Land Parcel Type:
HWC file No.:
Nature of Application:
Construction of road longer than 300m with no process ito s38
Date of Site Visit:
Thursday, 5 March 2015
Jenna Lavin, Guy Thomas, Andrew September
Met on Site By:
Reasons for Site Inspection:
HWC was made aware of the construction of a road longer than 300m without any s 38 process. The road construction is linked to the development of a phosphate mine on Portions 2 and 4 of Farm Elandsfontein 349. This farm is also home to a very significant archeaological and palaeontological site known as the ELandsfontein Fossil Dune Site which is currently in the process of being declared as a Provincial Heritage Site. HWC is aware that mining right, including the associated road development, was granted by the DMR without a process in terms of s 38 of the NHRA. In addition, no process was followed ito NEMA. HWC submitted an intention to appeal the granting of the mining right due to the correct process not being followed. However, the submission of an appeal does not suspend the right and as such, HWC issued two Stop Works Orders ito s 50(10) of the NHRA. HWC was informed that work continued regardless.
Findings of Site Inspection:
GT, JCL and AS walked 6km of the road and 6km back to the Hopefield Road (R45). It was clear that construction continued regardless of the SWO. The construction site was very active with numerous people and vehicles working on site. As the ground clearing for this portion of the road has been finalised, it was very difficult to identify any heritage resources that may have been disturbed in the process. The Heritage Officials were able to identify calcrete exposures at various points along the 6km road. It is known from excavations in the Fossil Dune Site that the calcrete exposures have some relationship with the preserved fossil material, however, the nature of this relationship is not clear.
As the SWO has not stopped construction, and as it is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the existing road development has impacted significant heritage resources, it is recommended that HWC move ahead with the appeal against the DMR decision and continue to try and prevent further construction work from negatively impacting on significant heritage resources.