A report on the assessment of a possible grave site on the farm Eenzaamheid 687 LQ, close to Lephalale in the Limpopo Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Basil Read on behalf of ESKOM to investigate a possible grave site identified on an area where the ash dump for the Medupi Power Station is planned for the near future. If these proved to be graves, Archaetnos was to indicate the best way to deal therewith. The site was identified by one of the other consultants working in the area. A Heritage Scoping Assessment was done in the area by Dr. J van Schalkwyk. He did not identify any graves, but this report will indicate that there is doubt about the site being a grave site.

The location of the area where the ash dump is planned is on the remainder of the farm Eenzaamheid 687 LQ. This is close to Lephalale in the Limpopo Province.

The site was visited in order to obtain contextual information. This was coupled with information known about the graves, applicable legislation and the grave relocation process.
The finding of the investigation is that the site may indeed be a grave yard, but that too little above ground evidence is available to confirm that. Since it is located where the ash dump will be placed and this cannot be moved, it would have to be investigated further.

There are four possible ways of dealing with the site. The possibility of a watching brief is recommended as this would be the fastest way to confirm whether these indeed are graves. It would also have the least risk for ESKOM, who cannot afford their work being halted unnecessarily. Should such a process confirm the site as being graves, the remains should be exhumed and relocated and a process of social consultation should then be followed afterwards.

Report by

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