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Amazon project accused of desecrating sacred lands in South Africa

2021-05-18T03:48:59.678Z

The 70,000 m2 land chosen to install the group's African headquarters is at the heart of a controversy.



Landing with the promise of creating several thousand jobs is not enough to be welcome.

Amazon already knows something about it.

In 2019, the group had to give up installing its second US headquarters in New York, in the face of opposition from many local elected officials and angry residents.

Will he have to take the same step back in South Africa?

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The 70,000 m2 land chosen in Cape Town to set up its African headquarters is, in fact, at the heart of a controversy. If the city has given the green light to the construction of the complex, of which Amazon will be one of the main tenants, some descendants of the first inhabitants of the region, the Khoï and San peoples, accuse it of desecrating their ancestral lands. The site is of spiritual, cultural and environmental importance, they argue. It has been the symbol of the struggle against the colonial powers since the 16th century.

As such, it was protected by a provisional heritage designation, which expired in April 2020. The Observatory Civic Association (OCA), a gathering of local residents' groups, has informed the developer of its intention to challenge the project in court. He is also concerned about the speed and validity of environmental approvals signed by the city, as the region experiences flooding problems. Determined not to let the American giant settle there, the OCA also wrote to MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, asking him to help them in their new battle. ...

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2021-05-18

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