Municipal Instruments in Law for Cultural Heritage Protection: A Case Study of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality




Cultural heritage, local government, urban law, resources, by-laws, integrated development plans, spatial development frameworks, planning law, City of Cape Town, South Africa


This article questions the extent to which municipal bylaws aimed at cultural heritage resource management (CHRM) reflect the objectives of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution), national legislation and the discourse on cultural governance more broadly. In terms of Schedule 4A of the Constitution, the function of "cultural matters" is not an original power of local government.  It is a function assigned to the national and provincial spheres. Municipalities are assumed, however, to have a responsibility to execute aspects of this function that may be incidental to other typical local government functions. This view finds support in the interpretation of various rights in the Constitution (e.g. sections 15, 30, 31 and 24) as well as the heritage, environmental and local government framework legislation and policy documents of South Africa. The premise of this article is that cultural heritage resource management by way of instruments such as bylaws promotes the overarching objectives of local government, such as sustainable development, while also promoting the rights to culture, language and religion, amongst others. To expand on its theoretical basis, this article provides a critical assessment of the bylaws of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality


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01-09-2021 — Updated on 14-09-2021


How to Cite

Steenkamp, R. M. (2021). Municipal Instruments in Law for Cultural Heritage Protection: A Case Study of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 24, 1–34. (Original work published September 1, 2021)



SARChi CLES Series on Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability

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