Liesbeek Action Campaign starts crowdfunding initiative to preserve heritage and the environment

Amazon Construction site in Liesbeek River Park. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Amazon Construction site in Liesbeek River Park. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Sep 27, 2022


Cape Town – A campaign to preserve and defend heritage and the environment on the Liesbeek River in Cape Town is seeking donations.

The Liesbeek Action Campaign is set on defending the integrity of the environmentally sensitive floodplain in Observatory that is sacred to San and Khoi groups.

According to the Observatory Civic Association chairperson, Leslie London, the area is a cultural landscape where, during precolonial times, Khoi herders would seek summer pastorage for their cattle.

She said the area was part of the history of the Khoi resistance to Dutch and Portuguese colonialism.

“It is also the site of the first land dispossession in South Africa when Dutch settlers were given farms by Jan van Riebeek.

“Today, a different sort of dispossession is taking place, as rich developers plough ahead with a dense commercial development, intended to host the richest company in the world, Amazon, in violation of a court interdict issued by the Cape High Court in March 2022.

“The approvals of the development by the City of Cape Town and provincial government we are seeking to review in court, fly in the face of existing environmental, heritage and planning policies, were described as unlawful by the competent heritage authority of the province (Heritage Western Cape) and were also appealed by the City of Cape Town’s own environmental management experts,” Dirks said.

According to the organisation, this project was being opposed by a large proportion of the public, with an online petition which has already garnered over 75 000 signatures.

“In short, this was a development pushed through by public officials and politicians willing to turn a blind eye to the evidence, even from their own experts,” it said.

Campaign co-ordinator Nadine Dirks said financial support was needed to maintain the organisation’s court challenge so it can prove the approvals were unlawful and to ensure the site was part of a heritage and environmental park to be enjoyed by all South Africans.

If you would like to assist, donations of any amount can be made to the campaign via its website at