Phase 1 scoping report for the Ariadne-Venus 400kv transmission line between Estcourt and Pietermaritzburg, KZN Province


Archaetnos cc was contracted by BAAGI Environmental Consultancy, on behalf of ESKOM, to conduct a Scoping of Cultural Heritage Resources for the new 400 KV Ariadne-Venus Transmission Line Project. The line stretches from Estcourt to Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu Natal Province. The first section of the work was done during February 2010, and included a fly-over on the proposed line in the area. The second section (limited field survey) was conducted during June 2011, and concentrated on looking at possible cultural heritage sites that could potentially be impacted on negatively by the alternative routes for the powerline.

As the area is quite large (nearly a 130km distance) it was difficult to assess all areas that could be impacted on by the alternative routes. The study therefore constituted a drive through the area, visiting museums and other sites of heritage significance, while the Natal Museum Archaeology Database was searched for information. A number of sites of cultural (archaeological and historical) heritage significance were identified in the area, dating to between the Stone Age and more recent Historical period. The report gives a short discussion of these cultural heritage resources and also gives an indication of the methodology followed. It also indicates what needs to be done during the next phases of the project (Heritage Walk Down).

Mitigation measures to minimize the possible impact of the development on the sites that were located during the assessment are put forward at the end of this report. Once these have been implemented the development, from a Cultural Heritage perspective, can continue.

Report by

A.J. Pelser
Accredited member of ASAPA