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Deciding on demolishing your property or making major renovations

I recently bought a property with an old house on it with the intention of either demolishing or doing major renovations. I have subsequently been advised that I would need to get permission from a governing body to either renovate or demolish. How do I go about obtaining the necessary approval?

The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) is the official governing body over the protection of South Africa’s cultural heritage, which includes properties over 60 years old. Should your option be to demolish, you would have to: 

1. Have a design of the proposed building as well as a site development plan prepared. 

2. Obtain approval from the local Heritage Association as well as the local Resident’s Association (if applicable for your area). 

3. Place an advertisement in the local newspaper and erect a sign on the perimeter wall of the property stating the intent to either renovate or demolish. This sign would have to be on site for a minimum period of 28 working days. 

4. Submit to SAHRA your proposed design, site development plan, confirmation of advertisements together with the standard application document from them. If you are only considering renovations, you would have to have an Architect draw up your proposed design and submit the design with the necessary application forms to SAHRA, who will either give provisional approval or denial. In the case of a denial, they would give recommendations on what could be done in order for the plans to be approved. 

All applications have to be posted to: Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng, Private Bag X 33, JHB, 2000, or faxed to them on (011) 355-2541.Faxed queries/follow-ups are dealt with efficiently.


06 Nov 2018
Author Denese Zaslansky
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