Luckhoff is a small inland town situated in Free State, South Africa. The town was established in 1892, on the Koffiekuil farm. Farming has been the main source of work in the area however, there is a community of small-scale fishers that make use of the freshwater fish in the Orange River and the Vanderkloof Dam to put food on the table and secure a livelihood.
Fishers in Luckhoff have been making a living and feeding their families from fishing on the river and later, the dam, for generations. The women in Luckhoff do fish at the dam however, most women are largely involved in the processing and selling of fish in the community.
The fishing techniques used in Luckhoff are kraal fishing and line fishing. Harvesting fish from the kraals largely depend on the ebb and flow of the water at the dam. When the turbines of the dam open they cause the fish to be washed into the fish kraals.
The Luckhoff fishers are an organised group and hold monthly meetings to discuss challenges they face as small-scale fishers but also come up with solutions to these challenges and the way forward.
One of the challenges faced by inland fishers in this community is, the restricted access to kraals at the dam and on private-owned farms. There is an access point in Luckhoff that allows them to fish at the nearby kraals and will reduce the time and money spent in travelling to the Vanderkloof dam. However, this access point is located on farm land that is privately owned.
Another challenge the local fishers face is the lack of proper infrastructure and a fish market.
Fishers from Luckhoff engaged local municipalities in roundtable meetings in an effort to resolve these challenges. The engagements included discussing the possibility of access to additional kraal fishing spots and for access to an unused building. The building could potentially be used create a fishery for Luckhoff. The fishery could create jobs but also, contribute to food security through the buying and selling of fish and could add value to the fish.