A REPORT ON A CULTURAL HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR THE PROPOSED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ON PORTION 27 AND 28 OF THE FARM ZWARTKOPJIES 143 IR, EKURHULENI METROPOLOTAN MUNICIPALITY, GAUTENG PROVINCE
Archaetnos cc was requested by Gudani Consulting Environmental & Social Scientists to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for a proposed housing development. This is on portion 27 and 28 of the farm Zwartkopjies 143 IR, in the Gauteng Province. The site is located towards the south of Johannesburg and the north of Vereeniging.
The HIA study forms part of an Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Programme. The client indicated the areas to be surveyed and the survey was confined to these. It was done via foot and off-road vehicle.
The methodology for the study includes a survey of literature and a field survey. The latter was conducted according to generally accepted HIA practices and was aimed at locating all possible objects, sites and features of cultural significance in the area of proposed development.
If required, the location/position of any site was determined by means of a Global Positioning System (GPS), while photographs were also taken where needed. The survey was undertaken by doing a physical survey via off-road vehicle and on foot and covered as much as possible of the area to be studied. Certain factors, such as accessibility, density of vegetation, etc. may however influence the coverage.
All sites, objects, features and structures identified were documented according to the general minimum standards accepted by the archaeological profession. Co-ordinates of individual localities were determined by means of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The information was added to the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.
During the survey two sites of cultural heritage significance were identified. Mitigation measures are proposed. After the implementation of these, the proposed development may continue.
The following is recommended:
- Site 1 is a station consisting of at least three houses. The field rating thereof is Local Grade III B. It should be included in the heritage register but may be mitigated.
- Two possibilities exist. Option 1 would be to keep them as part of the development. This option will be most desirable. Should any changes be needed to these houses, a permit should be applied for at the PHRA-G.
- Option 2 is to document these buildings by photographs and line drawings, after which it may be demolished. Again, for the latter a permit from the PHRA-G is needed.
- Site 2 consists of two workers’ dwellings. These have a field rating of Local Grade IIIC. The description in the phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording (low significance) and it may be granted destruction at the discretion of the relevant heritage authority without a formal permit application, subjected to the granting of Environmental Authorisation.
- It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. It may only become known later on. Therefore, operating controls and monitoring should be introduced, aimed at the possible unearthing of such features. Care should therefore be taken when development commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate the occurrence.
It is also important to take cognizance that it is the client’s responsibility to do the submission of this report to the relevant Heritage Resources Agency. No work on site may commence before receiving the necessary comments from them.