Activists in the Bo-Kaap have long called for the area to be designated as a heritage protection overlay zone, and Wagner said the mayoral committee had decided “to initiate the process to provide the Bo-Kaap with the heritage protection that it deserves”.
He added: “The Bo-Kaap is one of our most iconic areas, with its rich history and unique architecture. Many Bo-Kaap families have been living there for generations, and have contributed significantly to our cultural heritage.
“The city recognises that this heritage should be protected. It is regrettable that this matter has been delayed for so long since councillor Dave Bryant first proposed a heritage protection overlay zone for the Bo-Kaap in 2013.”
Wagner said a public participation process had begun and the heritage zone was advertised in late 2015, before the process was halted in 2016.
“Due to the period of time that has passed, officials from the city’s heritage management department have advised that a new round of public participation will need to take place. We want to ensure that we follow due process and that we do not cut corners in dealing with this very serious matter.”
Wagner said heritage status would not prevent development in the Bo-Kaap.
“The zone requires the city to consider… the impact on heritage significance where alternations, consolidations, demolitions or new developments are proposed on properties that fall within the zone,” he said.
“A heritage protection overlay zone therefore ensures that where there is development it is sensitive to the area’s architecture, community, and history.”