Our April 2019 Newsletter

Dear Members,

We are well into the second quarter of the year and members of our various committees are being kept extremely busy with the many programmes and initiatives planned for the year, as well as the very important ongoing work the Institute performs on behalf of our membership. Your support is invaluable and we aim to keep you as informed as possible of our progress through the year.


CIfA met again with the Moravian Church, Heritage Western Cape and the Rupert Foundation team on Tuesday 26 March around required processes and approvals from the Church. The Church has accepted that CIfA should manage heritage assessments and submissions for the houses in the light of a number of academic institutions wanting to include Wupperthal in their course work. The Church and HWC have suggested that these institutions be brought on board and resources shared, which the Institute will undertake. The Institute has also had offers of assistance from the Association of Professional Heritage Practitioners who will advise on availability of their members to assist with the assessments.

At the time of the Church meeting, CIfA were told that a group of foreign post graduate students had been undertaking surveys, interviewing home owners and making proposals at Wupperthal. The resultant work has been offered for sharing with CIfA by their academic body.

Structural assessments have been completed for Human Settlements, and CIfA have asked for a copy to assist with the heritage assessments. A response is still awaited from them. The donated drone survey of the houses is still to be undertaken. The surveyors are awaiting confirmation of the boundaries of an earlier survey by the Rupert Foundation so that the two do not unnecessarily overlap.

It has been CIfA’s aim to have good documentation before proceeding to Wupperthal to interact with the community, undertake the heritage surveys, and ultimately the heritage submissions to Heritage Western Cape. Frustratingly, the collation period has taken much longer than anticipated and will hopefully be completed soon with the completion of the drone survey.


On 16 April a delegation from CIfA together with representatives of SAIA, UDISA, SAPOA, WCPDF and SACAP met with members of the Mayoral Committee. The Mayor was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances but present were Alderman Marrianne Niewoudt, Alderman Felicity Purchase, Alderman J.P. Smith, Alderman James Vos and Councillor Grant Twigg.

Following from our previous two presentations expressing our concerns regarding a lack of clear vision from the City with regards to new development as well as serious concerns with the incredible inefficiencies in their dealing with land use and building plan approval processes, the City presented us with feedback. The feedback pertained to two issues:

The first being measurable built environment delivery, the second relates to a vision for the kind of City that will benefit all of the residents of Cape Town. Such a vision would bring focus and ensure that the deliverables appropriate to this vision are effectively monitored and implemented. The City outlined the following steps being implemented.

  1. The formation of an economic and spatial advisory committee comprising private sector development industry experts reporting to the council through the Mayor. It was anticipated that this group could be formed by as soon as September.
  2. The City advised that every effort is being made to fill vacant posts in the City’s planning directorate.
  3. Investigating innovative ways of tracking applications that optimise the use of existing staff resources.
  4. Migrating the submission and processing of all applications to a digital platform so as to enable any planner in any district to deal with any application from any district.

In addition the City is embarking on the amendment of its district spatial plans and its new municipal planning by-laws in order to ensure an improved policy and legislative environment assisting in decision making and the fast tracking of appropriate development applications.

The City has also embarked on the creation of three dimensional models of the City in order to assist with the articulation of the current two dimensional spatial development framework which can be easily and readily understood by everyone.

A joint press release is being prepared outlining these and other intended initiatives.


A comprehensive matrix of all CIfA practice notes and their matching City of Cape Town standard operating procedures is being formatted for circulation and will be available to our members shortly.


There has been an encouraging take up of our offer to newly graduated candidate architects and technologists to become members at a greatly reduced fee for their first year and we welcome 15 new members. Our current membership could assist us greatly by communicating this offer to candidate architects who are working in their practices. Please have them contact Soraya to find out more.


On the 4th April 2019, the first Ignite Event was hosted at CIfA. It was held as part of April’s First Thursday evening, and we welcomed hundreds of people into CIfA to see an exhibition of excellent work by some of 2018’s Masters Students from UCT.







The programme showcased various exciting initiatives that are working towards transformation and gender equality in the built environment industry. This included the Women’s Property Network, CIfA, the W.H.Y Project, ArchiFemme, Matri-Archi and Exemplar.

We were also address by our guest speaker, Karuni Naidoo from Durban, who spoke to us about the work she has been doing for many years around these issues. She shared valuable insights through her work that WiAsa has been doing in KZN and nationally.

It was such a successful evening and we are excited about the possibilities that this catalytic event has ignited, as a group of interested individuals doing work around gender equality in the Built environment industry.


Tenders were received for the refurbishment and adjudicated. The chosen contractor is compiling a materials list for distribution to our sponsors who have kindly agreed to supply the materials required. We look forward to commencing with this work in the coming weeks.


The gallery programme is full until early next year. We can look forward to exhibitions by UCT, Julian Cooke, female practitioners and young practitioners among others in the coming months, as well as our biannual awards. The architect pop up gallery remains an integral part of the First Thursday route and it continues to draw large crowds of people. A huge cross section of the Cape Town public is drawn to our gallery by this event affording us excellent exposure for our profession. There are, as usual a host of CPD related presentations taking place and we urge you to check the website for upcoming events.