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Bo-Kaap community leader ‘cautiously optimistic’ about area being in HPO Zone

Municipal authorities said the move is to ensure new developments and alterations to existing buildings don't negatively impact the area s heritage.

FILE: Picture: Pixabay.com.

CAPE TOWN - A Bo-Kaap community leader says she's cautiously optimistic about the area being included in a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPO Zone).

On Thursday, the City of Cape Town announced the inclusion of the neighbourhood in the HPO Zone.

Municipal authorities said the move is to ensure new developments and alterations to existing buildings don't negatively impact the area's heritage.

The heritage protection overlay zone will, according to the City of Cape Town, ensure the protection of the historic urban landscape of Bo-Kaap.

Bo-Kaap residents have been campaigning for years for the neighbourhood to be declared a heritage site to prevent the developments of high-rise buildings without community buy-in.

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Rate Payers Association Jacky Poking said it remains to be seen whether the HPOZ would protect the resident’s interests.

Poking said: “We do welcome it; it’s been long in the making. So, we welcome the council’s decision. However, we do urge the mayor to investigate why there was a delay.”

Meanwhile, Blok, a property developer that has been at loggerheads with the community with one of its developments in the area, said it hopes for a sustainable and amicable future development in the area.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)