A REPORT ON AN ADDITIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR A PROPOSED MINING RIGHT APPLICATION ON THE FARM BOSCHKRANS 53 IS, BETWEEN BETHAL AND KRIEL, MPUMALANGA PROVINCE
Archaetnos cc was requested by Geovicon to conduct an additional cultural heritage impact assessment for a mining right application on the farms Boschkrans 53 IS. This is between Bethal and Kriel in the Mpumalanga Province.
It is done in addition to an HIA that was done in 2013 for the same project on the same farm (Boschkrans 53 IS) and on the farm Elandsfontein 75 IS and which was approved by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA). The study is needed due to additional infrastructure being planned at the mine.
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.
General public consultation will be done by Geovicon. The various specialist reports will be utilized for this purpose.
The survey of the indicated area was completed successfully. No new sites were identified, but three sites are known from the previous (2013) study.
The following is recommended:
- Sites 1 (stone kraal) is regarded as having a low significance. It may therefore be mitigated.
- The description in this phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording (low significance) and it may be granted destruction at the discretion of the relevant heritage authority without a formal permit application, subjected to the granting of an Environmental Authorisation.
- Site 2 (farm yard) is regarded as having a medium cultural significance and may be mitigated if needed.
- It may be demolished but should be mitigated first by recording it. This would include drawing a plan of the main house and the farm yard and by photographing it.
- This area however is earmarked for underground mining and if possible, the buildings should not be demolished, but rather be used as offices or a similar purpose. Should it be necessary to make changes to these buildings, a permit would be needed from the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency (PHRA) of Mpumalanga.
- Site 3 (graves) are regarded as having a high cultural significance but may be mitigated. For this there are two possibilities.
- The first option would be to fence the graves in and have a management plan drafted for the sustainable preservation thereof. This should be written by a heritage expert. This is recommended since the graves are in the area where underground mining will be done.
- However the mine should ensure that no direct impact is experience (e.g. caving in of the soil). Should any danger be posed to the graves, option 2 will have to be taken. This is to exhume the mortal remains and then to have it relocated. For this a specific procedure should be followed which includes social consultation. For graves younger than 60 years only an undertaker is needed. For those older than 60 years and unknown graves an undertaker and archaeologist is needed. Permits should be obtained from the Burial Grounds and Graves unit of SAHRA. This procedure is quite lengthy and involves social consultation.
- After implementation of the mitigation measures recommended, the proposed development may continue.
- It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts 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.
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.
Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)
Accredited member of ASAPA
Professional member of SASCH
Johan Smit, BA (Hons)