Cape Town - The fight against a multimillion-rand redevelopment of the River Club in Observatory is heating up. A petition has been given to the Department of Environment Affairs and Development Planning.
The petition was started by Observatory Civic Association chairperson Leslie London and so far has over 6 000 signatures.
London said: “We started the petition because we knew there were many people who are unhappy about the development proposed for the River Club, but are not able to participate in the basic assessment report process because it is a cumbersome process, involving a review of thousands of pages in a very short space of time, and many people are discouraged because comments they previously submitted have been ignored or discounted. So the petition is giving them a voice.”
He said the developer refused to listen to the community's concerns.
“Jody Aufrichtig (the developer) once claimed in an interview that there were only a handful of Observatory residents opposed to his very problematic development. The massive response shows his claim to be nonsense. Jody has thus far refused to listen to the community's concerns. He even instructed the hydrologists not to meet with us to discuss concerns over flooding,” London said.
Last week, the Cape Argus reported that Heritage Western Cape (HWC) rejected an amended plan by the developer of the proposed River Club upgrade which included the concerns of the Khoisan community. Last month the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust submitted its final heritage impact assessment. HWC instructed the trust a few months ago to prepare a report with the First Nations intangibles report which took six months to complete.
Goringhaicona Khoena Council supreme high commissioner Tauriq Jenkins said: “All citizens and affected parties and the civic organisations feel vindicated by the decision made last week by HWC. It’s a breath of fresh air and we are starting to see some sort of justice. It would make no sense for the Department of Environmental Affairs and development planning to approve this report.”