Jun 28, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Vavi slams Amazon for staying silent in row over new HQ in Cape Town

The experienced trade unionist Zwelinzima Vavi has criticized the world’s largest company Amazon for its “deafening silence” in the dispute over the development of the River Club in Cape Town.

The e-commerce and IT giant is said to be the one Anchor tenants on the River Club site in Observatory, which is the focus of a legal showdown involving rival Khoi Indigenous groups Partially constructed property where work halted earlier this year due to a court challenge of objections.

< p>Some indigenous Khoi activists claim they have been excluded from the public consultation to develop the site where Amazon plans to locate its Africa headquarters.

Vavi, general secretary of the South African Trade Union Confederation (Saftu), said, Amazon’s silence on the dispute is problematic.

“Saftu notes Amazon’s deafening silence as the anchor tenant,” he said Wednesday.

< p>“Like the world’ As the company’s largest company, Amazon, in this conflict Amazon plays the role of guarantor of development with the promise of prime rental income for developers for years to come.

“The company had several alternatives to establish its headquarters. which raises several questions about their intransigence in choosing this controversial location.

“Given the company’s track record of serving workers, Black and Indigenous communities and marginalized people around the world, this is hardly surprising.”

Vavi also criticized the Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust for blaming marginalized indigenous groups for the disruption to construction, rather than acknowledging his own responsibility.

“Predictably, workers are being forced to pay the highest price to pay for the greed and recklessness of private capital,” said Vavi.

“Instead of taking responsibility for the failure to adequately consult with indigenous groups before beginning the construction phase of this risky venture, the Developers blame the failure on activists and indigenous groups who opposed the project.

“They continue to try to oppose to appeal the court’s decision while at the same time forcing the workers to bear the consequences of their own negligence.”

On Monday, Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust announced that it had been commissioned with “important restoration and protection work”. that are needed to prevent the site from deteriorating.

Spokesman James Tannenberger said the return to the work would also increase security at the site and deter potential invasions. A group of 70 people attempted to access the project site last week, he said.

“It is in the interest of the judiciary and the people of Cape Town that development proceeds.

“The project will create 6,000 direct and 19,000 indirect jobs; To provide Khoi of the Cape Peninsula with a meaningful opportunity to commemorate and celebrate their cultural heritage linked to the much broader area, including the establishment of a First Nation Heritage, Culture and Media Center; [and] providing developer-subsidized inclusive housing, major road improvements, and safe and accessible green parks and gardens, all of which will be open and freely accessible to the public,” he said.

Tauriq Jenkins, High Commissioner of the Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Indigenous Traditional Council, this week questioned the need for rehabilitation of the site.

“A heritage crime has already been committed in destroying and filling in the old Liesbeek Canal,” Jenkins told TimesLIVE.

“The so-called ‘rehabilitation’ seems to be a mindless exercise in saving face against the background of a continuing terrible deafness to our objections.

” The job claim was already dealt with in the interim interdict, where the Assistant Judge Patricia Goliath ruled that the economic argument does not outweigh First People’s rights. Your persistence in peddling this diversionary tactic is telling.

“Our inheritance is not for sale. It is not a commodity for obscene profiteering, nor can it remain a sanctuary of genocide denial.

“This is a place where the Khoi and San were stripped of their ownership of land where the First Border Wars took place erupted from which ethnocide and forced displacement emanated.

“The loss and destruction of our collective memory of who we are as South Africans is at stake here.”

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