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Buying a 60 Year Old? By Dana Van Zyl

This article on Property and the Law is brought to you by
strb Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes Attorneys
The Professionals in Property

Tel: +27 (0)21 521 4000
Fax +27 (0)21 521 4001/2
David Lotz (Director)
Email: davidl@strb.com


Some dream of buying an old pre-war 'fix-me-upper' dwelling and turning it into a dream home.

However, any structure older than 60 years falls within the operation of the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 ("the NHR Act"), which imposes certain procedures to be followed to obtain permission to effect structural changes to the building.

Before a structure of 60 years or older - or any part thereof - is altered or demolished, a permit must be obtained from the relevant provincial heritage resources authority. In the Western Cape Province the relevant authority is Heritage Western Cape.

The NHR Act was created to empower civil society to nurture and conserve their heritage resources, to introduce a system of identification and manage­ment of heritage resources, and to establish the South African Heritage Resources Agency.

Heritage resources of cultural signifi­cance or other special value are consid­ered part of the 'national estate'.

The national estate includes:

  • Places, buildings, structures and equipment of cultural significance;
  • Historical settlements and townscapes;
  • Landscapes and natural features of cultural significance;
  • Geological, archaeological and palaeontological sites;
  • Graves and burial grounds.

Aside from the protection measures afforded to buildings of 60 years or older, identified heritage resources are classified according to certain criteria and afforded further protection measures.

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the age and heritage resource classifica­tion and related restrictions that may apply before putting pen to paper for that charming old cottage.


Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage which may arise from reliance on information contained in this article.© Copyright Buchanan Boyes Attorneys 2006. All Rights reserved.

strb Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes Attorneys
Table View

Tel: +27 (0)21 521 4000
Fax +27 (0)21 521 4001/2
24 Blaauwberg Road, Table View, 7441
PO Box 395, Cape Town, 8001

David Lotz
Email: davidl@strb.com

Sheleigh Kaindl
Email: sheleighk@strb.com

Rogelle Reichert
Public Relations Officer
Email: rogeller@strb.com



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