Old dame’s facelift nearing completion
BY THE end of next month the repair and redecoration of the iconic Cape Town City Hall’s roof will be complete, says painting, waterproofing and construction company Indawo.
The company, which has been commissioned to repair and restore many of Cape Town’s heritage sites, said it had replaced the roof and upgraded various roofing elements at the heritage site.
Managing director Geoffrey Jäck says the project started late last September when leaks were identified on the roof as old tiles had deteriorated reaching the end of their lifespan, and “this necessitated the replacement of the roof ”.
“Various other roof elements needed repairs or replacement and these were addressed,” he says.
The project meant there had to be a focus on the safety of visitors to the site and passers-by.
“Removing old roofing material is dangerous and specialised equipment had to be used to bring old material to ground level for disposal.” Jäck says heritage buildings demand extra care when undergoing repairs.
“Many still have the original stone, making it crucial to pay attention to detail. Most heritage sites are also more than a century old and restoring them to their original aesthetic appeal can be challenging.
“The detail that needs to be preserved is critical to the success of the project. Some areas require delicate touch-ups to ensure the original aesthetics remain the same and, importantly, the original architectural design must remain intact.
“To ensure our heritage buildings are properly maintained, specific skills are required by the contractor and these can be gained only from years of experience.”
Jäck says: “Working at heights on top of a heritage site as we have done with the City Hall means taking extra precautions not to damage the existing structure.
“Understanding the importance of maintaining the integrity of the structure is required. We need to pay attention to the delicate architectural finishes, which have become fragile after years of endur- ing a harsh Western Cape climate.”
Jäck says maintenance is vital in “ensuring the continuous preservation of our infrastructure to drive an upward trend in the country’s fixed property values and is a fundamental part of Cape Town’s maintenance strategy and something the city takes seriously”.
An aerial view of Cape Town City Hall’s roof being carefully renovated.