Exhumation of the three graves located at EXX6233 - Matla Mine 1






Monday, November 8, 2021 to Tuesday, November 8, 2022




Digby wells Environmental was appointed to conduct exhumation of three (3) graves by Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (Pty) Ltd who owns and operates the Matla Coal Mine near Kriel in the Mpumalanga Province. The Matla mining complex comprises three mines that undertakes continuous mining and shortwall methods. As one of the four Exxaro Mega Projects, the upgrading of Matla to be more modern and efficient, is essential to promote the securing of quality thermal coal supply to Eskom Holdings SOC (Eskom). This will entail the relocation of Matla Mine 1 to provide safe access to the remaining coal reserves, and to improve efficiencies. The Project will entail the development of a new box-cut and tunnels to access the current coal reserves, as well as the construction of new surface infrastructure. The Mine identified three burial grounds on the farm Bakenlaagte 84 IS, one of which comprise three (3) individual graves located within the new Matla Mine 1 Development footprint. The mortal remains are associated with the Du Rand and Landsberg families. As part of the existing Matla Heritage Site Management Plan (HSMP) strategies, Exxaro explored proactive management measures to avoid the manifestation of the identified risk. This notwithstanding, no feasible proactive management measures were identified, and a Grave Relocation Process (GRP) contemplated in terms of the National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003), the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999) and the Mpumalanga Cemeteries, Crematoria and Exhumations of Bodies Act, 2005 (Act No. 8 of 2005), is required. This permit is allocated in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act and the following conditions applies:

  1. If the permit holder is not to be present on the site at all times then the heritage authority must be provided with the names and qualifications of the authorized representatives.
  2. Adequate recording methods as specified in the Regulations and Guidelines pertaining to the National Heritage Resources Act must be employed. Note that the position of all excavations and objects collected must be marked on a site plan.
  3. A standard site record form must be lodged on SAHRIS.
  4. Human remains must at all times be handled with respect and graves should not be disturbed except where unavoidable. The consultation procedures as indicated in the Regulations and the National Heritage Resources Act must be observed as appropriate. The recommendations for removal of graves and exhumations and for re-burial stipulated in SAHRA's Policy 'What to do when graves are uncovered', section 3, must be observed as far as possible.
  5. A permit report is due by 30 November 2022.  A preliminary report must be submitted within three months from the date this permit is issued. 
  6. All remains recovered, including relics and artefacts must be buried at a local municipal cemetery.
  7. Reprints of all published papers or copies of theses and/or reports resulting from this work must be lodged with the relevant provincial heritage authority and SAHRA.
  8. If a published report has not appeared within three years of the lapsing of this permit, the report required in terms of the permit will be made available to researchers on request.
  9. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to obtain permission from the landowner for each visit, and conditions of access imposed by the landowner must be observed.
  10. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to fill in excavations and protect sites during and after excavation to the satisfaction of the heritage authority and the landowner.
  11. The heritage authority shall not be liable for any losses, damages or injuries to persons or properties as a result of any activities in connection with this permit.



PDF of Permit: 

PDF icon Exxaro Matla permit_ CaseID15110.pdf97.7 KB

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