This Conservation Management Plan (CMP) arose after a wind farm proposal had impinged on the Brandewynkop Dune Field, which was seen as a potentially significant heritage resource. It is located on portions 2, 5, 11 and the remainder of Farm Langefontein 717. Although the turbines were removed to the southern edge of the exposed dune field, other activities are ongoing in the area and due to the high local significance of the dune field and surroundings it was decided that a CMP should still be compiled.
The area indicated for the CMP had never been subjected to a ground survey. A survey was thus carried out and it was found that a vast amount of Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeology, in the form of stone artefact scatters, was present in eroding areas. In one instance a fossil tooth fragment was found associated with the artefacts. These scatters seemed to be associated with exposed palaeosols indicating occupation of the dune field during or immediately after wetter climatic periods. Due to the importance of MSA research on the south coast, these finds are considered to have high local significance. The dune field and surrounding area have also been identified as having a spiritual link to indigenous populations because of the latter’s earlier use of the area for their daily activities. This link is also regarded as having high local significance. It is these two heritage aspects that are the primary focus of the CMP, although the possibility of other types of heritage occurring in the area remains open.
The CMP has been formulated following a simple approach in which much of the management will be carried out by people already on site – staff of the farms and of the Gibson Bay Wind Farm – and which will not require substantial budget. Periodic inspections of the site and surrounding fences will be required, along with recording such inspections in a log book and annual reporting to SAHRA and/or ECPHRA. The CMP should be updated every five years in conjunction with an archaeological site inspection in order to ensure its continued effectiveness. SAHRA or ECPHRA can at any time request an update to the CMP if a new threat to the integrity of the heritage resources in the CMP area is apparent.
Recommendations for conservation of the heritage resources were generated and from these a short set of CMP conditions was formulated. These conditions guided the list of tasks that need to be carried out in order to comply with the CMP.