Protection is divided into three tiers
“Heritage properties in South Africa are protected on a national, provincial and local level, and that protection is divided into three tiers” says Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group.
This is a Heritage Overlay Zone which protects the unique style and character of historic neighbourhoods and affects all properties within that zone regardless of their individual heritage status.
This is specific to individual properties and applies to any building older than 60 years or deemed to have particular architectural significance.
This is for national monuments and provincial heritage sites. The rules associated with these tiers vary from area to area, says Clarke, which makes it vital for prospective owners to check with their local heritage authority before making a purchase.
“As a rule of thumb, the higher the heritage tier, the more restrictive the regulations, but owners of properties on any tier will need to apply for approval before undertaking any building work.” This may sound like a recipe for bureaucratic frustration, but it does have its benefits for heritage homeowners.
“Protected properties and neighbourhoods are far more likely to avoid the redevelopment and densification affecting a lot of suburbs these days,” says Clarke.