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Who owns the river?

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In response to a very interesting comment by CrankbaitCarl on another thread, I've started a new topic.

Very interestingly enough I have looked into the law in detail over the last few days on the topic of land / water ownership.

Perhaps those in the know could comment here....but what I've established is that below the 2 meter high water mark of ANY river system ie Palmiet ( Mofam system ), Breede etc is fair game and does not belong to anyone? The rule only seems to stipulate that access needs to be gained from a public area....

So....if i was to jump off a public bridge in my kickboat....and exited from the same bridge or the ocean or another bridge 10km downstream....I would be well within my legal rights to do so????

Aaaaaaaand go!
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100% Rory, I've been thru it, court case , lost. They enter my property below the flood line via the weir wall and I can do nothing about it, unless they damage my property.
Agreed, yet I must say...if I was floating down the river and saw CBC standing checking me out from the bank with his rottweiler I might not enjoy my fishing session and rather go elsewhere. :blue-biggrin:
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We are most definitely not the first to ponder this question. This link is to a case involving canoeing, but involves portages, which I suppose is a similar question being asked.
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My very much un-legal mind understands this as basically what you guys have stated. You can use the river but "riparian" ownership rights mean that you can't be on the land next to the river.
Any bastards....I mean lawyers on this site that can comment?
So now the river dries up, not a sign of water, or just one little puddle in the middle. Now mr Farmer where does your property start. The magistrate told me clearly that the high water mark is where my property starts and as long as the "intruders""are not hindering my activities I can kiss his arse but I will not get a conviction.
If the river dried up we wouldn't need to have this discussion on this forum now would we. Wink
And if my auntie had balls, she 'd be my uncle :blue-biggrin:
From wait I remember from one of my tech subjects.
The land owners boundary is at the hundred year flood level.
So then it doesn't matter if the river is dry or not.
I will see if I can find the course notes.
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F#@k me that is what I am trying to say, those who disagree, please be my legal team , I will restart my your expense.
I honestly think that all farmers and land owners who own property next any river or stream should not infringe with in 25 meters of the high water mark this should be quite simple to apply the river and streams are for all us not just for those who think nature belongs to them, this type of arrangement would suit me fine
From my understanding the same goes for any coastal property. Thus if you can enter the river/dam from public grounds all you really need to comply is a freshwater angling permit issues by Cape Nature.
The white paper on river rights (1995) states that rivers belong to everyone (ie gubbermint). Unfortunately (or fortunately) this was never taken further and promulgated into law because it opens up a huge kettle of fish regarding irrigation rights etc. Also regarding "high water marks", where is this exactly? Sure you can say the 1:100 or 1:50 year flood level, but anyone who has studied hydrology will tell you that it takes quite a study to determine this and even then it's not an exact science. There are only a few professors in the country that do this and no two guys will give you an answer that's exactly the same. The lines might be 50m apart for the 1:100 year flood line. This is not something that is just on a map somewhere. In a court of law whose answer will be 100% correct? Also I think the 1:100 level might be a bit excessive. You'd be surprised how much of our country lies under this. Building law says you may not build under the 1:50 year flood. Think about it. The 1:100 year flood is a flood that has a statistical chance of occurring once a century. Think the magnitude of the Moz floods 13 or 14 years back or what's happening in Malawi now. We're taking thousands of hectares under water. I think this topic is not an easy one. The decent and "right" thing is to respect others. This is something that is lacking in our country at the moment. If you need to climb over gates to get there you probably shouldn't be there. If you're willing to jump off a bridge then knock yourself out (literally). The nice thing about gates is you can keep big dogs behind them. :blue-lol:
I must say that most farmers are a friendly bunch and will often accomodate anglers using the rivers if approached civilly. The crap starts when guys disrespect the farmers wishes and cause them to become hostile. eg. leaving gates open, starting fires, driving over the vegetable patch with your Landrover, littering, letting the cows out of the paddock etc. This of course stuffs it up for everyone.

Garnet Prince
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I started this exact topic "Who owns the river" in 2013

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you can also read all the back and forth there

BuzzLiteBeer Wrote:driving over the vegetable patch with your Landrover

Or Hilux

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