TRUP Members Update 4 October 2016

TRUP Association Member’s Update [4] October 2016

1. Please be reminded of the Two Rivers Urban Park Association AGM

Tuesday 1st November at 7pm at the River Club.

Please join us for light refreshments from 6:30pm. The short evening will include an “Update on “TRUP-Park: Progress of the Western Cape Provincial Growth and Regeneration Programme’s Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) Project“.

2. The TRUP Association submitted comments on the Redevelopment of the River Club Draft Scoping Report that had been prepared by SRK Consulting for the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust, LLPT (a partnership between Indigo Properties and Zenprop). This public engagement forms the first part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process for the Redevelopment of the River Club, Observatory, Cape Town.

TRUP Association comments included the request that the following receive further attention:

 National and International policy commitments, including the consideration of national climate change policy and legislation.

 An environmental economics specialist study quantifying environmental goods and services afforded the City through this urban green lung.

 The impact of the proposal on the ecology of the critically endangered Western Leopard toad.

An Alternative Option in line with the spirit and intent of the original TRUP Contextual Framework.

 That public participation must include engagement with pre-colonial settlement communities originally a part of this landscape.

Finally, in order to prevent a conflict of interest, no specialist studies or contributions should be submitted from the LLPT Project Development Team, nor Nisa Mammon and Associates undertaking tender S174/14 on behalf of the Provincial Government for the Western Cape. (Presently Section 2.2 of the Draft Scoping Report “Planning Policy Framework” was “based on input – often reproduced verbatim – from town planning consultants, Planning Partners (Pty) Ltd.”, who were listed as part of the LLPT Project Development Team).

Amy Hill, confirmed that the Draft Scoping Report is currently being revised based on feedback received during the public consultation period, and that the revised DSR will be re-released for another round of public consultation before the end of 2016.

3. The TRUP Association has met with a representative from the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Operations Centre, in order to raise awareness concerning the disadvantages of locating this centre on the presently “preferred” piece of land (the current entrance to the River Club). The TRUP Association have proposed an alternative, and have initiated discussions with the Valkenberg Hospital, in order to explore land that has the potential to meet the needs of the SKA Operations Centre, whilst complimenting the vision for the Park, of which the Valkenberg Hospital is a part.

4. There was not a lot of obvious activity of the endangered Western Cape Leopard Toad in the Southern African Astronomical Observatory grounds this breeding season. This is of some concern, given that this is the smallest of the four populations of toads occurring on the Cape Peninsula (and nowhere else in the world).

John Measey, who represents the Southern African IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, has advised the River Club with respect to their development plans, noting that whilst “developments and urbanisation may well be necessary, this must not be to the detriment of our indigenous wildlife, especially charismatic and threatened species such as the Western Leopard Toads.” He notes that a Specialist Study within the existing Freshwater Ecology Impact Assessment TOR (Section 7.7.2 of the Draft Scoping Report), be included in the EIA process. The terms of reference required are an assessment of this Observatory population of Western Leopard Toads to discover:

1. What is the population size of adult Observatory Western Leopard Toads?

2. How many breeding ponds are Observatory Western Leopard Toads using?

3. How much of the proposed development land, and that which would be blocked, is routinely used or traversed by Observatory Western Leopard Toads?

4. Is the population of Observatory Western Leopard Toads truly isolated from the rest of the Cape Flats populations?

5. The Maitland Garden Village community celebrated the first fruits (veggies infact) of their food garden in the Village Todds pre-primary school grounds. They simultaneously celebrated five years of the Green Light Project’s existence, an NPO created from, and run by the MGV community. A resident of the Village for 78 years reminisced that until the establishment of the Group Areas Act, the MGV held a gardening competition in the Village every year. There was a floating trophy awarded for the best flower, and the best vegetable gardens. This event was co-ordinated by the Village and the Ward Councillor, with the City Parks and Gardens undertaking the judging. Everyone present indicated a strong desire for the garden to be bought back into the Village.

Should you wish to get involved in re-establishing this event, please contact Ronell at

6. There has been no public engagement since the TRU-Park and Ndabeni Workshop that was held at the Pinelands Methodist Church hall on 11th August 2016. In summary, at this meeting:

Mr Gerhard Gerber, from the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP), was introduced. DEA&DP will be taking over responsibility for this TRU-Park process, given that Mr Francois Joubert has now retired from the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works, the authorities originally driving this project.

 King Khoebaha Cornelius presented on behalf of the household of the Khoisan. With an ancestral lineage dating back to the late 1600’s, King Khoebaha took up his inherited responsibilities of fighting for the acknowledgement of the Khoisan as an indigenous people group in 1999. As the head of the household of the Khoisan, he publicly stated their strong objection towards development on the TRUP land.

 Despite the River Club being located within the TRU-Park boundaries, the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods (SUN) consulting team facilitating the TRU-Park process (on behalf of Nisa Mammon & Associates,) indicated that River Club developments now lie outside of their mandate. The TRUP Association and other voluntary organisations were encouraged to engage independently in the River Club re-development process, and any other processes within the TRU-Park boundaries.

Whilst SUN proposed a follow-up TRU-Park meeting for mid-October, this has subsequently been postponed, with no new date having yet been advised.

It has been an exciting year for the TRUP Association, and we look forward to seeing you at the River Club for our AGM on Tuesday 1st November, as we elect a new team for 2017.

Sincerely, Hudson McComb (TRUP Association 2016 Chair)