Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

Cape Town – All hopes of declaring the Bo-Kaap area a national heritage site soon have been dashed. Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says it can take up to two years for the  process to be finalised.

“The process of the SA Heritage Resources Agency is one that, unlike that of Unesco (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), can take up to two years,” said Mthethwa’s spokesperson, Asanda Magaqa.

Mthethwa has been supporting Bo-Kaap residents, promising in December that the government planned to make the area a “cultural destination for all”.

Public consultations are expected to begin end of January and ones on the second batch of sites will start next month.
Mthethwa said the Tana Baru Cemetery and the first mosque in South Africa, the Alwan Mosque in Dorp Street, along with various other sites, would be the focus of the public consultations starting next month.

The Bo-Kaap Ratepayers’ Association said it had hoped the process would be completed before the end of the year. “However, I think what we should be thankful about is that there is a process,” said association chairperson Osman Shabodien.