Members of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association are rallying against a decision that approved a huge building planned to go up in the historic suburb.

The group plans to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on February 21 to challenge the dismissal of this application against what is being called a “Monster Building” in the heart of the Bo-Kaap.

“The Monster Building, as it is known to the people of the Bo-Kaap and to those who support the preservation of our precious built and cultural heritage, is a development proposal by Buitengracht Properties where they hope to build a 60m high, mixed-use building (18 storey) in the historic Bo-Kaap with its fine-grained built fabric that is predominantly one to two storeys high,” said the group in a statement.

Protesters gather to protect the Bo-Kaap.

According to the association the building could lead to more of the same in the Bo-Kaap area, blotting out the skyline and brightness of the Bo-Kaap with more towering structures.

“This proposal has been met with massive resistance from both the people of the Bo-Kaap as well as supporters from around Cape Town and the globe, with more than 1 200 individual objections being logged. We view this case as having a potential domino effect. If allowed to go ahead, it paves the way as a precedent for a wall of 60m high-income developments to be built along Buitengracht Street, effectively cutting off Bo-Kaap from the City, thus reinforcing the buffer zone mentality of apartheid spatial planning,”

Residents say that no proper public participation ever took place and they only heard about the plan for the building after it had already been approved.

“Bo-Kaap is our Home! We say to Buitengracht Developers and the City of Cape Town the same thing we said on the day we stood in front of the BLOK developer’s crane (20 November 2018): “Bo-Kaap is our Home and we will live here until we die, we are not going anywhere! And if it means we have to die today then at least that wish has been fulfilled!”
We thank our loyal supporters for your ongoing support and prayers,” adds the association.

This historical suburb is not only dear to those who live in the area but is also an important part of the Mother City that attracts tourists and owns a special place in Capetonian hearts.

Picture: Pixabay

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