Much is being said about the Seven Passes Road but the basics of the matter are rather simple and straight-forward:
Part of the historic Seven Passes Road (eleven kilometers) was declared a National Monument several years ago. When the National Monuments Act of 1969 was repealed in 1999, the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 took over the protectionist role of the earlier Act.
Section 27 of the Act of 1999 states unequivocally:
No person may destroy, damage, deface, excavate, alter, remove from its original position, subdivide or change the planning status of any heritage site without a permit issued by the heritage resources authority responsible for the protection of the site.
No such permit was issued before work on the historic section of the road was commenced. In terms of the Act, the work was being done illegally and Heritage Western Cape issued a Stop-work order to stop further illegal work and damage to a historic site.