The final report to declare Bo-Kaap a heritage protection overlay zone (HPOZ) has been completed and will be making its way to the City council. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - The final report to declare Bo-Kaap a heritage protection overlay zone (HPOZ) has been completed and will be making its way to the City council for approval.

“If approved by the City, the inclusion of Bo-Kaap into the HPOZ will need to be published in the Provincial Gazette. The City may (still) receive applications for development in the HPOZ and guidelines have been drafted for adoption by the City for decision makers when considering an application for development in the HPOZ,” said Richard Walton from the City’s Spatial Planning and Environment Department.

Crucially the report highlighted the threats that could be implicated if the HPOZ goes ahead. “Over and above the generic threats to heritage buildings with regards to lack of, or inappropriate maintenance and repair, the Bo-Kaap, owing to its proximity to the CBD, faces increased pressure from developers looking at large scale developments. The challenge of implementing good heritage management in conjunction with sustainable development is one which is faced across the Cape Town metro and beyond.”

It added that the incursion of large business and office blocks into the Bo-Kaap had a negative impact on the way visitors and residents experience the area.

The City received over 2 000 comments about the proposal to include the Bo-Kaap area in a HPOZ.

Talks to have Bo-Kaap declared a heritage site escalated last year after residents took part in protests and barred developers from entering the area. At the heart of the matter is the issue surrounding housing as developers buy up property in order to redesign the Bo-Kaap into a trendy urban area.

In 2016, the process was halted and the HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap was put on hold indefinitely. In early 2018, Ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding submitted another motion to sub-council 16 requesting that the HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap be implemented with immediate effect and that reasons be given for the delay.

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association said: “Our supporters submitted their letters via our online portal hand deliveries, emails and our heritage online campaign. This could not have happened without the commitment of our ratepayers association and community volunteers.

“We would like to convey our gratitude to all who pledged their support and help preserve our land and rich Bo-Kaap heritage.”

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Cape Argus