1. Structures older than 60 years.
Section 34 of the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (25 of 1999) states, “No person may alter or demolish any structure or part of a structure which is older than 60 years without a permit from the relevant provincial heritage resources agency”. In the Western Cape the provincial heritage resources agency is Heritage Western Cape (HWC).


  • Works planned on the cadastral land unit on which the structure older than 60 years is situate, as this may affect the attentive grounds and ultimately, the character of such structure;
  • Land use planning applications and building plans involving a structure(s) older than 60 years should only be considered once a permit has been issued by Heritage Western Cape;
  • Section 7 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act requires that local authorities may not approve building plans that do not comply to “any other applicable law”;
  • Local authorities may only consider applications for demolition of buildings on the grounds of “health and safety” and may not consider “cultural significance”, unless it has been deemed a competent authority in terms of the NHRA;
  • Permit application on prescribed form, should include heritage-related comments from local conservation body(ies);
  • The procedure for this process is annotated through the flow diagram below

GHT Website inputs

2. Development activities
Section 38 of the NHRA states any person who intends to undertake one or more of the following development activities, must at the very earliest stages of initiating such a development, notify the responsible heritage resources authority and furnish it with details regarding the location, nature and extent of the proposed development:

  • Construction of a road, wall, powerline, pipeline, canal or other similar form of linear development or barrier exceeding 300m in length;
  • Construction of a bridge or similar structure exceeding 50m in length;
  • Any development or other activity which will change the character of a site:

– Exceeding 5,000m² in extent,
– Involving three or more existing erven or subdivision thereof,
– Involving three or more erven or divisions thereof, which have been consolidated within the past five years,
– Costs of which will exceed a sum set in terms of regulations by SAHRA or a PHRA

  • The rezoning of a site exceeding 10,000m² in extent;
  • Any other category of development provided for in the regulations by SAHRA or a PHRA.

If the heritage authority is of the view that heritage resources are likely to be affected by the proposed development, a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) will be required. The procedure for a HIA process is annotated through the flow diagram below

GHT Website inputs