Gold panning Club founded in Pilgrim’s Rest

Frieda Paton

The Pilgrim’s Rest Gold Panning Club was founded on January 28TH and its home base will be the old panning site at the Diggings Museum . Gold panning, as a competitive sport in South Africa, had its early beginnings here, more than 20 years ago. It will be one of the clubs associated with the South African Gold Panning Association.

Following the foundation meeting, another meeting of interested parties was held on February 10 for the election of an eight-member club committee. The office bearers are Sharon Kahts (Chairperson), Bright Malatjie (Vice-Chairperson), John Reinders (Treasurer) and Nondomiso Simelane (Secretary).

“We want to involve club members as much as possible and all meetings will be open to everyone,” said Kahts. “It’s not what the club can do for the members, but what the members can do for the club – that’s our motto.”

The committee is busy drafting the constitution for presentation at a meeting which will be held on March 10th. Everyone who is interested in joining the club is invited to attend this meeting at the Pilgrim’s Rest Information Centre at 11:00. The membership fees will be R50 per year for individuals, R70 for families and R25 for juniors.

Volunteers are now hard at work renovating the old panning site.  This entails clearing the environment, fixing the benches and steps as well as building a few additional panning pits. The intention is to hold the first competition as soon as possible and also to make competitions tourist friendly by accepting entries on the day of the events.

For more information, you can contact the club secretary at (013) 768 1471 or e-mail

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