A reminder that buildings older than 60 years are protected by the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999. A vast majority of existing Johannesburg buildings are hitting this mark. The process involved in getting plan approval, for alternations and or additions, for any building older than sixty years has to be preceded by an application to the PHRA-G by means of a Section 34 application.
The GIfA heritage committee has members sitting on the various Joint Plans Committees of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF). The JPC’s act on a voluntary basis and meet regularly to consider applications. Some Residents Associations perform the review function themselves, with or without assistance from the JHF, and they would be the first Port-of-Call if you do have one that is functional. We urge our members to reach out to GIfA heritage or the relevant Joint Plans Committees if you are unsure of the process or what is entailed when doing heritage work. We have found from experience that up front engagement and respect for heritage not only mitigates delays but also immensely improves the outcome of the architecture proposed.
For clarity, section 34(1) of the National Heritage Resources Act (No. 25 of 1999) states that 'No person may alter or demolish any structure or part of a structure which is older than 60 years without a permit issued by the relevant provincial heritage resources authority.'
‘Alter’’ means 'any action affecting the structure, appearance or physical properties of a place or object, whether by way of structural or other works, by painting, plastering or other decoration.'
Any person violating sections 28(3) or 34(1) is 'guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or imprisonment or both such fine and imprisonment as set out in item 3 of the Schedule.'
As we are aware that PHRA-G and City Council have slowed down significantly due to the Covid pandemic, we strongly urge our members to clearly lay out the time frames and processes to their clients upfront so that adequate time and planning is given to each project, to avoid further illegal building.
If you need information or assistance with any Heritage related issues, please contact the GIfA office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.