The SAHRA says that ‘hundreds of years of development has severely eroded any tangible elements remaining on the site’. We never disagreed with that. The point is that the heritage on the River Club site is intangible heritage associated with cultural memory and the Open Space of the site. SAHRA agrees that the site is highly significant and will continue grading the site, likely meaning it will join the SAAO Observatory as a National Heritage Site, based, not on tangible relics (graves, buildings, etc) but on intangible heritage.
The LLPT has consistently denied any heritage importance of the site, save for the river, and by river they mean the reconstructed river they will create to the West, whilst burying the last vestage of the original river course to the east (which the consultants to HWC said must be preserved for the National Khoi and San Heritage trail). In fact, the LLPT have gone so far as to describe the intangible heritage associated with the site as ‘imagined’ in their court papers.
The Council must still consider the recommendation. They may disagree – as did HWC Council when the CEO made a recommendation for a ‘package of plans’ in May 2019.
The court process and the SAHRA grading are separate processes. The historical significance of the site is not in dispute by any party except the developers and their supporters. Everyone, including the applicants in the court case, the HWC and SAHRA all agree the site is highlight significant