A REPORT ON AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR THE ESKOM MERENSKY-UCHOBA PROJECT, MPUMALANGA PROVINCE
Archaetnos cc was requested by Landscape Dynamics to conduct an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) for ESKOM, related to the proposed ESKOM Merensky-Uchoba Project. The project consists of approximately 17 km of a 132 KV power line, for which a 1 km corridor is investigated. This is close to the town of Steelpoort in the Fetalgomo Tubatse Local Municipality, Sekhukhune District Municipality, Mpumalanga Province.
The study is done as Basic Assessment, forming part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. Two alternative route options within the corridor was investigated.
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.
One site of cultural heritage importance was identified. It is believed to have a rating of low significance.
The following is recommended:
- Site no 1 (clay-built building) is of low significance and may thus be demolished if necessary.
- However, it is highly unlikely that this would be needed, and it can be left to deteriorate naturally.
- The proposed project may therefore continue, but only after receiving comments from SAHRA.
- From a heritage perspective there is no specific preference for any of the two alternatives.
- In any event, once the pylon positions have been finalized, a walk down study would be needed to confirm that nothing of heritage value is being compromised.
- 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.
Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) Accredited member of ASAPA Accredited member of SASCH