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National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No.25 of 1999)


South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) Permit Regulations

Chapter VIII : Application for Permit :  Wrecks (Section 35(4))

26. Application requirements and procedure


(1) Permit applications must be made on the official form Application for permit: Wrecks, available from SAHRA.


(2) The following information must be supplied:
(a) The presumed name of the vessel and date of the wreck, accurate geographical coordinates of the site and the name of the nearest port;
(b) the name, address, telephone and/or fax number of the collaborating institution;
(c) a signed undertaking to collaborate on the project from the head of the collaborating institution;
(d) a draft agreement between the applicant and the collaborating institution regarding the disposal of any objects recovered from the wreck and any proposed division of such objects between the applicant and the collaborating institution;
(e) a comprehensive written motivation for the project, including the research motivation and the information listed in the Guidelines;
(f) an estimate of the cost of the project;
(g) the source of funds for the project and the name and address of the person, company or agency providing the funding;
(h) the address of the place where any objects will be housed and/or conserved upon recovery from the wreck;
(i) in the case of a wreck deemed by SAHRA to be significant or a wreck older than 1850, the name, identity number, address, telephone and/or fax number, qualifications and relevant experience and signature of the maritime archaeologist or archaeologist who will work on the project;
(j) the names and identity numbers of all divers taking part in the project;
(k) the name, identity number, address, telephone and/or fax number, qualifications, relevant experience and signature of the applicant;
(l) a copy of the applicant's salvage licence from the Department of Finance: Customs and Excise;
(m) the numbers and dates of any other wreck permits currently and previously issued to the applicant;
(n) any other relevant information requested in the Guidelines or by SAHRA.


(3) SAHRA must circulate the application for comment to—
(a) members of its review committee;
(b) the relevant SAHRA regional manager;
(c) the collaborating institution; and
(d) the Southern African Association of Archaeologists.


(4) To safeguard the integrity of wreck sites and objects, when considering an application SAHRA must take into account—
(a) archaeological principles and practice; and
(b) the benefits in terms of bona fide research.


(5) An advertisement with the presumed name and date of the vessel and the port nearest to the wreck will be published in the Gazette and, at the discretion of SAHRA, in local newspapers, inviting comment from interested parties by the date specified in the advertisement.


(6) If no objections are received and the application is approved, a permit may be issued three weeks after the date referred to in subregulation (5).


(7) The area within a radius of 200 m from the geographical coordinates given in the application as the position of the wreck will, unless otherwise indicated in the permit, be deemed to be the wreck site for the purposes of the permit. If the dispersal area of the wreck is larger than 400 m in diameter, application can be made to SAHRA to increase the size of the permit area.


(8) The applicant who has given coordinates closest to the true position of a wreck will be deemed to have priority for that wreck site. In cases of dispute regarding the position of a wreck SAHRA, in consultation with the parties involved, will decide the matter. The decision of SAHRA will be final..


(9) If an application for a permit is granted for a wreck site closer than 400 m to an existing wreck site, the wreck site of the holder of the first permit issued will have a 200 m radius and any adjacent site will be correspondingly smaller.


(10) The length of validity of a permit is subject to the discretion of SAHRA, but may not exceed three years.


(11) Permits for wrecks may be issued in the following two phases:
(a) a pre-disturbance permit in terms of which the applicant is required to conduct a pre-disturbance survey of the wreck site; and
(b) an excavation permit.


(12) When a pre-disturbance survey is required, the issuing of an excavation permit will be considered only on the satisfactory completion of such survey. The completion of a pre-disturbance survey does not guarantee that an excavation permit will be issued.


(13) SAHRA may refuse to issue a permit or permit extension if it has reason to believe that the applicant is not qualified or experienced enough to do the work or if permit conditions are not met.