The valuing of assets that have historical significance is a highly specialized business and not to be taken lightly if we are to protect and preserve our heritage for future generations. It is the responsibility of those organisations that are involved in the storage and maintenance of these heritage assets to ensure that it is done so professionally and by qualified valuators – those that have the expertise and experience to value such items of historical importance.

Iziko, who manage and promote South Africa’s heritage collections, sites and services, is currently embarking on a campaign to have all their heritage assets verified and recorded with a full description of the asset, to ensure that they are correctly stored and secured, and valued accordingly. At present storage facilities are also being upgraded to guarantee the assets are stored at the right temperature, are diligently monitored and kept safe.

Gavin Commins, CEO of The Valuator Group, says he and his team are so encouraged, despite the current political doom and gloom, that an orgainsation such as Iziko is taking this issue of preserving their historical assets, seriously.

“This is very important to us as a company and it is our ongoing strategy to have key specialists cover all heritage assets whether they be property, fine art, antiques, artworks, plant and equipment, books, stamp collections or documents to protect our rich and diverse heritage.”

The Valuator Group have become respected for their wide range of valuation expertise, and specifically for the valuing of heritage sites.

The Western Cape in particular has fantastic examples of heritage – historical homes and typical architecture of the time by Sir Herbet Baker, are prolific.  There are magnificent wine farms, generations old with beautiful manor houses outbuildings and antique equipment and furniture.

Hugh Fichardt, who heads up the property division at The Valuator Group says, “When it comes to valuing heritage assets it is more complex than one would image – for instance the thickness of the walls has to be factored in, the use of rare wood for flooring and furniture, pressed ceilings, arches and gables.”

He adds that from a replacement cost it is extremely difficult to calculate the value, with assets being hundreds of years old, and quite literally irreplaceable if damaged.

Given our remarkable history, it would be remiss of us not to ensure that our heritage assets are correctly and adequately valued and kept safe for our children.