GreenBluePrints_deliormanli_iStock8237273

Melville will be 120 years old this year (2016). There are many buildings which are older than 60 years old in the suburb and to the presence of which and their features Melville owes much of its character. Such buildings are protected by the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999. In terms of the Act 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 Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng (“PHRAG”).

If it is proposed to alter or demolish part or the whole of a structure that is over 60 years old, a PHRAG permit is required and an application for such permit must be submitted to the PHRAG. If plans are required by the City Council in regard to the works they will not be approved unless a permit has been obtained and the plans have been signed off by the Melville Residents’ Association (“MRA”). Furthermore, when applying for a permit to PHRAG, an applicant is required to show evidence of having gauged the opinion of the Melville Residents’ Association in the form of a letter from the MRA.

It is noted that an applicant is obliged to give an opportunity to all interested and affected parties to comment in regard to the proposed works prior to making an application. A notice must be published in a local newspaper and put up on the site.

In terms of the Act, all efforts must be made to prevent the destruction of heritage resources. A structure which is older than 60 years might be culturally significant. “Cultural significance” is defined as “aesthetic, architectural, historical, scientific, social, spiritual, linguistic or technological value or significance.” It is in this context that PHRAG considers whether the structure is worthy of protection.

 

 

The practice of the MRA is to refer such matters to its heritage subcommittee, which consists of one or more suitably qualified persons. As the decision as to whether there are any heritage issues often involves consideration of whether the structure is of significance from a design or architectural point of view, these persons are generally architects or town planners with an understanding of the cultural history of the community.

Any plans to alter or demolish a structure older than 60 years old should be presented to the MRA before they are submitted to PHRAG or the City Council.

  • MRA members pay a fee of R1 000, non-MRA members pay a fee of R2 000.
  • Formal written request needs to be made to the MRA Heritage Portfolio together with
    • Proof of payment,
    • Plans submitted on A0 format
  • MRA Heritage Portfolio will arrange for a site inspection with the owner and/or architect after which they will
  • Submit a proposal to the MRA Committee. The committee will make a decision to issue the letter or not at the next MRA committee meeting (every 2nd Tuesday of the month).

Failure to obtain the relevant permission from PHRAG could result in criminal prosecution.

For further information, please refer to http://www.theheritageportal.co.za or email az.oc.ellivlemevolinull@egatireh-arm