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A SURVEY OF CULTURAL RESOURCES - SAHRA

A SURVEY OF CULTURAL RESOURCES - SAHRA

Basic Assessment Mookodi

Basic Assessment Mookodi Integration – Phase 2Aerial photographs and topocadastral and other maps were also studied - see the list ofreferences below.Information of a very general nature was obtained from these sources.4.2.2 Field surveyThe areas that had to be investigated were identified by SiVest Environmental Division bymeans of maps. As the developments are linear in nature, it was surveyed by travelling theextent of the various corridors. Fortunately, as the corridors largely run alongside existingroads, it was easy to follow the routes. In a few smaller sections where this was not possible,the routes were accessed by foot. In addition sensitive areas such as river banks, the rims ofnatural pans and hills that would be crossed by the proposed power lines, were subjected to afoot survey.Fig.1. Track log of the field survey.5. DESCRIPTION OF THE AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT5.1 Overview of the regionThe cultural landscape qualities of the region essentially consist of a two components. Thefirst is a rural area in which the human occupation is made up of a pre-colonial (Stone Ageand Iron Age) occupation and a much later colonial (farmer) component. The secondcomponent is an urban one consisting of a number of smaller towns, most of which developedduring the last 150 years or less.4

Basic Assessment Mookodi Integration – Phase 2Geology 1The lower strata of the Transvaal sequence comprise mostly of dolomite (with some chert andshales interspersed in places) while the upper strata appear to be more varied in constituents.Dolomite consists largely of calcium carbonate and is hence vulnerable to solution, especiallyby the carbonic acid found in rainwater percolating downwards. The dissolution of dolomitecan lead to the formation of underground caverns and horizontal chambers often filled withlarge volumes of groundwater. Malmane Dolomite appears to be one of the main elements ofthe Transvaal sequence. It contains abundant algal stromatolites, evidence of an aquaticenvironment in ancient times. The algal stromatolites have a number of distinctive shapessuch as domes, columns and spheres, their shape being governed by the environment inwhich they were formed. It is believed that the dolomites were laid down in shallow inter-tidalor sub-tidal zone of open water seas.Although these features are said to occur over a wide area, it is apparently only in a fewplaces where they outcrop and are visible to the naked eye.Geological sitesNHRA Category Palaeontological sitesProtection statusGeneral Protection - Section 35: Archaeology, palaeontology and meteoritesHeritage sites assessmentSite type Site significance Site grading (Section 7 of NHRA)Stromatolites Uncertain UncertainImpact assessmentImpact UnsureMitigation UnsurePermits UnsureEarly historyVery little habitation of the central highveld area took place during Stone Age times. Toolsdating to the Early Stone Age period are mostly found in the vicinity of larger watercourses,e.g. the Vaal River or the Harts River and especially in sheltered areas such as at the Taung1 As the author of this report is not a geologist, it is recommended that a suitably qualified person is contracted to produce aprofessional opinion on this topic.5

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