A REPORT ON A CULTURAL HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR THE PROPOSED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ON THE REMAINING EXTENT OF THE FARM ROCKDALE 442 JS, CLOSE TO MIDDELBURG, MPUMALANGA PROVINCE
Archaetnos cc was requested by AdiEnvironmental CC to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for a proposed residential development on the Remaining extent of the farm Rockdale 442 JS. This is close to the town of Middelburg in the Mpumalanga Province.
The heritage study forms part of a Basic Assessment. This report is the result of the HIA study.
The site is bordered on the south by the N4 national road, on the east by the N11 national road/Hendrina road and the Rockdale residential areas and to the north by Columbus Steel. The development entails a residential component consisting of various stands and units, business stands, industrial stands, municipal stands, community facilities, public open space, a cemetery, sports facilities and a school.
The methodology for the study includes a survey of literature and a field survey. The latter 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.
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. Certain factors, such as accessibility, density of vegetation, etc. may however influence the coverage.
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 Global Positioning System (GPS). The information was added to the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.
Public consultation was handled by AdiEnvironmental CC. Newspaper notices were placed on 9 June 2017 in the Middelburg Observer. On the same date site notices were placed on site. Communications were also send to interested and affected parties.
During the survey no sites of cultural heritage significance were identified within the immediate project area.
The report is seen as ample mitigation and the proposed development may continue, but only after it had been approved by SAHRA.
It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Due to the density of vegetation it also is possible that some sites may only become known later on. Operating controls and monitoring should therefore be aimed at the possible unearthing of such features. 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.
It is also important to take cognizance that it is the client’s responsibility to do the submission of this report via the SAHRIS System on the SAHRA website. No work on site may commence before receiving the necessary comments from SAHRA.