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Khoi council appeals rezoning of River Club

An aerial view of The River Club. Observatory residents fear a proposed R4 billion redevelopment of the club will mean the loss of public open space along the Liesbeek River. File picture: Andrew Ingram

An aerial view of The River Club. Observatory residents fear a proposed R4 billion redevelopment of the club will mean the loss of public open space along the Liesbeek River. File picture: Andrew Ingram

Published Oct 28, 2020

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Cape Town - The River Club area is a heritage space undergoing several considerations which could mark it a national or world heritage site and it would, therefore, be improper to proceed with development there in light of these impending decisions.

This is according to the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Traditional Indigenous Council, which on Monday night lodged its appeal against the unanimous decision of the City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) to approve the rezoning application for the development last month.

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Housing activist group Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU) on Sunday lodged its appeal against the MPT decision.

Represented by the Legal Resources Centre, the indigenous council said in the contemplation and adjudication of granting approval, there had been disregard to the greater impact and significance of the pertinent heritage considerations necessary as prescribed by the municipal planning by-laws.

“It is important to consider whether such proposed land use is desirable in so far as considerations of heritage are concerned.

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“The land in question is under contention for significant heritage considerations, in its full extent.

“While the proposed development seems to incorporate heritage components to it, it is respectfully submitted that such proposed implements are inadequate in addressing a heritage insights and component over the land,” the council contends.

In light of the pending heritage applications before the South African Heritage Resources Agency, it was “undesirable” to proceed with granting approval, they added.

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Meanwhile, Liesbeek Leisure Property Trust spokesperson Jody Aufrichtig, said: “We had extensive, transparent and constructive engagements with a number of First Nations groupings with an interest in the River Club site, as well as the broader Two Rivers area including: the Gorinhaiqua, Gorachouqua, Cochoqua, the Griqua Royal Council, the San Traditional Royal House, and the National Khoi and San Council. This grouping has named themselves the First Nations Collective.

“It is unfortunate that one grouping, the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Indigenous Traditional Council, decided not to participate.”

For the collective, Chief Garu Zenzile Khoisan said the decision to support the redevelopment followed numerous engagements.

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Cape Times

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