09/14/2018 - 00:00

The Egoli Heritage Foundation (EHF) calls on the heritage community of the greater Johannesburg to submit nominations for the 2018 Colosseum Award and the EHF Gold Certificate award. Nominations are open to the public. 

The Colosseum Award recognises outstanding contributions towards the conservation of heritage in the City of Johannesburg and satellite conurbations, either through:

  • Conservation, commemoration or adaptive reuse projects completed by the public or private sector or through public-private partnerships, or
  • Campaigns or other efforts by individuals, lobbyists, activists and conservationists to rescue endangered heritage buildings, objects or sites.

The EHF Gold Certificate will be awarded to individuals and/or collectives that the EHF deems to be an outstanding achievement or contribution in the heritage field with a proven and sustained programme over an extended period.

About the awards

One of Johannesburg’s great iconic and much loved Art Deco theatres, the Colosseum was demolished in 1985 despite vociferous opposition from heritage activists.  The destruction of the Colosseum has become symbolic of the apathy – by government, business and public – towards the city’s built heritage despite the valiant, but ultimately futile, battle to save this landmark building.


Save the Colosseum Poster (Franco Frescura)


The battle to save the Colosseum was lost but the war to save heritage has endured. The Colosseum Award was established by activist Herbert Prins. He led efforts to save the iconic cinema. As part of initiatives to conserve the cultural heritage of Johannesburg the award commemorates the events that had led to its untimely demise.

The campaign to save the structure was characterised by acrimony on the part of the owners of the property, the Prudential Assurance Company, and Prins claimed that he was defamed in the course of the controversy surrounding it.  Accordingly, he threatened court action.  However, before the matter could be heard, the Prudential Assurance Company made an offer to settle, which was accepted.


Herbert Prins (The Heritage Portal)


Edwin Cameron, now a judge of the Constitutional Court, was the pro-bono advocate for the plaintiff. It was agreed that the money paid by the respondent would be used to establish the Colosseum Award.

A floating trophy was created by celebrated artist Cecil Skotnes (1926-2009) and due to the generosity of the artist, the amount paid for the artwork was the nominal amount offered by the Prudential Assurance Company.

The first winner of the Award was Billiton for the conservation of their headquarters in the Inner City and Northwards, the Albu house in Parktown.

The iconic Colosseum Award designed by Cecil Skotnes


Model of Billiton Headquarters


Northwards (The Heritage Portal)


Justice Cameron was the keynote speaker and officiated at the first award ceremony. Then the Colosseum Award was offered to the City of Johannesburg.  They instituted a heritage conservation award which was called the ‘Colosseum - Halala Award’.  The last recipient award of the now defunct Halala Award, was Yael Horowitz in 2012, in recognition of her work on the Shandukani Clinic in Hillbrow.  Other awards were made to the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Salisbury House in Belgravia and the NUMSA building in Newtown.


Shandukani (Henry Paine & Partners)


After more than five years, the auspices under which the award is given has returned.  It will now be known as the Egoli Colosseum Award.

Awards and Frequency

  1. Both the Egoli Colosseum and the Egoli Gold Certificate Award may be awarded on an annual basis should the Jury deem that there is a worthy recipient.  The number of awards may be varied by Jury after consultation with the EHF Committee.
  2. A Jury will be nominated by the Egoli Heritage Foundation Committee who will evaluate nominations and determine winners for both the Colosseum Award and the Gold Certificate Award;
  3. The winner of the Colosseum Award will be awarded a certificate and will retain the floating trophy for only a year;



  1. The awards will recognise efforts directly aimed at heritage conservation within the municipal boundaries of Johannesburg and if the EHF so decides, the Johannesburg conurbation.
  2. The Colosseum Award motivations for adaptive reuse or commemoration projects, inter alia, shall be eligible for consideration in the following categories:
    1. Residential, commercial, institutional, industrial (including mining) and religious buildings or structures;
    2. Public monuments and memorials;
    3. Historic settlements;
    4. Parks, gardens and trees;
    5. Vernacular architecture;
    6. Sites of conflict and sites associated with the liberation struggle;
    7. Archaeological and geological heritage.
    8. Tangible aspects of inherited culture including the holistic approach to nature, society and social relationships.
  3. For the Colosseum Award the nominations for awards will also be welcomed from those who share an interest in the cultural significance of Johannesburg. These may include: 
    1. those aimed at the conservation or protection of specific endangered heritage buildings, objects or sites.
    2. a campaign that may not necessarily have resulted in positive outcomes for the sites nominated, but should demonstrate committed activism, public awareness, impact, innovation or sheer determination.
  4. Buildings or places need not be graded heritage sites.
  5. There is no age stipulation for buildings with a new use. 
  6. For the EHF Gold Certificate, awards will be made to individuals or a collective for outstanding achievements in any of the following fields:
    1. The conservation, commemoration, restoration of heritage buildings, objects and sites;
    2. The furthering of knowledge in the field of heritage studies and conservation;
    3. The education of the public and the creation of public awareness of heritage matters, including in written or visual form;
    4. The furthering of all aspects of the city’s cultural heritage, collectively or individually;
    5. Archaeology and paleontology; 
    6. Journalism directed to the heritage resources of Johannesburg.

Entries that have been previously submitted will not be eligible unless it can be shown that a previous submission has resulted in beneficial or significant results that were not drawn to the attention of the earlier jury.

Who is Permitted to Submit Nominations?
Entries can be submitted by a member of the public; property owner/developer or representatives. This may include, inter alia, activists involved in saving threatened heritage resources; provided that they:

  1. Shall give the EHF the rights to use, display or communicate all materials and particulars of the successful schemes/ campaigns, without charge;
  2. The EHF will not be responsible for any costs related to the nomination;
  3. One or more entries may be submitted by the same individual or entity.


  1. All submissions shall be made on the prescribed entry form electronically;
  2. In the case of conservation, commemoration or adaptive reuse projects, submissions must include a letter from the owner giving consent to the nomination and the conditions of entry;
  3. Entrants may include in their submission any materials that will support their nomination. This may include a history, plans, drawings, photographs, articles, videos, letters of support etc. 
  4. The Jury may request further details if required.

For more information about the awards contact Jacques Stoltz at 083 455 9688 or jacques@placematters.co.za  

The deadline for nominations is the 14th of September 2018

The links to the nomination forms are:

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 14:45

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Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.