Youth Movement (BKYM) spearheaded protests against property developers in Bo-Kaap, claiming they were entrenching gentrification and eroding their heritage. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Bo-Kaap residents will finally have their say from tomorrow, Friday January 18, when the public participation process on the proposed Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ) for the area will start.

The community had been calling for the HPOZ for the past three years.

According to the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, statutory notices informing the public and other interested parties about the commencement of the public participation process will appear in the media on Friday (See the back page of today’s paper).

In December, mayor Dan Plato announced that public participation was recommended for the HPOZ to protect Bo-Kaap heritage.

“The City is committed to preserving and celebrating the rich and diverse cultures and heritage of our communities, and I feel privileged today to share in the mayoral committee’s decision to initiate the process to provide the Bo-Kaap with the heritage protection that it deserves,” he said.

The public participation process will end on Friday February 22, but before that, the City will host a hearing for interested and affected parties on Saturday February 9.

Industry and business as well as community-based organisations will also have the opportunity to present their comments about the proposed HPOZ.

Their submissions will be included in a report which will come before the City’s Mayoral Committee and the City Council in March. “I encourage all residents of Bo-Kaap to take part in this public participation process as the proposed HPOZ will guide future decisions on land use and building development management. The proposed HPOZ will also portray the future vision for this area, and we, therefore, need as many Capetonians as possible to be part of this process,” said Ms Nieuwoudt.

The vice-chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association, Fouzia Achmat, said: “It has been clearly indicated to the mayor and his team that we’ve officially as a community gone through this process. So the community is ready to go through it so that the City cannot stall it again.”

Adding to her sentiments, the association’s secretary, Jacky Poking, said they have not yet received a formal notice but some residents have received their letters notifying them of the public participation.

The documentation related to the proposed HPOZ, inclusive of maps of the proposed HPOZ and other relevant information, will be uploaded on the City’s website on the same day, and will be made available at the Sub-council 16 office, 11th floor 44 Wale Street, the Metro Office: 5th floor, 44 Wale Street and the Cape Town Table Bay District Planning office.