An eight-decade-year old neighbourhood heirloom hangs in the balance in Sea Point. The building, located at 6 Kloof Road, is by law a heritage site, but a developer is allegedly bulldozing through citizens’ please to preserve what’s been described as one of the most iconic civic spaces in the area. The battle has been ongoing since 2021, but now, locals are calling for support.
According to the National Heritage Resources Act, all buildings in South Africa that are over 60 years old are deemed to be of potential heritage significance, unless proved otherwise. If a community values these sites, they have every right to fight for their preservation. And community group — Cape Town Heritage Foundation — is doing just that.
Due to the building’s age, the developer had to apply for a permit to make any moves. In this case, the permit was approved by Heritage Western Cape (the department responsible for protecting Western Cape’s built heritage). The developer intends on erecting a skyscraper.
A member from the Cape Town Heritage Foundation reportedly approached the HWC Appeals Committee. The outcome was that “conditions” would be added to the demolition permit, including limiting the building height to four stories. However, agreeing with community group, the City’s Environmental and Heritage Department confirmed the building’s historical significance and argued against the demolition.
Following the appeal by the Cape Town Heritage Foundation, the developer then appealed to have the building conditions revoked entirely. A tribunal, including three experts, has been appointed.
Members of the Cape Town Heritage Foundation are asking residents and the public for donations to fund its opposition, which requires heritage specialists and a legal team.
“These photographs clearly contradict the appellant’s argument that this part of Sea Point does not constitute a heritage resource. This area retains a number of heritage buildings that must be preserved as they are the only survivors in an ever changing urban landscape. We insist that all our neighbourhoods retain a link to the past. Help us and SFB to resist insensitive developments,” one member said.
SFB is the residents and ratepayers association group for Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay. They represent views of residents in these areas and they object/approve for proposed developments working with other organisations such as the CT Heritage Foundation.
Picture: Ian Pretorius / Facebook