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News24.com | OPINION | James Tannenberger: River Club redevelopment in CT will support as a grab for jobs

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James Tannenberger writes that a cramped group of workers, whose objections were pushed aside all over a comprehensive vogue approval direction of for the redevelopment of River Club in Observatory, Cape Town are spreading misinformation regarding the project and hold  approached the courts, 5 and half of months after environmental approval modified into granted.


When reading media reports regarding the River Club redevelopment in Observatory, Cape Town, one would be forgiven for pondering that the project will take a look at the destruction of pristine and sacred land, when genuinely, the categorical opposite is correct.

Right here’s on memoir of news reports regarding the redevelopment hold essentially relied on fabrications and falsehoods that are being spread by a cramped group of workers who are in opposition to the redevelopment. Their misinformation marketing campaign, which comprises defamatory claims and insinuations, has absolutely no foundation after all. 

In light of the River Club redevelopment having so powerful to present the of us of Cape Town and the Western Cape, it is very vital that the accurate info are communicated to the public, so of us realize the many appealing advantages the project will bring to the living. 

Most importantly, while objectors fancy to create the affect that the River Club property is an ecologically easy wetland, here is completely wrong. 

Rehabilitation 

Sooner than construction began, the River Club property modified into, genuinely, an infill with damaged-down rubble lined by invasive, alien grass with very low ecological value having beforehand housed a driving fluctuate, mashie golf direction with a restaurant bar and a tarmac parking living. Adjacent watercourses host wetlands, nevertheless all of those are degraded, having been destroyed by being canalised within the previous. Some had been weak as dumping grounds (now not by the proprietor or developer).

As segment of the redevelopment, R38 million will seemingly be distributed to rehabilitate the riverine corridor, together with replacing the concrete canal in which the river flows along with the property accurate into a beautiful naturalised riverine atmosphere. This is able to embody transforming the beforehand dredged and defunct direction of the river along the most important roadway (where a river now now not flows), that is clogged with pollution and alien plants, and which now contains handiest stormwater and encourage-drift, into vegetated and interconnected wetland pools (swales) that can support as breeding habitats for a diversity of species, together with the Cape Dwarf Chameleon and Cape Clawless Otter, as smartly as present scarce, quality terrestrial habitat for the endangered Western Leopard Toad. The swale will furthermore make contributions to lowering pollution from stormwater from existing metropolis trends. 

That is why, just specialists ogle the project as a basic ecological fabricate and an unheard of rehabilitation initiative in Cape Town.

Objectors furthermore voice the River Club property is seen as sacred land by the First Nations, so the redevelopment will break their heritage. Again, the categorical opposite is correct.

READ | Courtroom fight looms over R4 billion redevelopment of the River Club in Cape Town

The heritage affect assessment (HIA) (a public sage) undertaken by just and preeminent heritage specialists supplied an intensive memoir of the sphere’s history and broader living. The HIA acknowledged the importance of the living to First Nations groups the associated intangible heritage of the sphere. Then but any other time, the HIA furthermore concluded that the objectors claims that the River Club property modified into the battleground where the First Nations defeated the Portugese squaddies below Francisco D’Almeida in 151src are now not precise.

As a substitute, this fight took plot within the Salt River living extra than seemingly. In expose to commemorate the intangible living of the broader Two Rivers living, of which the River Club forms 5% segment, the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Belief (LLPT) is proud to hold signed a groundbreaking social compact with the First Nations Collective who describe the majority of the Cape’s Khoi and San leaders and representatives together with the Gorinhaiqua, Gorachouqua, Cochoqua, Korana, Griqua Royal Homes, and the San Royal Home of N||n?e.

The social compact objects out several heritage functions to be constructed as segment of the redevelopment, together with a Cultural, Heritage, and Media centre, which will be operated and managed by the First Nations and could easy celebrate and educate the public about their history and tradition. The redevelopment will furthermore form an indigenous garden, heritage eco-poke and garden amphitheatre to purpose every as sites of reminiscence and residing cultural follow and celebration.

Inclusionary housing 

The redevelopment will furthermore create over 6srcsrcsrc impart jobs and an additional 19,srcsrcsrc indirect jobs at a time when our economy wants it most. This is able to furthermore attend address the lasting injustices of apartheid spatial planning by offering developer-subsidised built-in inclusionary housing for low-profits earners. The device will furthermore embody safe, leisure areas for enjoyment by surrounding communities, together with 6 kilometres of working and biking routes. Therefore, this will seemingly be very wretched that the project has been labelled as the “Amazon vogue” within the media, when it clearly will seemingly be so powerful a pair of tenant. 

It is a ways wretched that a cramped group of workers, whose objections, were validly and rationally pushed aside all around the excellent vogue approval direction of, within the intervening time are spreading misinformation regarding the project and hold furthermore approached the courts, 5 and half of months after environmental approval modified into granted, to now are attempting and forestall construction from starting (when genuinely construction is underway and continuing lawfully, with metropolis, provincial and national approvals and licences granted), after a lengthy and public participation direction of. 

In actual fact that they’ve failed to plot a single expert assessment or gape to discredit the ecological, hydrological, socio-financial, visual impacts and heritage impacts (and advantages) assessed within the specialist learn that were undertaken to expose the device application submitted by the LLPT.

The LLPT, along with the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Executive and the First Nations Collective will seemingly be opposing this opportunistic are attempting and block a world-class project that’s now not going to handiest support as a grab to jobs and the economy nevertheless will furthermore support as a blueprint for turning a degraded, inaccessible non-public living accurate into a publicly accessible amenity with very much enhanced ecological value and which recognises our nation’s heritage and history.

– James Tannenberger is Trustee and Spokesperson for the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Belief (LLPT

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