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A new fund has been set up to stop some of KwaZulu-Natal’s privately owned historic buildings from falling apart.
Barry Marshall of the provincial heritage agency Amafa/Heritage KZN lamented the deterioration of so many protected buildings “simply because private owners don’t have the necessary funding to maintain and protect buildings which are part of our heritage”.
Funding would only be available for privately owned buildings, Marshall said, noting that the majority of the province’s built heritage was in private hands.
Preference would be given to projects where owners were prepared to match heritage funding on a rand-for-rand subsidy basis.
The funding would only be available for protected buildings such as heritage landmarks of provincial importance, structures listed in the Heritage Register as being of local importance, or structures in a conservation area.
Amafa/Heritage would also consider applications to fund restoration reports, drawings or specifications to enable work to be carried out to an appropriate standard.
Funding would be split into two categories: small projects (not exceeding R60 000 in value) and large projects (exceeding R60 000 in value).
To avoid funding being abused to increase the value of a property for sale purposes, there would be a sale exclusion period of three years.
All projects would require a permit from the Amafa Built Environment Committee and the beneficiary of a restoration grant would be required to enter into a memorandum of agreement undertaking to adhere to the conditions of the permit.
Marshall said money for the restoration fund would come from a portion of the fees which were collected by Amafa/Heritage to process building approvals and other heritage-related applications.
“Sadly, we know that there will not be enough funding available to do what we would like to do, so we will focus on the applications which are considered to be the most deserving,” Marshall added.
* Applications can be made on Form R, which is obtainable from the Amafa website at www.heritagekzn.co.za and should also be submitted in hard copy to: The Head, Built Environment Committee, Amafa, PO Box 2685 Pietermaritzburg 3201 or 195 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg 3201.