Response by Herbert Prins to High Court’s decision:


Herbert Prins responds to the High Court’s decision in the court case brought by the Constantia Association against the City of Cape Town, where the Judge hearing the case decreed that that Cape Town City Council acted irrationally.

“Perhaps legal action should be instituted in Gauteng where grounds exist for many ‘irrational actions’, particularly by the City of Johannesburg, with respect to the conservation of the heritage resources of the inner city. The Egoli Heritage Foundation has made many protests against the way that heritage resources are abused in Gauteng.

The City of Johannesburg, in particular (but no doubt this applies to other cities in the Province) ignores the National Heritage Resources Act. Flagrant examples of this can be seen in the neglect by the City and by the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority, Gauteng of the Rissik Street Post Office – perhaps the most notable culturally significant building in the Province.

Another example relates to the painting of valuable heritage resources in protest against their neglect by their owners, which neither PHRAG, nor the City, nor the Province did anything about. Egoli Heritage Foundation did not condone the action by the protestors and regarded it as an act of vandalism.

Below is a link relating to the pink building saga on the Heritage Portal:

I draw the attention of HASA associates to an article that appeared in the Mail and Guardian of May 13 – 19, 2016, written by the Sergeant at Arms and headed ‘New South African identity must emerge’ which relates, obliquely, to the fact that we should be taking legal action with regard to the abuse that is taking place in Gauteng, but this is easier said than done.

To quote from the article:

‘From the outset, the conservative nature of South African legal culture, dominated the Constitutional Court’s approach. Whereas other counties sought to develop easy and accessible ways for poor litigants to approach the Court to endorse their constitutional rights, South Africa continued with the previous rigid formalism. For poor litigants (read the majority of the country) except for access to one of the few historic non-governmental organisations, a poor person cannot gain access to the courts…’
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