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Revised Schedule of Fees for Applications made to the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)

Archaeological Mitigation Mier Rietfontein Solar PV and Battery Storage Project

CaseViews

CaseHeader

HeritageAuthority(s): 

Case Type: 

ProposalDescription: 

Archaeological Excavations and Collection of Archaeological Material Mier Rietfontein Solar PV and Battery Storage Project, Farm Mier 585, Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality, Northern Cape Province

Expanded_Motivation: 

WSP has appointed PGS Heritage (Pty) Ltd on behalf of Eskom SOC, to assist with the mitigation of several stone age find surface scatters to be impacted by the development of the approved Mier Rietfontein Solar PV and battery Storage project. The sites to be mitigated were identified during the HIA (Case ID: 17024). LOCATION The Mier Rietfontein PV project is situated 2 kilometres west of the town of Rietfontein on Farm Mier 585 in the Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality, Northern Cape Province. The approved Mier Rietfontein BESS & PV Facility wil consist of:  12 independent PV blocks of 170 (“kW”) kW each with a total installed capacity of 2 040 kW  11 independent BESS of 140 kW (560 kWh) each with a total installed capacity of 1 540 kW and 6 160 kWh  A distribution substation Above falls within a 10 ha servitude  33kV Powerline +/- 500 metres in length with a 22 metre wide servitude  A telecommunications tower close to the village of Groot Mier. The footprint area for the tower is 15 x 15 metres, which will also contains a small equipment room. The project approval was granted under the Environmental Authorisation as issued by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment on 6 January 2022 (attached in this SAHRIS application). The HIA (Kaplan, 2021) recorded 260 heritage resources in total. His assessment noted that: Relatively large numbers of Stone Age resources were recorded in the 20ha study area. More than 99% of the remains are assigned to the Middle Stone Age (MSA), but it is clear that there mains comprises an assemblage of mixed MSA ages. These traces (i. e. stone tools) have probably been displaced to some extent by environmental processes including vertical collapsing of stratified sequences through erosion and lateral movement down the gently sloping landscape. The densities in the area searched are also very low, ranging from less than one artefact per 5 x 5m, to up to perhaps one or two artefacts p/m². SAHRA commented and recommended:  38(4)b – The recommendations of the specialists are supported and must be adhered to. Further additional specific conditions are provided for the development as follows;  A permit in terms of section 35 of the NHRA must be applied for the recommended sampling and collection of archaeological resources in the eastern portion of the development area. This permit must be applied for prior to any construction taking place. No construction may take place until the permit has been received and conditions complied with; A total of 30 areas or points with single or scatters of lithics directly in the footprint of the PV facility were identified that required mitigation. PGS then combined these findspots and scatters into eight (8) distinct areas. Each area (MR001-008) was then numbered for investigation during the mitigation process. The aim is to collect a representative sample of the archaeological material from the sites MR001-MR008 on-site for analysis to determine temporal localisation and Stone Age typology and industry. Upon completion of the fieldwork according to the methodology supplied. All artefacts and material collected will be marked and labelled and packed for transportation to our laboratory at the University of Pretoria. On completion of the analysis, the lithics will be submitted to the McGregor Museum for curation. Considering the above information, we request a section 35 permit to conduct the archaeological excavations for the archaeological sites MR001-008 as identified in this application

ApplicationDate: 

Thursday, February 16, 2023 - 09:39

CaseID: 

20703

OtherReferences: 

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