A report on the assessment of graves located on portion 2 of the farm Kleinfontein 49 IS, to be impacted on by Umcebo Mining’s Kleinfontein Colliery Middelburg Magisterial District, Mpumalanga Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Umcebo Mining (Pty) Ltd to assess and document a number of graves found recently on portion 2 of the farm Kleinfontein 49 IS by mine officials of their Kleinfontein Colliery in an area that will be affected by expanding opencast coal mining operations. The mine has been in operation for a number of years, and this work forms part of ongoing mining operations at Kleinfontein Colliery. Although no evidence of a Heritage Impact Assessment for the mine was found, an Environmental Management Program (EMP) was completed during 2004 by GCS, which provided the basis for permission for the mining operations. No archaeological or historical sites were found during the 2004 study, and although some graves were identified, these were outside the area that would be mined. The existence of the graves located during 2011 was not known.

The aims of the assessment were to determine the exact number of graves that will be impacted, record their details (age/date of death and deceased identities) and also to recommend on the best way forward in terms of mitigation measures.

There are two definite graves on the site, with a third likely grave. The one identifiable grave dates to 1917. More unmarked graves might exist in the area. It is recommended that the graves be exhumed and relocated, as they will be directly impacted by the mining operations, which is in very close proximity. All the necessary legal processes will be adhered to before the work commences.

Report by

A.J. Pelser