Naturally speaking, one of the most special places in Cape Town is under threat – the Kenilworth Racecourse area.

The racetrack which has been established here – which still continues to operate to this day – is in line for some changes. If a recent rezoning application makes it all the way through the approval process then the city would have indeed lost something truly irreplaceable – the Cape Flats Sand Fynbos which is present at this site.

What makes this particular type of fynbos so special? Well, the greater racecourse area is one of the best, albeit one of the last, remaining examples of this critically endangered flora, home to gorgeous flowers, geophytes and more which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Surely this is worth protecting? Surely the onus is upon ourselves to preserve this natural heritage for our descendants to enjoy? It would be a travesty to allow the development of a hotel, high-rise residential units and retail spaces to take center stage here, losing something truly unique in the natural sense.

Fortunately, a conservation area does exist here, and that is the Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area (KRCA) – situated in the centre of the racecourse.┬áBut there are two real issues which comes to light here.

Firstly, the development, mooted to be around 7.6ha in size, will encroach upon this last, great example of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos. Despite the rezoning to reportedly be outside of the existing horse quarantine and fynbos conservation areas, there is no doubt of the impact it will have to the biodiverse microcosm. Secondly, it has been alledged that improper procedures have been undertaken to let this one ‘sneak through the back door‘.

One needn’t be afraid to be labelled as an ‘activist’ to understand the importance of preserving something we never really owned in the first place.

Read the full story here.


Photography Beverley Klein

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