Thursday, 15 December 2005

Getting a fishing licence in Kimberley

The penalties for fishing without a permit are quite severe. Apart from a fine, your vehicle and fishing equipment may be confiscated on the spot. And since we intended to fish for an endangered species, we could not afford to go without permist. Therefore, I visited Kimberley to get a fishing licence for the Northern Cape Province.

I located the Department of Environment and Tourism - the place where you get freshwater fishing licences in most provinces in South Africa. (Sea and shore angling permits are much easier to find, because you can get them at any post office). They told me that in Kimberley, the office for fishing licences is actually in the building of the Dept of Safety and Security. Kind of strange, but maybe it attests to the size of the barbel (catfish) found in the river.

Finding the Dept of Safety and Security was a little difficult in downtown Kimberley, but after three stops at the wrong places, I walked into the office. In contrast to Bloemfontein, I was invited in and sat down opposite an elderly white lady who must have issued fishing licences for a very long time. She told me that she cannot issue the actual licence to me, since the Northern Cape Province has run out of their supply of documents. But, she can provide me with a receipt to show that I did in fact pay for a licence.

You would not believe what a fishing licence valid for a year of fishing in the Northern Cape Province costs. All of R2 - yes two rands!!! And one could have one's car confiscated for not paying that!

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