Meaningful Consultation: Not in LLPT’s vocabulary (unless opportunistic)

14 APR 2022 —

Today, Judge Patricia Goliath considers the four applications (from the Liesbeek Leisure Property Trust (LLPT), the City of Cape Town, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) and the First Nations Collective (FNC)) for leave to appeal the groundbreaking interdict she granted to stop the construction at the River Club Observatory. She had awarded the interdict on the 18th March because of the evidence of irreparable harm to the culture and heritage of indigenous people should the construction be allowed to continue. The ruling was historic because it recognised that, in matters concerning the rights of indigenous peoples, economic benefits “can never override the fundamental rights of First Nations Peoples.” She also ordered that, given the wholly inadequate consultation process that led to the decisions, there should be meaningful consultation with all Khoi and San groups with an interest in the intangible heritage of the site, rather than just with groups who have chosen to support the development, as was the case…