A report on a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed housing development at extension 88 and 90 Ellisras on the farm Onverwacht 503 LQ, Lephalale, Limpopo Province


Archaetnos cc was appointed by WSP on behalf of Exxaro Coal (Pty) Ltd. to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed residential development at Ellisras extension 88 and 90 in the town of Lephalale. The site is situated on the farm Onverwacht503 LQ in the Limpopo Province.

The basic terms of reference for the project was to identify all objects, sites, occurrences and structures of an archaeological or historical nature (cultural heritage sites) located on the property and to assess the significance of these. The possible impact of the proposed development on these cultural remains also had to be recorded and suitable mitigation and management measures proposed.

The methodology used included a survey of literature in order to obtain background information regarding the area. A field survey was conducted in accordance with generally accepted HIA practices and the location/position of any site was determined by means of a Global Positioning System (GPS). Added to this a description of each find is given.

In order to place these finds in context a description of the environment is given. This is followed by a short indication of past human activities in the area, including the different phases of the human past.

The fieldwork undertaken revealed two sites of cultural heritage significance in each of the two areas investigated. All four are from the historical era and are in a bad state of decay. Accordingly three of them are of a low cultural significance. The fourth probably is a grave and therefore of high cultural significance

The final recommendations are that the development may continue, but only after suitable mitigation measures as indicated in this report have been implemented. This refers to the process that needs to be followed with regards to the exhumation and relocation of graves should it not be possible to fence of the grave.

During construction activities the client should however also be on the lookout for the subterranean presence of archaeological features. Should something be unearthed an archaeologist should immediately be contacted to investigate the find.

Report by

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