Dear Friends and Colleagues
I am writing personally to you in my role as a Civic Activist as part of campaign involving a wide coalition of Khoi Indigenous groups, Civic Associations and NGOs opposing the re-development of the River Club in Observatory (in Cape Town, South Africa) as a dense commercial site that will, amongst others, house the Headquarters of Amazon Web Services on a sacred floodplain.
I am asking you to donate towards legal fees appealing against this multi-million-dollar development taking place on this unique piece of land that is of high environmental importance whilst also culturally sacred to Khoi Indigenous groups.
We need your help to review the decisions taken by the City of Cape Town and the Provincial government to allow the development to destroy a critically important part of our heritage and land that should be part of an urban coast-to-coast greenway. Any donations are eligible for a SARS Section 18A tax certificate.
Please take a moment to watch the campaign video here and a short visual of how to donate. They are very short clips - only 2 minutes long in total.
WHY WE NEED TO GO TO COURT
It is a site that was part of the battle of d’Almeida in 1520 in which Portuguese colonists were defeated. Later, it became the site of 180 years of resistance against the Dutch settlers. It was the site of the first land dispossession in South Africa and, as a site of spiritual significance and memory, is currently being graded as a National Heritage Site following an application by more than 60 Civic, Khoi and Environmental organisations. The site has also been earmarked as part of a national Khoi and San Liberation Route. Like the neighbouring South African Astronomical Observatory (already a National Heritage Site) it is likely to be nominated for UNESCO heritage site status. It is a sacred site for Khoi Indigenous groups and one of memorial for every South African of a silenced history.
- The site has a First Nation history dating back before 1520.
- It is vital environmental site
The site is the convergence of the Liesbeek & Black Rivers, within the Two Rivers Urban Park and vital to the green corridor of Cape Town stretching across the Cape Flats. It is home to numerous rare flora and fauna. The floodplain also handles stormwater from the large catchment and the development proposes raising the land 3.5m above natural ground with only 13% of the site in a semi-natural state.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
The Observatory Civic Association and the Goringhaicona Khoi-Khoin Indigenous Traditional Council (with the support of nearly 100 organisations and OVER 57,000 petitioners) have launched court action to interdict the development and review the approval decisions in the Cape Town High Court. Our interdict will be heard on the 24th and 25th November. We have a strong case based on the impacts on heritage (approval declared unlawful by Heritage Western Cape) and the multiple violations of environmental policies involved – even the City of Cape Town’s Spatial Planning & Environmental Management Department objected to this development. We have an excellent legal team, which includes Cullinans Attorneys and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi as our silk.
PLEASE SUPPORT US
You can donate online, by EFT and by Snapscan. Please also consider setting up a regular donation. Donations to this campaign are eligible for a Section 18A SARS receipt towards tax deduction. Please email@example.com if you need a certificate.
Please share this appeal with others, and if you have suggestions or potential funders, please email info@Liesbeek.org.
You can find much more information on our website and at our petition siteand you are welcome to follow the Liesbeek Action Campaign on twitter: @LiesbeekAction.
Many thanks in anticipation.
Observatory Civic Association Chair