New round of talks for Bo-Kaap

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO - KAREN PRE­TO­RIUS

THE Bo-Kaap would not be spared devel­op­ment, even if it is in­cluded in a her­itage pro­tec­tion over­lay zone.

That’s the word from Mayor Dan Plato af­ter a meeting of his may­oral com­mit­tee de­cided that a new round of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion would be done to de­clare the zone.

The zone would, how­ever, ensure that devel­op­ment is “sen­si­tive to the area’s ar­chi­tec­ture, com­mu­nity and his­tory”.

Plato said the city recog­nised that the her­itage of Bo-Kaap should be pro­tected and the rec­om­men­da­tion would be dis­cussed at a meeting on Thurs­day.

“It is im­por­tant to note that an HPOZ does not pre­vent devel­op­ment from tak­ing place,” he said.

Res­i­dents of Bo-Kaap have been at log­ger­heads with the city and de­vel­op­ers who they ac­cused of de­stroy­ing their her­itage.

Last month there were vi­o­lent scenes when po­lice tear-gassed and ar­rested res­i­dents who protested a devel­op­ment in Lion Street.

Last Thurs­day, res­i­dents opened a case of con­spir­acy to com­mit fraud and theft against the city re­lat­ing to the sale of land to Blok.

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said it met the mayor af­ter his an­nounce­ment of a new round of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“The doc­u­ments as compiled be­fore will be used for com­ment and af­ter the 30 days of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion hope­fully the HPOZ will be ac­cepted and im­ple­mented, ac­cord­ing to the time­line given by the mayor,” said sec­re­tary of Bo-Kaap Civic, Jacky Pok­ing.

The zone was first pro­posed in 2013 by then-ward coun­cil­lor Dave Bryant.

Ac­cord­ing to a mo­tion to sub-coun­cil 16 in June this year, the zone was com­pleted and ready to go in 2016 “but for rea­sons un­known, the HPOZ was never signed off by the mayor”. This is a ref­er­ence to for­mer mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille.

“Dur­ing the re­cent protests in the Bo-Kaap the mys­tery around why the Bo-Kaap HPOZ has still not been im­ple­mented again came to light,” the mo­tion read. The mo­tion is signed by Bryant and ward coun­cil­lor Bran­don Gold­ing.

Pok­ing said an on­line pe­ti­tion ask­ing for the zone had 3500 sig­na­tures. She said res­i­dents are frus­trated by the slow pace of progress and ex­pressed hope that Plato would hon­our his word.

“The de­vel­op­ers can­not just build ac­cord­ing to the zon­ing of the land that they have bought. They would need to ap­ply to build within an HPOZ area,” said Pok­ing.

She said the civic would meet with res­i­dents to give feed­back on their meeting with the mayor.

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