The inclusion of the Bo-Kaap area in a heritage protection overlay zone (HPOZ) was published in the Western Cape Provincial Gazette on Friday, 12 April 2019.
The City of Cape Town announced on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, that the land units and public streets in the Bo-Kaap area have now been included in the HPOZ, thus granting them heritage protection. The City Council approved the inclusion of the Bo-Kaap in the HPOZ on 28 March 2019 and it was gazetted on 12 April 2019. The Bo-Kaap is the earliest established Muslim Community in South Africa and Cape Town’s oldest surviving residential neighbourhood, boasting well-presented and coherent streetscapes.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, said that this development meant that applications for properties within the area would be critically assessed. She also explained what power the HPOZ held.
“From now on development applications for properties within the Bo-Kaap will be assessed more critically with an additional focus on the impact that the development proposal will have on the heritage value of the building and site and on the area. This is to prevent inappropriate development and alterations within the Bo-Kaap and also to provide clarity to property owners as to what is allowed and desirable.
“The HPOZ also allows the City to impose conditions to the approval to ensure that the heritage value of the building or site is protected or enhanced. The City may also require the applicant to amend the plans,” she said.
The HPOZ for the Bo-Kaap extends to the Table Mountain National Park and includes the northern green verges to the north west of Strand Street. It also includes Buitengracht, between the intersections with Carisbrook and Strand Street.
“From now on we’ll be able to conserve the unique historical landscape and heritage places in the Bo-Kaap by managing development in a sustainable and considered manner. It also allows us to protect the Bo-Kaap’s long-term sustainability as a cultural asset for future generations and visitors,” said Nieuwoudt.
The objectives of the HPOZ also include the promotion and protection of public open spaces and pedestrian movement and the promotion of the cultural traditions and living heritage of the Bo-Kaap people.
The City has confirmed that applications that were accepted before 12 April 2019 will be processed and considered in terms of the legislation at the time of acceptance.