A report on a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed Middelburg Eastern Bypass route (as revised), Middelburg, Mpumalanga Province
Archaetnos cc was requested by Wandima Environmental Consultants to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for the proposed Middelburg Eastern bypass in the Mpumalanga Province during 2011. As some changes were made to the first proposed route, another HIA was done in 2012.
The Middelburg Eastern Bypass consists of two sections. Section 1 will connect the P154-4 road to Belfast with the R555 to Stoffberg and Section 2 will connect the R555 to Stoffberg with the N11 to Groblersdal. The client indicated the areas where the proposed development is to take place and the survey was confined to this area. A survey of the available literature was also undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the area.
During the first survey two sites of cultural heritage significance were located in the indicated areas. During the second survey no such sites were identified. One of the sites is of high cultural significance and the other of medium cultural significance. However, due to the changes in the route these are mostly not to be directly impacted on. Therefore no mitigation is required.
The proposed development may therefore continue, but care should be taken that the two sites are not disturbed in any way. It should also be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Care should therefore be taken when work on site commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate.
Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)