The Western Cape’s historic buildings are of vital importance in the narrative of the local area and the broader national history, and they support the community identity and develop a shared sense of place. Maintaining historically significant buildings also boosts tourism and creates job opportunities.
Yet despite this many of our historic buildings are at risk of destruction by development or are falling into disrepair, threatening the very character of the neighbourhoods that they are such an integral part of. There are also other social and environmental factors that can lead to destruction of historic buildings such as crime or flooding.
As an organisation the CIfA seeks to ensure that the architectural heritage of the province is cared for, so that it can be appreciated for generations to come.
Heritage is, or should be, the subject of active public debate and discussion. Active public and professional discussion about heritage – by individuals, groups, communities, and nations – is a crucial aspect of public life in our multicultural society.
The Institute is an important contributor to that debate. If we are to see heritage as a significant part of our present context and to support the future, then it is important that our voices and comments stimulate the necessary debate that will ensure excellence in our built environment.
As an Institute it is vital that we consider the role that heritage should play as an influence in appropriate new development. With this objective, the Institute meets with role players at national, provincial and local level and gives comment, when requested, on new developments in historically sensitive areas.