A second report on a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed Chrome Mine on the farms Naboom 451 KS and Vaalboschlaagte 454 KS near Makurung, Limpopo Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by SRK Consulting to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for the proposed chrome mine on the farms Naboom 451 KS and Vaalboschlaagte 454 KS. This is located close to the Makurung Village near Lebowakgomo, Limpopo Province.

The proposed development includes among other infrastructure underground mining as well as a decline shaft with associated infrastructure, a processing plant and tailings facilities. The client indicated the areas where the proposed development is to take place (through the provision of maps), and the survey was confined to this area.

A survey of the available literature was undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the area. This included looking at previous HIA reports on the wider geographical 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 proposed development.

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 a Global Positioning System (GPS). The information was added to photographs and the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.

During the survey two sites of cultural heritage significance was located in the area to be developed. Both date to the recent historical past. Some Middle Stone Age artifacts were also found in isolation throughout the surveyed area. No graves or grave yards were identified. It is however known that some Stone and Iron Age occurrences were identified before as well as remains from the recent past. The latter included a number of grave sites.

Consultation with members of the community indicated that there are no graves in the surveyed area. However this may not be the case as individual graves are sometimes found in densely vegetated areas.

Both sites will probably be impacted upon by the development. One of these may be demolished, but for this a destruction permit from SAHRA is required. The first site is a tree which is important to the community and it therefore needs to be preserved. This should be discussed with the community.

It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Infants and stillborn babies were sometimes buried underneath houses and this may be the case at the homestead identified. Care should therefore be taken when construction commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate.

As stone tools were found it is possible that such a site may also be unearthed during construction. A qualified archaeologist should be contacted immediately on discovery of such a site.

Report by

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