A report on the archaeological investigation, exhumation and relocation of a number of burials impacted on by mining operations, including a tailings dam on Kennedy’s Vale 361KT, near Steelpoort Limpopo Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Rhodium Reefs Limited (EASTPLATS Kennedy’s Vale) to assist with the investigation, exhumation and relocation of a number of known and unknown graves located on the farm Kennedy’s Vale 361KT near Steelpoort in the Limpopo Province. These graves, amongst others, were identified during a Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment by Francois Coetzee of Unisa Archaeology during August 2011 for the proposed Kennedy’s Vale Mine.

Archaetnos was required to help with the investigation, exhumation and relocation of all the graves older than 60 years of age and those unknown (in age and identity). Tsogo Funerals relocated a number of known graves during late 2011 and early 2012, before Archaetnos cc, in conjunction with Martin’s Funerals Lydenburg and Randburg started to exhume and relocate the other graves from the sites that will be impacted on by the development of the mine’s Tailings Dam facility. This work was done during July 2012. A permit from SAHRA (BG/12/02/003/87) was obtained and used for this purpose after all processes were followed (news paper advertisements, social consultation and consents obtained from family members). A total of 11 burials from 8 graves were investigated during this session.

A further 4 graves will be investigated and exhumed during August 2012. Final consultation with affected families still needs to be concluded in these cases.

The report discusses the results of the investigations and exhumations. Finally the information retrieved is interpreted and some recommendations on further possible work in the area made.

Report by

A. J.Pelser
Accredited member of ASAPA & Principal Investigator of Graves