Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - The Bo-Kaap would not be spared development, even if it is included in a heritage protection overlay zone.

That’s the word from mayor Dan Plato after a meeting of his mayoral committee decided that a new round of public participation would be done to declare the zone.

The zone would, however, ensure that development is “sensitive to the area’s architecture, community and history”.

Plato said the city recognised that the heritage of Bo-Kaap should be protected and the recommendation would be discussed at a meeting on Thursday.

“It is important to note that an HPOZ does not prevent development from taking place,” he said.

Residents of Bo-Kaap have been at loggerheads with the city and developers who they accused of destroying their heritage.

Last month there were violent scenes when police tear-gassed and arrested residents who protested a development in Lion Street.

Last Thursday, residents opened a case of conspiracy to commit fraud and theft against the city relating to the sale of land to Blok.

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association said it met the mayor after his announcement of a new round of public participation.

“The documents as compiled before will be used for comment and after the 30 days of public participation hopefully the HPOZ will be accepted and implemented, according to the timeline given by the mayor,” said secretary of Bo-Kaap Civic, Jacky Poking.

The zone was first proposed in 2013 by then-ward councillor Dave Bryant.

According to a motion to sub-council 16 in June this year, the zone was completed and ready to go in 2016 “but for reasons unknown, the HPOZ was never signed off by the mayor”. This is a reference to former mayor Patricia de Lille.

“During the recent protests in the Bo-Kaap the mystery around why the Bo-Kaap HPOZ has still not been implemented again came to light,” the motion read. The motion is signed by Bryant and ward councillor Brandon Golding.

Poking said an online petition asking for the zone had 3500 signatures. She said residents are frustrated by the slow pace of progress and expressed hope that Plato would honour his word.

“The developers cannot just build according to the zoning of the land that they have bought. They would need to apply to build within an HPOZ area,” said Poking.

She said the civic would meet with residents to give feedback on their meeting with the mayor.

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