Many Capetonians rejoiced when news came that the Bo-Kaap may become a national heritage site, but the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has said that it may take up to two years for this decision to be finalised and implemented.
Mthetwa previously rallied behind the residents of the Bo-Kaap and promised that the government would ensure the area would become a cultural destination for all to enjoy.
The process of declaring the area a national heritage site will begin at the end of January, and will be marked by public consultations.
The focuses of the public consultations will include the Tana Baru Cemetery and the oldest mosque in South Africa, Alwan Mosque in Dorp Street.
The City of Cape Town’s Mayco supports the process to declare the Bo-Kaap a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ) and recommends that the council approve a public participation process.
The process to declare the area a HPOZ was put on hold as far back as 2016, but ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding requested that the Bo-Kaap be given this status.
Speaking to IOL, Mayco Member for Spatial Planning Marian Niewoudt said the process began last Friday.
“Although the processes complement each other, the City’s process provides the guidelines for building and land use development, while the national government’s process provides specific protection to identified buildings/sites,” she said.