The preliminary investigation is conducted in order to establish if a parcel of land is suitable for the proposed township development. The investigation in general comprises a desk study of available databases and information and gathering of information from relevant organisations such as local authorities, Surveyor General, consultants who have previously worked in the area and other relevant sources and/or authorities or departments.  The preliminary investigation is generally supplemented by a site walkover survey including the examination of existing profiles in the area or limited evaluation test pits and soil profile descriptions. The simplified aim of the investigation is to identify and categorise terrain types, indicate appropriate land uses and comment on potential sources of construction materials. The basic report structure of a preliminary investigation comprises at least the following headings as per SANS634:2012:

  1. Introduction
  2. Terms of reference
  3. Information
    1. Sources of information
    2. General location and description of site
    3. Evaluation procedures used in the investigations
    4. Geology and geohydrology of the site
    5. Geotechnical conditions and constraints
    6. Terrain mapping units
  4. Impact of the geotechnical character of the site on township development
    1. Land usage
    2. Installation of services
    3. Building construction
  5. Conclusions
  6. Recommendations