Real estate agents fear the declaration of the Bo-Kaap as a heritage site could potentially decrease the market value of properties in the area. Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Real estate agents fear the declaration of the Bo-Kaap as a heritage site could potentially decrease the market value of properties in the area.

This as a public participation process into the feasibility of the proposal starts today, 18 January 2019.

“There is no doubt that areas like Bo-Kaap are very rich in heritage, but the challenge is improving the area. If the area gets declared a heritage area, it could mean strict laws about what adjustments one can and can’t do to homes, and after a while (they will start) looking worn down,” said Jawitz Properties chief executive Herschel Jawitz.

This could see the Bo-Kaap begin to fall apart, thereby limiting growth.

“You have to make sure that the area does not get left behind, especially in Cape Town where we have property valuation increasing frequently,” he said.

Today is the start of the Bo-Kaap public participation process to include the area in a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ). Comments should be submitted by February 22.

The City’s Bo-Kaap proposal was aimed at conserving the suburb’s unique historical character and way of life by managing development in a sustainable and considered manner.

RealNet managing director Gerhard Kotzé said: “The fact that changes to all properties in a heritage area are strictly controlled creates a shared pride that encourages co-operation when it comes to neighbourhood revitalisation, security and even promotion as an economically profitable tourist attraction, which is especially relevant in Cape Town with its huge number of tourists every year.”

Last month, the City’s mayoral committee resolved to support the designation of the Bo-Kaap as an HPOZ.

But Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association vice-chairperson Fouzia Achmat said: “My biggest concern is that developers could also have a say in this, which is disappointing because we wanted it to be a public meeting.”.

The guideline document will be available from today at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus