A report on the archaeological investigation of a grave yard at Delmas Coal (Kipower) on the farm Haverklip 265 Ir, close to Delmas, Mpumalanga Province


During July 2012, Dr. Julius Pistorius did a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) at Delmas Coal. A number of grave yards were identified. In September 2012, Archaetnos was requested to initialize the process to exhume two of these graves, which were in danger of being destroyed by mining activities. As a result permission was obtained from SAHRA to have the graves exhumed and reburied.

An extensive process of social consultation was done by African Grave Relocation Specialists (AGRS) who also served as undertakers for the project. The number of the permit obtained from the Burial Grounds and Graves Unit (BGG) of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) is Case ID: 1961 AND Permit ID: 268.

The mining area is located on the farm Haverklip 265 IR. This is close to the town of Delmas in the Mpumalanga Province.

The archaeological investigations at the site commenced during June 2013. It was believed that the site contained 2 graves, which proofed to be the case. No family members could be identified. Both graves contained skeletal remains, as well as other funerary objects. They also contained corrugated iron sheeting which was usually placed on top of the mortal remains. Both graves had grave dressing and headstones made of granite.

The mortal remains were reburied in the Delmas Municipal Cemetery. It is believed that the archaeological investigation, exhumation and relocation of the graves from the site were conducted successfully. Therefore the mining activities may continue.

Report by

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