Bo-Kaap’s heritage protection gazetted

Cape Town - 181124 The Bo-Kaap civic association is planning legal action against Blok property developer for allegedly traumatising residents protesting against the company. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

The inclusion of the Bo-Kaap area in a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ) was published in the Western Cape Provincial Gazette on Friday April 12.

All land units and public streets in the Bo-Kaap are now included in the HPOZ and as such have heritage protection.

“From now on, development applications for properties within the Bo-Kaap will be assessed more critically with an additional focus on the impact that the development proposal will have on the heritage value of the building and site and on the area,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt.

The HPOZ also allows the City to impose conditions to the approval so that the heritage value of the building or site is protected or enhanced. The City may also ask the applicant to amend the plans.

Apart from being the earliest established Muslim community in South Africa, Bo-Kaap is also Cape Town’s oldest surviving residential neighbourhood with well-presented and coherent streetscapes. The City approved the inclusion of the Bo-Kaap area in a heritage protection overlay zone on March 28.

The HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap extends to the Table Mountain National Park and includes the northern green verges to the northwest of Strand Street, and includes Buitengracht between the intersections with Carisbrook and Strand Street. It has an impact on all of those who own property in the Bo-Kaap, in particular as it relates to new developments, restorations and the maintenance and alteration of properties.

Some of the HPOZ objectives include:

To conserve the Bo-Kaap heritage by encouraging owners to retain and rehabilitate the existing residential buildings

To protect the streetscapes

To ensure that new developments and alterations to existing buildings complement the historic urban landscape and that the area’s heritage is not negatively impacted on

To promote and protect public open spaces and pedestrian movement along the roads and lanes; and

To promote the cultural traditions and living heritage of the Bo-Kaap where people live outwardly on the stoeps and sidewalks

The HPOZ does not affect ownership or the rental of property, neither does it prevent new development. It does, however, set additional development rules over and above the provisions of the base zoning for land units in the Bo-Kaap.

Importantly,applications that have been accepted by the City before April 12 will be processed and considered in terms of the legislation at the time of acceptance.