Archaetnos cc was requested by Hydro Science to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for a proposed township development on portion 140 of the farm Rietfontein 189 IQ. This is close to Muldersdrift, Mogale City, Gauteng Province.

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 Hydro Science. This is a full public participation process and is dealt with as per NEMA requirements.

One site of heritage significance was located in the surveyed area.

The following is recommended:


  • The proposed development may continue only after approval of this report by SAHRA and after mitigation has been done.


  • The graves identified (Site 1) is located on the northern edge of the study area. It is thus recommended that it remain in situ and that a buffer zone of 20 m be implemented between it and any development. Option 1 is thus recommended.


  • Option 1 would be to fence the graves in and have a management plan drafted for the sustainable preservation thereof (“Option 1”). This should be written by a heritage expert. Option 1 is implemented when indirect or secondary impact is foreseen.
  • Should it not be possible to implement Option 1, the graves may be relocated, thus Option 2.
  • Option 2 is implemented when a direct impact is foreseen. Should any danger be posed to the graves, Option 2 will have to be taken. This option is to exhume the mortal remains and then to have it relocated (“Option 2”). For this a detailed motivation will have to be written and applied for to SAHRA. If approved, the 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 mitigation had been done, the development may proceed. The necessary authorization can therefore be given.
  • 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.

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)


Daniël Viljoen, BA (Hons)

Report by