More than 250 building projects, set to inject billions’ worth of much-needed infrastructure investment into Joburg and Pretoria, have been put on the back burner. The culprit here is the Gauteng department of sport, arts, culture & recreation, which has inexplicably dragged its heels in reconstituting the province’s defunct heritage council.The statutory body, the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng (PHRAG), is responsible for approving the redevelopment of all buildings older than 60 years.The department’s MEC, Mbali Hlophe, was supposed to have appointed a new council in November, but did so only last week.Industry players say the delay has caused huge additional costs for projects awaiting PHRAG approval. This is required before a developer can proceed with any alteration, subdivision or demolition of a historic structure or part thereof. It can range from something as simple as replacing a window to a major project such as knocking down an entire building.The MEC’s ...

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