Special Announcement about Cape Town City Hall
08 February 2008
Important announcement about the Cape Town City Hall
On 7 February the Mayor of Cape Town, Ms Helen Zille, announced that City of Cape Town, together with the Cape Town Partnership (CTP) and the Cape Town Heritage Trust (CTHT), has released a proposed process plan for the restoration of the City Hall, and for its conversion into a public centre for music and cultural production.
“This Hall is a valuable historical building, and is an important civic amenity in the city centre,” the Mayor states in her announcement.
The proposed process plan involves moving all current tenants of the City Hall to other venues, and leasing the Hall to a special purpose vehicle in the form of a special Section 21 non-profit company.
It will require an investment of an estimated R40 million to restoring the interior of the City Hall, as well as parts of the exterior where necessary. The section 21 company will raise the funds from donors and bank loans, and will service the debt and run the hall on the proceeds from performances and other supporting services. Any profits made will be ploughed back into improvements for the Hall, since it is a not-for-profit company.
An advisory board will be set up to oversee the running of the Hall, which will include stakeholders from the City of Cape Town, the tourism sector and the music industry.
However, before any lease is given, there will be a full public participation process, and a second public participation process will also be held on what exactly will be done with the Hall. There will therefore be two opportunities for interested parties and members of the public to engage with the City on its plans.
“A great deal of consultation has already taken place in the music industry and there is already much excitement and unity of purpose around these plans,” the Major said in her statement.
“The proposal we will make is to have the Hall used to host acoustic musical performances, including the rich and varied musical heritage of Cape Town, such as the Malay Choirs, African Choirs, Minstrel performances, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and acoustic jazz.”
The statement continued by saying a more appealing and culturally rich city centre is also an important part of keeping Cape Town attractive to investors.
“Together with upgrades to the Grand Parade and the Cape Town Station, the plan to restore the City Hall is part of our bigger programme of revitalising the centre of our city, and making it more attractive and accessible to our citizens and tourists. By creating a new facility for the performing arts, we intend to promote Cape Town’s cultural heritage.”
The CEO of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr Louis Heyneman, was enthusiastic in his support of this announcement: “From our side we are determined to ensure the City Hall will once again be one of the premier symphonic auditoriums in the country. We will keep all our patrons up to date with the rejuvenation process,” he said.