Observatory civic association slams City over Two Rivers name change proposal
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Cape Town – The Observatory Civic Association
(OCA) has slammed the City’s proposed name change process involving
the Two Rivers Urban Park (Trup),
saying the public participation period
was too short.
The OCA said a notice they received from the City on Friday gave them a short period to properly assess
documents and contribute to the public consultative process.
They have also accused the City of failing to follow its own commitments regarding the finalisation of its draft Two Rivers Local Spatial Development Framework (LSDF).
OCA chairperson Tauriq Jenkins said: “The name change diminishes a decades-long public participatory process on this environmentally sensitive and ancestral historic site. When looking at the LSDF, particularly around the River Club, it would appear that the City has a predetermined package of plans that it intends to steamroll.”
A 2017 consultative process agreement between the City and the OAC had also been ignored, the association charged.
The land is the site of a 100-year-old floodplain where three rivers converge, and apart from accommodating seasonal migrating birds and indigenous flora and fauna, it is also the cremation ground of the early Quena, or Otentottu people.
Heritage Western Cape had previously resolved to provisionally protect the property from development, as it had been faced with an application for development from the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust.
The City, the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust, the Department of Transport and Public Works and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning had lodged appeals against the provisional protection. The ANC in the Western Cape also called for Trup to be declared a Unesco Heritage Site.
Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said no name change had yet taken place.
“The Trup, situated between the Liesbeek and the Black Rivers, is but one of the precincts that fall within the greater area applicable to the draft Two Rivers LSDF. Thus, although there are parks within the space, it is a very diverse area which includes industrial uses and multiple institutions and therefore, the whole area cannot be called an ‘urban park’. Still, the draft LSDF respects and acknowledges the ecological integrity of the rivers and wetland system within this area,” she said.
Nieuwoudt said an information session held yesterday was also an “open day” for the public to get information.
Another meeting would be held on November 20 for submissions on proposals, ideas, and comments.