Archaetnos cc was requested by Landscape Dynamics to conduct an additional Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for ESKOM, related to the proposed ESKOM TRANSNET Freight Rail Project. This was needed due to changes in the final proposed power layout. The project runs runs south and west of the Medupi Power Station near Lephalale to just north of Thabazimbi in the Limpopo Province.

The project entails the construction of:

  • 4 x 132kV Traction Substations (Lephalale, Diepspruit, Matlabas and Marekele)
  • 4 x communication towers
  • ±7km 132kV line from Medupi to proposed Lephalale Traction Sub
  • ±26km 132kV line from Lephalale Traction Sub to existing Theunispan Sub
  • ±15km 132kV line from Theunispan Sub to Theunispan T-off
  • 3 x 132kV line bays at Theunispan Sub
  • Loop in-out the 132kV traction stations as follows:
    • Lephalale Traction – 2 x 40 m 132kV lines from the new Medupi Theunispan line
    • Diepspruit Traction – 2 x 1 km 132kV lines from the existing Medupi Thabazimbi line
    • Matlabas Traction – 2 x 1 km 132kV lines from the existing Medupi Thabazimbi line
    • Marekele Traction – 2 x 2.5 km 132kV Lines from the existing Medupi Thabazimbi line

A survey of literature was undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the area. The field survey 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.

No sites of cultural heritage importance were identified.

The following is recommended:

  1. Since no sites were identified, the project may continue.
  1. From a heritage perspective the final positions of infrastructure for the project can be accepted.
  1. Due to accessibility issues and the density of vegetation further studies would be needed. A walk down, after positions of pylons have been determined is therefore recommended. This will be applicable to all project components.
  1. It should 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, work on site immediate cease and a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate the occurrence.

Report by:

Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)

Accredited member of ASAPA (Accreditation number: 166)

Accredited member of SASCH (Accreditation number: CH001)


Johan Smit, BA (Hons)

Report by