Cape Town - A group of people of tribes and organisations belonging to the Khoisan indigenous nations met on Thursday to discuss plans to expand their current occupation at Table Mountain.
They started their occupation at Cecilia Forest on October 24.
Shaun (|khaeb) Macdonald said on any given day, roughly a dozen people could be found at the occupation site.
The public meeting allowed for interested individuals to find out more about what they referred to as a “reclaiming” and how to get involved, as well as to discuss the way forward.
Discussions took place in a “cultural space” created by the collective.
“The meeting was basically just to brief those who were interested. They had a lot of questions that we needed to answer and we discussed the way forward.
“One of the immediate actions is to expand, so next week there are one or two new locations that we’ll be setting up, with huts and kraals,” said Macdonald. “We discussed the economic aspects of the work we’re doing and how we will engage with management.”
Khoisan chiefs and activists were in attendance as well as individuals from across the Cape Town metro and Cape flats, with about 25 to 30 people in attendance.
The collective also discussed possible engagements with the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) departments, Unesco, and international conservation bodies regarding the occupation.
Macdonald said discussions around the expansion are still in their early phase. “I will be focusing on moving to the other side of the mountain next week, around Camps Bay side.”
Macdonald said previously that the occupation was protected through international law, namely the Aboriginal title and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and that they were well within their rights to make sure that these were implemented in South Africa.
The occupation was not just culturally and spiritually driven, but economically motivated as well, as many are excluded from the financial benefits and activities from Hoerikwaggo, he said. Hoerikwaggo is the Khoisan term for Table Mountain, meaning “mountain in the sea”.
The collective said that their stay would be long term.
Those who have taken occupation are from the Cochoqua, Goringhaiqua, Goringhaicona and the Gorachouqua tribes, said Cochoqua Khoisan tribe counsellor Miles Jacobs.
SANParks spokesperson Lauren Clayton said a case of land invasion was opened at Wynberg police station.