Die Braak | International study illustrates potential

13 September 2012

Focusing on Die Braak and the adjacent Rhenish complex, Virgini Ryckeboer and Cyril Carton investigated South Africa’s heritage legislation and the implementation thereof. Their aim was to put forward guidelines for drawing up lasting planning legislation to conserve and protect the local heritage.

Going back to the heritage legislation of 1999, the researchers question the lack of a workable framework for the preservation of cultural heritage. Apart from shortages in the legislation, they also found the absence of any training in the field of restoration and care of monuments a severe problem. At the moment the maintenance of old buildings are left to the owners, while the real conservation falls behind.

While a lack of funding is often sited as the reason surrounding conservation, the study found that ample moneys are available for big building projects and the further development of wine tourism. What is more, the researchers are of the opinion that Stellenbosch – as stopover for tourists of different backgrounds – has not reached its full potential by far. Relooking the urban layout and planning – and ensuring that it is geared for future developments – is central to their study. In this regard, Die Braak and the Rhenish complex are both under utilised, unsafe and deserted.

By relooking the role of culturally important places in Stellenbosch, the researchers hope to create a catalyst for further development and conservation. The outcome is potentially positive on a micro-level for the use of the areas associated with Die Braak and the Rhenish complex while, at a macro-level, it can be the start of the development and implementation of a long-term planning framework. The important location of the areas under discussion – very central to Stellenbosch’s CBD – also asks for a reassessment of the importance and value of the town’s historical centre.

While Carton and Ryckeboer eventually make suggestions for alternative landscaping for Die Braak and the Rhenish complex, they are very frank that it is mere ideas. The real solution will be found once a study is undertaken to evaluate the importance and use of the mentioned areas. Their goal is to get that process underway.

The study, completed at the Artesis Hogeschool in Antwerp, Belgium, had the full cooperation of the local municipality and the Stellenbosch Heritage Society.

Click on the links below to view the complete study, Het erfgoedbeleid van Stellenbosch. Het opstellen van ondersteunende richtlijnen om tot een duurzame planning van de stad en haar erfgoed te komen. Die Braak en het Rijnse Complex als katalysator.

Het erfgoedbeleid van Stellenbosch. Het opstellen van ondersteunende richtlijnen om tot een duurzame planning van de stad en haar erfgoed te komen. Die Braak en het Rijnse Complex als katalysator_PART_1

Het erfgoedbeleid van Stellenbosch. Het opstellen van ondersteunende richtlijnen om tot een duurzame planning van de stad en haar erfgoed te komen. Die Braak en het Rijnse Complex als katalysator_PART_2

Bijlagen

Afbeeldingenlijst

Report Active workshop and presentation at Municipality

Results survey

Bauhaus architecture

 

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