A report on a cultural heritage impact assessment done for the proposed Ixopo Renewal Energy Plant, Kwazulu-Natal Province
Archaetnos cc was requested by EON Consulting to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for the proposed Ixopo Renewable Energy Plant. This is close to Ixopo in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
The field survey for the project was conducted according to generally accepted HIA practices and was aimed at locating all possible objects, sites and features of cultural significance in the area of proposed development. One regularly looks a bit wider than the demarcated area, as the surrounding context needs to be taken into consideration.
If required, the location/position of any site was determined by means of a Global Positioning System (GPS), while photographs were also taken where needed. The survey was undertaken by doing a physical survey via off-road vehicle and on foot and covered as much as possible of the area to be studied.
All sites, objects features and structures identified were documented according to the general minimum standards accepted by the archaeological profession. Co-ordinates of individual localities were determined by means of the GPS. The information was added to the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.
The evaluation of heritage sites is done by giving a field rating of each using the following criteria:
• The unique nature of a site
• The integrity of the archaeological deposit
• The wider historic, archaeological and geographic context of the site
• The location of the site in relation to other similar sites or features
• The depth of the archaeological deposit (when it can be determined or is known)
• The preservation condition of the site
• Uniqueness of the site and
• Potential to answer present research questions.
The surveyed area is almost completely disturbed and cleared from vegetation. Therefore it is no surprise that nothing of cultural heritage significance were located.
It is therefore recommended that the development may continue. This report is seen as ample mitigation and no further action is necessary.
It should nevertheless be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artefacts is always a distinct possibility. Care should therefore be taken when development commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate the occurrence.
Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) Accredited member of ASAPA Accredited member of SASCH