South Africa: Bo-Kaap Must Have Heritage Status, Say Residents of the Country's Oldest Muslim Settlement


Bo-Kaap, the oldest Muslim community in the country, has faced issues about gentrification as building developments clash with the area's traditional history. Residents have consistently called for the area to be given heritage status. At a public hearing in Cape Town at the weekend, residents warned again that the area on the slopes of Signal Hill needed to have heritage protection status or its rich cultural history could be wiped out.

Bo-Kaap must have heritage status -- in a sustainable way that benefits the community -- said residents of the oldest Muslim settlement in the country. The residents spoke at a public hearing on Saturday 9 February as part of the City of Cape Town's public participation process for a planned Heritage Protection Overlay Zone.

"Gentrification and the loss of community -- these are the results of not having heritage protection," said Bo-Kaap resident Jacky Poking, secretary of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association.

Jackie Poking, Secretary of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, speaks in favour of Bo-Kaap receiving heritage protection status at the public hearings held on 09 February 2019. Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim

Poking spoke on behalf of the association on Saturday afternoon at the Civic Centre...

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