This is a report back on the current situation relating to the proposed cellular tower for all interested and involved parties (a 25 m high structure situated on the grounds of the NG Kerk which is a Provincial Heritage site completed in 1902). This follows the successful appeal made by De Rust Heritage to Heritage Western Cape on the previous approval incorrectly granted for a cellular tower of 25 m in height plus other equipment situated on Erf 204 belonging to the NG Kerk.
In order to clarify the situation for residents, the current position in terms of the Heritage Resources Act of 1999 Section 38(2)(a) is that any application for the proposed tower now has to follow the following summarized course of action:
A “Heritage Impact Assessment Report” has to be completed by a suitably qualified and registered Heritage Resources practitioner using the following criteria. This has to be paid for directly by the applicant:
- The identification and mapping of all heritage resources in the area affected – this will include all heritage properties in the immediate area - not just the NG Kerk and Hall.
- An assessment of the impact of the proposed development on existing heritage resources, including all heritage properties in the immediate vicinity.
- The results of consultation with interested and effected parties on the effect of the proposed development including other interested parties.
- If heritage resources are to be adversely affected the consideration of suitable alternative solutions or sites.
- Following the submission of the “Heritage Impact Assessment Report” it is then up to Heritage Western Cape to decide whether or not the project may go ahead and if so, what specific conditions would apply.
The above is a condensed summary of the Heritage Resources Act Section 38(2)(a) as contained in the correspondence from Marnus Barnard of De Rust Heritage who is a member of the Greater Oudtshoorn Joint Heritage Permit Committee – see full details on the e-mail on our website www.derustheritage.org.za
Some Conclusions for Consideration
In terms of the above requirements it is now up to the De Rust community – particularly those who are directly interested and affected parties. This particularly applies to property owners in the immediate vicinity of the proposed site. Some suggested actions are as follows:
- Following the appointment of a registered Heritage Practitioner by Heritage Western Cape, that each and every interested and affected party ensures that they provide the required detailed feedback to the consultant involved.
- Providing detailed information for any report to Heritage Western Cape in both written and oral format as well as to De Rust Heritage.
- Ensuring that the appointed Heritage Practitioner provides adequate feedback to the community prior to the submission of any report to Heritage Western Cape.
- Following the submission of any “final report” to Heritage Western Cape that a copy of this is made available to De Rust Heritage for community feedback.
In order to ensure an optimum result for the whole De Rust community, it will be necessary for each and every resident interested in the long-term future of the Village to properly engage in the full process. This should then ensure a successful outcome for all concerned.
Alan Tonkin - De Rust Heritage