No common ground


Heritage Western Cape has told the Green Point Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (GPRRA) to go back to the drawing board with its proposal to make the Green Point Common and surrounds a provincial heritage site.

The association wants the whole of erf 1056 to be declared a provincial heritage site, and it submitted a formal application to do that to Heritage Western Cape (“Bid for urban park and track to enter history books,” Atlantic Sun, April 14). Included on the orginal Green Point Common were Fort Wynard, the Laboratory, the old Somerset Hospital and the Mouille Point Lighthouse, which are already provincial heritage sites.

However, at a meeting last week, the heritage body noted that there was disagreement between the GPRRA and the City of Cape Town, which owns the land, over the proposal, and it said it should be resubmitted once that had been resolved.

Antonia Malan, of the GPRRA, said there was no dispute as to whether the common had heritage significance, but there was still a disagreement with the City over the management of the site. Another major difference appears to be that while the GPRRA wants heritage status for the entire common and surrounds, the City is only prepared to seek it for the Green Point Track and the Green Point Urban Park.

Ms Malan said it was vital to make the common a heritage site to “mark its historic and heritage significance and value to Cape Town, and to protect it from piecemeal attrition and alienation from public access and ownership.”

While it has has not recommended a specific boundary for the heritage site, the association wants it to extend across as much of the original erf as possible, linking existing heritage buildings and parks.

Heritage Western Cape CEO Mxolisi Dlamuka, said a meeting on Thursday May 12 had discussed the GPRRA’s proposal, but, due to the “difference of opinion” between the association and the City, it had “encouraged both parties to jointly rework the nomination” before resubmitting it.

Mr Dlamuka stressed that no decision had yet been made by Heritage Western Cape to make the common a heritage site, and it would “assess any new or revised nomination submitted”.

Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, said that the Green Point Urban Park was one of the City’s most inclusive open spaces, and it needed to be protected so that all Capetonians could continue to enjoy the area for generations to come.

He said the City supported Heritage Western Cape’s proposal for it to work with the GPRRA to finalise the nomination and would “work with the community and ensure consultation with all roleplayers”.

He added that the City had decided on Tuesday April 5 to formally pursue provincial heritage site status for the Green Point Urban Park and Track, following an earlier process to reconceptualise the stadium precinct.

“This has now provided the impetus for the Green Point Urban Park and Track as part of the original Green Point Common to be formally protected, while realising commercial opportunities at the stadium and allowing for meaningful management of the various components by the custodian City departments,” he said.

The City’s own heritage impact assessment, he noted, had found that the Green Point Common was of “a high heritage significance” and so the City was “nominating the Green Point Urban Park and historic Green Point Track as a grade two provincial heritage site”.

This would “ensure the protection of the site and therefore conserve its inherent qualities as a richly layered reflection of Cape Town’s history”.