The history of South Africa's Heritage Day

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Get out the braais and delicious boerewors to celebrate our wonderful colorful Rainbow Nation. Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated annually on 24 September, on this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people, it is an important nation-building tool and an especially exciting way of reaching out to young South Africans, to encourage national pride.

South Africa has a population of approximately 55 million people comprising of diverse culture, religion, origin, and languages. South Africa has been famously referred to as the rainbow nation because it is made up of so many diverse cultures and religions.  This culture is one of the most diverse in the world, the country boasts of an impressive eleven official languages and other several recognized languages, with each of the group having its own vibrancy and culture.

Top 10 Heritage sites in South Africa:

1. Robben Island

2. Vredefort Dome, Free State

3. uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, KwaZulu-Natal

4. Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

5. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Limpopo

6. iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Kwa-Zulu Natal

7. The Castle of Good Hope, Western Cape

8. Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga

9. Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha, Eastern Cape

10. Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Northern Cape

Heritage property ownership in South AfricaThere's nothing quite like the romance, charm and grace of a heritage property, but many people are wary of buying into the historic market for a variety of reasons. For some, it's the expectation of high prices and excessive maintenance that puts them off; for others, it's the seemingly endless rules and regulations governing their preservation and care

There are a lot of benefits to owning a heritage property. Some of them are intangible - the pride and prestige that comes from owning something truly one-of-a-kind; of living in and taking care of a real piece of our country's past - and some of them are actually quite down-to-earth and practical. Their rooms tend to be more spacious and elegantly proportioned than their modern counterparts, and their high ceilings and architectural detailing are often complemented by luxury finishes like hardwoods and exotic marble.

It's these factors," that influence the desirability - and therefore the price - of heritage homes. Of course, not all heritage properties are grand manor houses previously owned by the colonial elite, and South Africa is dotted with suburbs boasting collections of characterful - but comparatively affordable - historic homes in various vernacular styles. When buying into one of these suburbs, it's important to be aware of the heritage status of the whole area, as well as the status of your own home, especially if you intend to do maintenance works or any kind of renovation.

Heritage properties are protected by law at national, provincial and local levels, and you'll need to check with your municipality to get the specific details applicable to your exact property. Broadly speaking, however, there are three tiers of rules that apply to anyone who owns a heritage property, or a property in a heritage area.

Tier One is a Heritage Overlay Zone, usually found in historic suburbs like Chelsea Village in Cape Town. It protects the unique character and style of an area as a whole, and affects all the properties in the zone. Tier Two is specific to individual properties and applies to any building older than 60 years or of particular architectural value, and Tier Three applies only to buildings officially classified as National Monuments or Provincial Heritage Sites.

If your property falls into any of these tiers, you'll need to get approval for any building work you plan to do. The higher the tier, the more stringent the rules, but that doesn't mean you'll necessarily have to bend over backwards to put a new coat of paint on your home. The entire purpose of the heritage regulations is to preserve buildings of historic importance for future generations. For further information on herigate real estate laws contact 

Author: Live Real Estate

Submitted 24 Sep 19 / Views 288