File picture: David Ritchie/Independent Media
The lead article “Developer hits back at detractors over proposed R4bn River Club project
" (Cape Argus, Wednesday, August 14, 2019) sets the record straight on a number of issues and briefly touches on some of the benefits the proposed project will deliver to Capetonians.

It will result in thousands of jobs, and the residential component will include subsidised inclusive units for key workers such as policemen, hospital workers and teachers working close to the site.

But the proposed development will add significant value to the surrounding area in other ways that were not mentioned.

First, a large portion of the site will be dedicated to safe recreational spaces - including running and cycling pathways - that will be open to the public along the clean, rehabilitated riverbank fronting the site, and enjoyment of the Raapenberg Wetland and Bird Sanctuary.

Second, the project will catalyse upgrades to the surrounding road infrastructure and public transport facilities. This includes the potential establishment of a MyCiTi bus route in the area.

Additionally, the establishment of an accessible private school is planned, which will help alleviate the current pressure on oversubscribed schools in surrounding areas.

And, the history of the area will not go unrecognised. The redevelopment aims to create a Heritage and Cultural Centre that will memorialise and educate the public about past events on or near the site, along with those across the broader precinct such as the flood plains, the river confluence, Varche drift, the South Africa Astronomical Observatory and Valkenberg.

The establishment and operation of this centre will be an inclusive process, involving all parties who have an interest in the historical and symbolic significance of the area.

A significant portion of the proposed development will also be dedicated space for retailers and offices. This will stimulate business development and contribute towards the growing need for decentralised centres of business, outside the Cape Town CBD.

The project presents many exciting opportunities for the people of the Western Cape, and will make a private, under-utilised space more accessible to the public.

We look forward to our continued interactions with all interested and affected groups and stakeholders, while the prescribed development proposal processes are under way.

* Jody Aufrichtig, Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus