Press and Relevant items related to First Nations opposition to the development
A First Nations Report commissioned by the provincial department of transport and public works in 2019 reveals the historic and continued significance of the Liesbeek and Black River confluence to the First Nation interviewees.
This lead to a combined application for the site’s provincial heritage status, and the initiation of the
After being united against the development, a schism arose among Khoi traditional houses in December 2019, with the formation of a First Nations Collective supporting the development.
Disputed indigenous Khoi leaders (who were initially not consulted until the developers were requested by Heritage Western Cape instructed them to engage), are now in opposition to the development.
The Heritage Appeal Tribunal for the Provisional Protection Order over the River Club noted in April 2020 the following with regard to the contestations over the River Club development.
The policy of maintaining control over one's subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition, is evident in this matter. Conservation efforts to preserve the heritage of the Indigenous First Nations' people and communities and protect their cultural rights, have been hamstrung by the 'politics of divide and rule'. In a divided and disparate society that can benefit from and become unified through knowledge of each other's cultures and heritage, the current situation is not a good scenario to be in and this is unfortunate.
Numerous sites have pointed out the conflict of interest of this entity being founded by an existing consultant to the developers and the pro-developer First Nations Collective email attack on opponents
Despite the developers claim's there is the majority of Khoi leadership, particularly those local to the development is in opposition from all Khoi leaders (as opposed to leadership in the Northern and Eastern Cape province). This has angered local leadership who have been in opposition to this development since inception.
The developer's, intended "First Nations heritage centre" in a small corner of the sprawling development was not included in the initial development design undermining their claims of long standing consultation as noted by Heritage Western Cape.
The 2017 Western Cape Department of Transport and Public works Heritage Report on the Two River's Urban Park (prior to the proposed development) noted that the “partial remnant of a pristine and un-built landscape serves to reinforce notions of what the landscape represented to those who were excluded” and the area has “come to represent a landscape of memory for the First Nation”