From the news desk

Bo-Kaap: Heritage site pending

Share this article

By Zaahidah Meyer

Submissions of written testimonies to declare Bo-Kaap a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ) are expected to begin on Friday.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato announced the proposal to declare Bo-Kaap a heritage site in early December, a decision welcomed by all.

“Many families have been living there for generations and have contributed significantly to our cultural heritage. The City recognizes that this heritage should be protected,” said Plato.

Bo-Kaap residents have long been protesting against property developers Blok after they began construction of a 12-storey apartment complex in Lion Street. Protesters have demanded that Bo-Kaap is declared a heritage site, to prevent any further development.

Residents were last year outraged by police and private security companies after force was used against peaceful protesters.

The Western Cape High Court in early December ordered that Blok’s cranes were not allowed into the area. Residents were later in the month granted leave to appeal the construction of the apartment complex.

Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association vice-chairperson Fowzia Achmat said the public participation process is not new to Bo-Kaap residents.

“We were one of the first communities that submitted our HPOZ documents and if it were not for the previous mayor (Patricia de Lille) *, things might have been better now,” said Achmat.

According to a meeting the Association conducted with the City of Cape Town, the public participatory process needed to be proved in order to declare Bo-Kaap as a heritage site.

“We could not have completed the documents if the public did not participate,” Achmat said.

Achmat added that the ongoing fight for Bo-Kaap is not that of the residents only, but of all those residing in Cape Town.

“People need to understand that their roots come from Bo-Kaap, whether you are Muslim or Christian. That is the kind of support we need. If we come out tomorrow to ask for signatures, then I think everyone should put their signature on a paper to know they belong to Bo-Kaap. That is the heritage we mean and not property and houses,” said Achmat.

Mayoral Committee member for spatial planning Marian Nieuwoudt said they will do a thorough check of the documents beforehand to avoid appeals.

“We want to make sure that there isn’t anybody who can tell us that they haven’t been consulted on the matter. There will also be a hearing chaired by the Mayor to see the input,” said Nieuwoudt.

The report will go to the council for decision-making in March 2019.

*The Bowmans report implicated former mayor Patricia De Lille in the stalling of Bo-Kaap as a national heritage site; a claim she has since denied.


Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WhatsApp WhatsApp us
Wait a sec, saving restore vars.