OCA Appeal against DEADP decision regarding the River Club

Dear registered Interested and Affected Parties, relevant government authorities, and other stakeholders

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape recently granted an Environmental Authorisation for the proposed redevelopment of the River Club in Observatory in terms of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998, and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 (as amended). This decision was issued to the applicant, the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust, on 20 August 2020.

Please find attached an appeal by the Observatory Civic Association against the Authorisation which we are lodging within 20 days of the being notified of the decision. Along with the appeal are attached relevant Appendices ( see below ).

Appendix 1 River Club Heritage Appeal Tribunal Ruling 14 April 2020

Appendix 2 HOD DEA&DP Letter_Prof L London_Complaint re Gerhard Gerber_29072020

Appendix 3 DEADP submission to Heritage Appeal Tribunal 18 May 2018 and SOP Coordination HIAs and EIAs

Appendix 4 OCA letter reasons for decision

Appendix 5 Request for reasons_ River Club EA_27-08-2020

We believe the decision was fundamentally flawed both in-process and substance.

Under the National Appeal Regulations, 2014, the applicant, the decision-maker, any relevant organ of state and any registered Interested and Affected Party may submit a responding statement to the appeal authority and the appellant within 20 days from the date of receipt of the appeal submission.

This means you are entitled by law to comment on the appeal.

We are therefore inviting IAPs to submit their responses to

a)       [email protected] (appeal authority)

b)      [email protected] (the OCA is the appellant here)

We believe most IAPs will strongly endorse our appeal and encourage you to do so. Any responses to our appeal, whether in support or opposed to the appeal, must be submitted to the emails above by the 28th of September.

In your response, refer to the following:

·         The decision that is subject to appeal is the Environmental Authorisation for the re-development of the.
River Club, Observatory for a Mixed Use development and associated infrastructure on the remainder of
Erf 15326 and Erven 26169-26175, 26426-26427, 108936 and 151832, Observatory;

·         The DEA&DP Reference Number is 16/3/3/1/A7/17/3001/20 

·         You are responding to the Appeal lodged by the Observatory Civic Association.

Your endorsement or comment can be in any format. You can say as much or as little as you wish. One point I recommend you draw attention to is that the decision-maker indicated that “All the concerns raised by I&APs were responded to and adequately addressed during the public participation process.” We do not believe the majority of I&APs would agree with this and invite you to comment to the appeal authority on whether you believe that statement to be correct or not, in addition to responding to our Appeal.

You will also be receiving appeals from other parties and we strongly recommend you submit a response to those appeals indicating your support, should you agree with their appeal.

We live in a Constitutional Democracy that promises all who live in South Africa a fair decision-making process in matters that affect them, so we encourage you to send your response.

Leslie London – OCA Chairperson