A report on the assessment of possible grave sites on the farm Elandspruit 291 JS, close to Middelburg in the Mpumalanga Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Shanduka Collieries to investigate a number of possible grave sites identified on areas where mining is planned for the near future. If these proved to be graves, Archaetnos was to indicate the best way to deal therewith. The sites were identified by different employees of the mine. A Heritage Impact Survey was done in the area by Dr J van Schalkwyk. Although he did not identify any graves, he did indicate that the possibility of finding graves in certain overgrown areas and that these should be again investigated once the vegetation is much less dense.

The mining area is located on the farm Elandspruit 291 JS. This is close to Middelburg in the Mpumalanga Province. Four possible grave sites were identified

These were visited in order to obtain contextual information. This was coupled with information known about the graves, applicable legislation and the grave relocation process.

The finding of the investigation is that three of the sites indeed are graves, but the fourth not. Since the latter has no heritage significance it may be demolished. The graves however are all located within the proposed mining activities and would therefore have to be exhumed and relocated as it would not be possible to change the mine plan.

Report by

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