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The R4.5-billion development at the River Club site in Observatory has been stopped, with a court ruling that the developers must “consult meaningfully” with all affected people.

The interim interdict granted by Western Cape deputy judge president Patricia Goliath, will remain in place pending a review of the relevant environmental land use authorisations for the development on the historically and culturally significant floodplain.

In her ruling, Judge Goliath said the fundamental right to culture and heritage of indigenous groups, particularly the Khoi and San First Nations People, was under threat because they had not been properly consulted.

“The order of this court must not be construed as a criticism against the development … The core consideration is the issue of proper and meaningful consultation with all affected First Nations Peoples,” she said.

“The fact that the development has substantial economic, infrastructural and public benefits can never override the fundamental rights of First Nation Peoples.”

Read the judgment (34MB)

The development of a “large-scale urban campus”, on the site where the Liesbeek and Black Rivers join, began last year. It includes the regional headquarters for Amazon.

Read the original article on GroundUp.