Norvalspont is a small township that resides in the rural area of the Northern Cape. The small town seems almost hidden behind the hills.
The area is situated at the banks of the Orange River with a population of approximately 1500 people.
Fishing is one of the many sources of income that people of this town rely on, “there is about 5% of people who has a permanent job. Most of the people are dependent on casual jobs, and grants, another way that people are using as a source of income is fishing” Wilfred Soul, an inland fisher from Norvalspont.
For many generations, the members of the community have fished for their livelihood.
One of the biggest challenges these inland small-scale fishers face is the lack of designated fishing grounds.
The fishers of Norvalspont cannot access fishing grounds anywhere close to their community, this is due to private land ownership, government land and a power station.
Previously, fishers were able to access a municipality owned area called Aventura. It is now owned by Gariep A Forever Resort and under new private ownership, access is only allowed at R80 per person per day.
The area past the resort is No man’s land and fishers may access this area for free. However, because everyone goes there to fish, the fish stocks are declining and space has become limited.
Beyond this, there is a Nature Conservation, where fishers need to pay R100 per vehicle to enter, plus R20 per person for more than 5 people.
On the other side of the dam, fishers are also not able to access it due to an old power station.
Along the banks of the river close to Norvalspont, farmers and private landowners do not allow fishers to walk on their land to access the banks of the river.
Despite these challenges, fishers from this community organise themselves and are committed to finding ways to work with local municipalities and private owners to come up with solutions that will gain them access for fishing.