Heritage Cases



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SAHRA Application Closure

Please note the following concerning applications submitted to the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) during the December 2023 to January 2024 period.

The full notice is available here: Notice

Special Notice

Following comments received on the proposed Revised Schedule of Fees for applications made to the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), made in terms of Section 25(2)(l) of the National Heritage Resources Act No. 25 of 1999 (NHRA) and published in the Government Gazette of 22 July 2022, SAHRA hereby publishes the final Revised Schedule of Fees for Applications made to SAHRA. Applications for provision of services submitted to the South African Heritage Resources Authority (SAHRA), in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act, No. 25 of 1999 (NHRA) must be accompanied by a payment of the appropriate fee, taking effect from 1 January 2023

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

Destruction application - Phase 1 N'Komati Anthracite Archaeological sites





Destruction application for archaeological sites NKM21/3, NKM21/4, NKM21/7, NKM21/10, NKM21/11, NKM21/15, NKM21/16, NKM21/18 and NKM21/24 for the Nkomati Anthracite Mine, Nkomazi Local Municipality, in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Mpumalanga Province


PGS Heritage (Pty) Ltd (PGS) was appointed by the Nkomati Anthracite Mine to manage the Phase 2 archaeological mitigation work required for the mitigation of several identified archaeological sites and to investigate features that may be graves. The planned expansion of mining activities in the area known as “Block L” will affect these archaeological sites and features. PGS obtained an excavation permit from the SAHRA to undertake archaeological mitigation, test excavations, and ground penetrating radar scans to excavate the archaeological sites and features extensively and to collect representative samples of the archaeological material for analysis to determine the temporal localisation, cultural affiliation, and possible social structure and layout of the settlements. The mitigation work must also identify unmarked burials and ensure, as far as possible, that no unmarked burials are left in the area after the completion of the mitigation work. The pre-disturbance excavation permit was issued to PGS on 10 February 2023 with Permit ID – 3926. Representative samples were recovered from the cultural deposits present at Project Phase 1 sites NKM21/3, NKM21/4 (including site NKM21/15), and NKM21/7 (including site NKM21/16). The material recovered included a wide range of archaeological artefacts consisting of decorated ceramics, clay smoking pipes and figurines, metal weaponry and tool fragments, faunal material (including worked bone), numerous glass and ostrich eggshell beads and charcoal for possible radiocarbon dating. This material is being processed at the PGS laboratory, after which it will be submitted to the University of Pretoria for curation. Test excavations at sites NKM21/10, NKM21/18, and NKM21/24 showed that the archaeological deposits were very shallow and did not yield any significant value or interest. The test excavation at site NKM21/11 uncovered the burial of an adult, therefore justifying the execution of these test excavations on this and similar identified features. Fifty-five human burials were identified during the excavations of the mentioned sites. Nineteen burials were identified from the excavated kraal deposits and associated middens at sites NKM21/3 and 21/7, and sixteen burials at site NKM21/4. A single burial was identified at site NKM21/11. These burials were mostly very shallow and were covered and protected with sandbags and then marked with mounds of soil. They will be left in situ and removed only after an amendment to the excavation permit has been approved. Owing to the extent of the volume of post-processing of excavated material, this interim report is submitted as backing for the destruction application to be submitted by Nkomati Anthracite Mine to ensure that mining activities can continue. It is our opinion that the destruction process can continue with the backing of a SAHRA permit and the implementation of the recommendation below: The following recommendations are made: 1. That the sites described in this interim report, to wit, NKM21/3, NKM21/4, NKM21/7, NKM21/10, NKM21/11, NKM21/15, NKM21/16, NKM21/18, and NKM21/24 be destroyed following the methodology set out in section 10.2, of the interim report. 2. That the destruction permit makes provision for the relocation of the human remains from the burials found at sites NKM21/3, NKM21/4, NKM21/7, and NKM21/11 after it have been documented and described by a physical anthropologist. 3. That any other human remains of archaeological origin that may be uncovered during the destruction of the sites located in Phase 1 of the project, to wit, NKM21/3, NKM21/4, NKM21/7, NKM21/10, NKM21/11, NKM21/15, NKM21/16, NKM21/18, and NKM21/24, or in areas situated within the general area of Phase 1 of the project be relocated as stated in Recommendation 2 above. 4. That any archaeological material uncovered during the destruction process be documented and collected as set out in the methodology in the attached report.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 09:30






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