Pink Buildings Saga

Over the weekend members of The Heritage Portal team took a stroll through the Johannesburg CBD and paused outside some of the heritage buildings that were painted pink between June and August 2014. The campaign, run by a team of foreign and local artists, aimed to highlight the neglect of inner city buildings in the context of an affordable housing crisis and in doing so spark discussion among the citizens of Johannesburg.

The following letter has been sent to us by the Egoli Heritage Foundation (EHF). It is a response to the piece 'Painting the Town Pink' written by the team from Urban Joburg and published on 5 September [it appears as though it has been taken down since]. The letter adds nuance to the recent 'Pink Buildings Debate' and adds important analysis on the crisis facing the heritage sector. The final paragraph is worth repeating up front...

I write on behalf of the Egoli Heritage Foundation to comment on the action of a few demonstrators who, in what appears to be an act of desperation in the face of frustration at what is happening in the city, painted a number of structures deemed to be of cultural significance, bright pink.

We are saddened that the state of our democracy has led to such frustration and this in turn, to the destruction of a part of the nation’s heritage.

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