Constantia Ratepayers’ & Residents’ Association: comment to HWC

  Constantia Ratepayers’ & Residents’ Association

Alphen Centre, Constantia Main Road, Constantia.
PO Box 68, Constantia 7848.
tel / fax 021 794 4388  |  email manager@crra.co.za  |  web www.crra.co.za

(Registered as a Ratepayer Association and a Conservation Body)

Conserving Constantia’s rural and cultural landscape for all.

 

20th February 2018

 

Heritage Western Cape

Private Bag X9067

CAPE TOWN 8000

Email: ceoheritage@westerncape.gov.za

Attention : Ms Penelope Meyer

Email: Penelope.Meyer@westerncape.gov.za

 

Dear Sir/Madam

DRAFT REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE CONSULTATION PROCESS FOR LISTING HERITAGE RESOURCES IN THE HERITAGE REGISTER AND FOR THE DESIGNATION OF HERITAGE AREAS

The Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (the CRRA) is registered as a community based organisation (ratepayers’ body) with the City of Cape and is registered as a conservation body with Heritage Western Cape. Our Association represents a large number of property owners in Constantia and has a compelling interest in the conservation of the dominant rural/arcadian character of the Constantia-Tokai Valley.

 

The CRRA welcomes the initiative by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) to promote the management of heritage resources at a local level, particularly to encourage local authorities to make inventories of their heritage resources and declare heritage areas in terms of Sections 30 and 31 of the National Heritage Resources Act, Act 25 of 1999 (the NHRA).

The CRRA has considered the draft regulations relating to the consultation process for listing heritage resources in the heritage register and for the designation of heritage areas.  Representatives of the CRRA attended HWC’s workshop on 13 February 2018 when the draft regulations were discussed and commented on.

As the proposed regulations will have implications for conservation bodies, the CRRA would urge that HWC consider particularly the following comments relating to the draft regulations.

Section 2 of the draft regulations: Publication of notice concerning listing of heritage resources in heritage register

  1. The CRRA is concerned about the process whereby HWC compiles and publishes for inspection and comment a list of heritage resources that are proposed for inclusion in the heritage register of the Province without the prior participation of and consultation with conservation bodies and the local authority. The CRRA as a conservation body is best placed to provide HWC with a list of heritage resources that should be included in the heritage register of the Province. It has a comprehensive record of all the heritage resources in the area which is covered by its conservation mandate, namely the whole of the Constantia-Tokai Valley.  Furthermore, the CRRA has extensively engaged with the local authority which has participated in the compilation of inventories of the heritage resources.  It would be unreasonable and/or irrational for HWC to proceed with the compilation of a list of heritage resources in the area of this association’s conservation mandate and the publication of a notice listing heritage resources identified by HWC for inclusion in the heritage register without full and proper prior consultation with the CRRA.  The top down approach as set forth in the draft regulations is concerning particularly given the provisions of Section 8 which we comment on further in paragraph 4 below.

 

 

Section 3 of the draft regulations: Publication of notice concerning designation of heritage area

  1. The CRRA’s comments in 1 above equally apply here. HWC should not under any circumstances draft a proposal to designate a heritage area and inform the public of the availability for inspection of its proposal to designate a heritage area without full prior consultation with conservation bodies and/or the local authority.  The CRRA as a conservation body is best placed to provide HWC with all the necessary informants that have to be taken into consideration before HWC can draft a proper proposal to designate a heritage area.  The CRRA has a comprehensive record of the whole area that falls within its abovementioned conservation mandate.  Furthermore, local authorities should also be consulted and engaged with before the designation of a heritage area by HWC.  As we have said, the top down approach as set forth in the draft regulations is particularly concerning given the provisions of Section 8 which we comment on further in paragraph 4 herein below.

 

Section 6: Consideration of comments

  1. This section should make provision for HWC to make available all comments, representations and objections before HWC includes or excludes a heritage resource from a heritage register and publishes to this effect.

 

Section 8: Appeal

  1. This section, if promulgated as such, will be unconstitutional. The effect of this section, read together with Sections 2 and 3, will have the effect that HWC can exclude a heritage resource and there will be no possibility of an appeal by any person or conservation body.   Section 8(1)(a)  has to be amended to read as follows:

 

8.1(a)          the inclusion or the exclusion of a heritage resource in the heritage register as contemplated in regulation 7(1); “

 

In conclusion, Section 24 of the Constitution is particularly relevant here. It is the right of the public and that of conservation bodies to have their cultural heritage protected.  Any regulation promulgated by HWC should not take away or militate against that right.   The CRRA trusts that HWC will maintain public trust and ensure that our comments are given careful consideration.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

John Hesom (manager)

for Executive Committee

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