Heritage Western Cape
142 Longmarket St
Dear Mr. Dlamuka
I write with reference to the application by the Goringhaicona Council, the Two Rivers Urban Park Association and the Observatory Civic Association, supported by 57 other First Nation entities, Civic Associations and NGOs on the 27th February 2020 requesting that HWC grade the Two Rivers Urban Park for Provincial Heritage Status. We received confirmation that our application was being processed but were then told that the IGIC deferred consideration of our application until the IACOM had considered the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Two Rivers Local Spatial Development Framework (TR-LSDF). We understand that the IACOM considered the TR-LSDF HIA on the 9th October 2020 and issued their final comments in the form of a communication dated 12th November 2020 which concluded that the final phase 1 HIA did not comply with Section 38 of the NHRA. The IACOM recommendations indicated “a sub-committee of council be constituted and commissioned to oversee the heritage related aspects of the TRUP projects” and that the HIA consultants should undertake “updated grading of the heritage resources” with “meaningful incorporation of public participation.”
Can you clarify where this leaves our application and whether we will be consulted on this matter?
As a group of organisations with an interest in heritage protection, we approached HWC in line with the mandate of HWC to ensure the proper grading of the TRUP. It is unclear to us if HWC is outsourcing the grading of the TRUP to a consultant appointed by the City of Cape DCAS Award Winner, 2018 for Most Active Conservation Body; NPO number: 174 – 174 NPO 60 Trill Road, Observatory, 7925
1 Town and the Department of Public Works and Transport to conduct this grading or if HWC will conduct its own independent grading. If the former, we wish to put on record our concerns about the inclusion in the HIA consultant’s report of a First Nations Report by the AFMAS consultant who has also consulted, without the knowledge of DPWT (as stated publicly in the Heritage Appeal Tribunal in 2019) for the River Club. The River Club development is, as you know, a highly controversial development which HWC attempted to put on hold because of imminent threats to heritage – threat which are now more urgent than ever. The AFMAS report has been used by the River Club developers to justify their HIA, which also failed to comply with Section 38 of the NHRA, as confirmed in HWC final comments in Feb 2020. It is therefore unclear how the HIA consultant for the TR LSDF could be considered an appropriate expert for this responsibility, when her HIA made use of the highly controversial AFMAS report that has labelled the Goringhaicona, one of the First Nations parties opposed to the River Club development, as ‘drifters’ and ‘outcasts’. Moreover, the AFMAS report also misrepresents first nation history in attempting to dismiss the Gorinhaicona as “neither a tribe nor a clan but a totally new creation” and that only the Gorinhaiqua, who only appeared in 2019 as supporters of the River Club development, “were the traditional custodians of the historical landscape that encompasses the River Club site and broader Two Rivers area.” We do not believe this is a fair basis to begin the process of grading of the heritage resources in the TRUP area and should not be entrusted to a consultant who is willing to accept such misrepresentation as sociological evidence. Any grading of the TRUP site should put the discredited AFMAS report aside and begin the process of identifying heritage indicators afresh.
Your urgent feedback would be appreciated. Yours sincerely