Beware of alterations to older homes – approval necessary if older than 60 years
Category Architectural Heritage
Although not a style in itself, Sir Herbert Baker is probably South Africa’s best-known architect and, apart from important buildings like the Union Buildings in Pretoria, he also designed many residential homes countrywide.
His career here (1892-1912) has provided the basis for a number of works and ongoing studies both locally and abroad. His career spanned from pre-Anglo-Boer War days into the challenging years of post-war reorganisation and Union.
With the opening of the Union Buildings, he said that appropriate South African architecture lies in the use of local materials, and you will always find them in his homes (often stone and other materials indigenous to the area). Most of the homes he designed were either Cape Dutch or double-storey stone mansions. Baker put the value of cultural heritage in the spotlight and helped to develop a South African style with many academic essays written on his legacy.
Protecting our heritage
To preserve our architectural heritage, the law decrees that no alteration, however small, may be made to a building older than 60 years unless approved by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), which replaced the old National Monuments Council and was established in terms of The National Heritage Resources Act, No. 25 of 1999.
In addition to buildings older than 60 years, the Act also provides for places important in terms of tradition: those associated with an existing heritage, historic settlements, landscapes and natural elements of cultural importance, archaeological and paleontological sites, graves, cemeteries and sites linked to South African slave history.
For ‘younger buildings’ you won’t need to apply for special permission, unless you know that it’s a place that deserves heritage status, such as a house designed by Norman Eaton, Pius Pahl, Stanley Saitowitz or Gawie Fagan, writes Frieda le Roux in her book More Home for Less Money (Tafelberg, 2008).
Always begin by contacting your municipality to find out how to go about obtaining approval for your planned building work. These requirements are largely the same at most local authorities, with some exceptions linked to specific areas. You can obtain an application form to register the status of your home, or to make alterations, at any SAHRA office or your local municipality and fill in the required information.
Did you know? Another influential architect, urban designer and teacher is Roelof Sarel Uytenbogaardt (1933-1998); some of his famous works are the Steinkopf Community Centre (1978) in the Northern Cape, which was published internationally as a leading example of late 20th-century South African architecture. In 1971, Uytenbogaardt was appointed Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town and he became an influential teacher, grounding urban planning in the act of design.
Source - Home Magazine/DAILYFIX