Sika’s Area Sales Manager in Northern KZN, Mark Griesel, has advised on a most unusual project: the removal and preservation of ancient rock paintings located in caves situated in the southeastern Free State.

The construction of a Hydro Electric Power Station by contractors, Amfra Maintenance Services, including the creation of the Bedford Dam, threatened the preservation of two panels of art at nearby Bedford Shelter Caves. Sika AnchorFix-3+ was deemed the most robust anchoring adhesive for the unique job of preserving the extracted rock art!

These two shelter caves are situated at the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme (PSS) on the top of the escarpment of the greater Drakensberg Mountain Range, bordering KZN and southeastern Free State. The work at the Bedford Dam would include the blasting of three rock shelters, and then the flooding of the area; leaving the art and archaeological deposit unrecoverable. During the initial excavations and reports for the Power Station, Amfra’s Frans Prinsloo suggested that the rock art be removed using Sika AnchorFix-3+ as an anchoring adhesive to help prevent the rock from breaking. The idea was then to donate the rock paintings to the proposed Ingula PSS Interpretative Centre, for educational purposes.  

Sika AnchorFix-3+ is a solvent-free, thixotrophic, resin-based anchoring adhesive and was applied by drilling holes straight through the surface of the rock and placing a steel rod reinforcement. This was anchored into the rock using Sika AnchorFix-3+, in order to hold the stratified rock together and avoid cracking.

The rock art extraction occurred over 3 days in July 2008 and was a joint effort between Eskom Holdings, Umlando and Amfra Maintenance Services. Eskom Holdings offered to fund the art excavation in order tree State. The work at the Bedford Dam would include the blasting of three rock shelters, and then the flooding of the area; leaving the art and archaeological deposit unrecoverable. During the initial excavations and reports for the Power Station, Amfra’s Frans Prinsloo suggested that the rock art be removed using Sika AnchorFix-3+ as an anchoring adhesive to help prevent the rock from breaking. The idea was then to donate the rock paintings to the proposed Ingula PSS Interpretative Centre, for educational purposes.  

Sika AnchorFix-3+ is a solvent-free, thixotrophic, resin-based anchoring adhesive and was applied by drilling holes straight through the surface of the rock and placing a steel rod reinforcement. This was anchored into the rock using Sika AnchorFix-3+, in order to hold the stratified rock together and avoid cracking.

The rock art extraction occurred over 3 day