Guidelines for heritage applications
Owners, architects, heritage consultants or other applicants usually apply for approval for new developments or alterations or rezoning within the ambit of two acts, the National Heritage Resources Act and the Municipal Systems Act.
Local government and heritage laws in South Africa require specific proposals or public participation processes for new developments of a certain size; for alterations to heritage sites; for the demolition of heritage structures, and for re-zoning. The National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act no 25 of 1999), aims to conserve, protect and manage the cultural landscape. The Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act no 32 of 2000), regulate local government management and decisions and provides for local authorities to manage local heritage resources. Both Acts encourages community involvement to nurture their legacy.
In Stellenbosch the relevant authorities for enacting these laws are the Stellenbosch Municipality, for planning, zoning, building other matters, and Heritage Western Cape, for heritage matters.
All buildings with a heritage grading as well as any structure older than sixty years require heritage approval for alterations or demolition.
Apart from the normal approval of building plans and confirmation of zone conditions, there is an additional local government process for buildings in the historic centre of Stellenbosch. New plans in this area need to be approved also by the Planning and Advisory Committee.
The Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation is registered as an agent of Heritage Western Cape in Stellenbosch. The Foundation comments on heritage applications to enable the relevant committees at Heritage Western Cape to make informed decisions on heritage matters.
The Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation is also registered with the Stellenbosch Municipality as an interested party and stakeholder, to comment on planning and development matters in Stellenbosch.