A report on a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed Isibonelo Colliery Block Z Opencast Mine, close to Kriel, Mpumalanga Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by WSP Environmental (Pty) Ltd to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for the Isibonelo Colliery Block Z Opencast Mine. This was done as part of the Impact Assessment and Management Programme amendment. The project is situated close to Kriel in the Mpumalanga Province.

A survey of the available literature was undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the area. This was followed by the field survey which wasconducted according to generally accepted HIA practices, aimed at locating allpossible objects, sites and features of cultural significance in the area of the proposed development.

All sites, objects features and structures identified were to be documented according to the general minimum standards accepted by the archaeological profession. Co-ordinates of individual localities were determined by means of a Global Positioning System (GPS). The information was added to photographs and the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.

During the survey one site of cultural heritage significance was located, but it is outside of the area of impact. The extremely dense vegetation experienced during the survey however made archaeological visibility almost impossible and therefore it may still be possible that more such sites do exist. Should such sites be identified later on, an archaeologist should be contracted to amend the HIA. The proposed project may therefore continue.

It should be noted however that due to the nature of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts, which may have a subterranean presence, there always is a distinct possibility that these can be discovered at a later stage. Therefore, care should be taken that if any other sites are encountered during the development, a qualified archaeologist should be called in to investigate.

It is also important to take cognizance that it is the client’s responsibility to do the submission of this report via the SAHRIS System on the SAHRA website. No work on site may commence before receiving the necessary comments from SAHRA.

Report by

Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) Accredited member of ASAPA Professional member of SASCH and Cherene de Bruyn (BA), BA (Hons) Archaeology