A REPORT ON A CULTURAL HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR A PROPOSED PROSPECTING RIGHTS APPLICATION ON PORTIONS 1, 2 AND RE OF THE FARM VERDOORST KOLK 342, CLOSE TO BRANDVLEI, NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE
Archaetnos cc was requested by Cabanga Environmental to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for a proposed prospecting right application on portions 1, 2 and RE of the farm Verdoorst Kolk 342. This is close to the town of Brandvlei in the Northern Cape Province. Brandvlei falls within the Hantam Local Municipality of the Namaqua District.
The heritage study forms part of a Basic Assessment. This report is the result of the HIA study.
The applicable mineral related to the project is gypsum. A number of boreholes will be used to determine the possibility of future mining. Details of the proposed work on site include the prospecting for Gypsum by means of a TLB mounted auger drill. Drilling will be to a maximum depth of 5m.
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 will be done by the Environmental Practitioner.
During the survey six sites of cultural heritage significance were identified within the immediate project area.
- Six sites were identified. These are all outside of the area of direct impact, but it is possible that a secondary impact may be experienced due to the increase of traffic and movement on the site. Four of these (site 1-3 and 6) are grave sites and two (sites 4 and 5) are residential sites.
- Usually there are two options when dealing with graves. The first and preferred option is to manage the grave in situ. This is only possible when no direct impacts are expected. Secondary impacts such as dust remain a possibility.
- The second option is to exhume the graves and have the bodies reburied. This usually is only allowed if there is a direct impact on the site. Graves younger than 60 years are handled by a registered undertaker. Graves older than 60 years and those of an unknown date is regarded as heritage graves. In such a case an archaeologist is also involved in the process.
- Since Site no. 1 is fenced in, but the other graves not. It is recommended that the graves remain in situ. These should be fenced off where necessary, and a buffer zone of 20m implemented.
- Theo two residential sites should also be left in situ, fenced in and a buffer zone of 20 m be implemented.
- It should always be realized that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is a distinct possibility. Due to the nature of this development and the environment, it is indeed expected that some Stone Age sites may only become known later on, thus emphasizing the need for further studies.
- This report is seen as ample mitigation and the proposed development may thus continue, but only after the report 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.
- In this regard the following a ‘Chance find Procedure’ is indicated.
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.