Archaetnos cc was appointed by Indawo Rentals (Pty) Ltd on behalf of VGI Consulting (Pty) Ltd to conduct a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) related to the decommissioning of Transnet pipelines from Durban to Johannesburg (DJP) and associated infrastructure. The pipeline and associated infrastructure are to be decommissioned. It thus is located in four provinces, being Gauteng, North-West, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

The pipeline was commissioned to supply refined petroleum product (petrol, diesel, jet fuel) to Gauteng. It is a 12 inch (328 mm) pipe and stretches from Durban to Waltloo. During the operational period, it was found that the pipeline had an inherent welding defect, which increased the risk of pipeline failure and the impact to the environment due to spillages. In 2004, after several studies, it was decided to retire this pipeline by 2012 to manage the inherent defect and the risk to the environment. On 28 March 2018, the DJP was stopped from operation as the replacement pipeline system was completed.

The client indicated the area to be surveyed. The field survey was confined to this route.

The Terms of Reference for the survey were to:

  1. Identify objects, sites, occurrences and structures of an archaeological or historical nature (cultural heritage sites) located in the surveyed area.
  1. Study background information on the area to be developed.
  1. Assess the significance of the cultural resources in terms of their archaeological, historical, scientific, social, religious, and aesthetic and tourism value.
  1. Describe the possible impact of the proposed project on these cultural remains, according to a standard set of conventions.
  1. Recommend suitable mitigation measures to minimize possible negative impacts on the cultural resources by the proposed project.
  1. Review applicable legislative requirements.

A survey of the available literature was undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the area. This was followed by the field survey, which was conducted according to generally accepted HIA practices, aimed at locating all possible objects, sites and features of cultural significance in the area of the proposed development.

The heritage survey of the indicated area was completed successfully. No new sites were identified, although it is noted that some historical buildings and other sites may be found in towns along the pipeline route or in rural areas.

The following is recommended:

  1. This report is seen as sufficient mitigation and the proposed decommissioning of the DJP may therefore continue.
  1. It should be noted that although all points could not be visited, the entire line is deemed a low risk for containing heritage sites. This is due to the area around the line and servitude being disturbed when it was commissioned in 1965.
  1. The interventions may be done in accordance with Figures 65-67.
  1. It should nevertheless 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.


In this regard the following ‘Chance find Procedure’ should be followed:

  • Upon finding any archaeological or historical material all work at the affected area must cease.

·        The area should be demarcated in order to prevent any further work there until an investigation has been completed.

·        An archaeologist should be contacted immediately to provide advice on the matter.

Should it be a minor issue, the archaeologist will decide on future action. Depending on the nature of the find, it may include a site visit.

SAHRA’s APM Unit may also be notified.

·        If needed, the necessary permit will be applied for with SAHRA. This will be done in conjunction with the appointed archaeologist.

·        The removal of such archaeological material will be done by the archaeologist in lieu of the approval given by SAHRA, including any conditions stipulated by the latter.

·        Work on site will only continue after the archaeologist/ SAHRA has agreed to such a matter.

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.


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