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Amazon May have to Look Elsewhere to Build its Africa Office

For the Khoi and San — South Africa’s first inhabitants — a verdant patch of land in Cape Town embodies victory and tragedy. The two communities drove back cattle-raiding Portuguese soldiers there in 1510. But, a century and a half later, this was where Dutch settlers launched a campaign of land dispossession. Today it is again the scene of another conflict, this time over a development where construction is due to begin this month and where there will eventually be a new 70,000-square-metre Africa headquarters for United States retail giant Amazon. “This is where land was first stolen,” said Tauriq Jenkins, of the Goringhaicona Khoena Council, a Khoi traditional group opposed to the project. “We want a World Heritage Site. We do not want 150,000 tonnes of concrete.” According to the Observatory Civic Association, which represents a nearby residential community, close to 50,000 objections to the development have been lodged so far with city and provincial authorities.