The communities of Hankey and Patensie are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the review of their annual water allocation by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.
Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the water allocation to the towns was drastically cut by the national Department in 2018 due to the prolonged drought.
“The Kouga Dam, from which water is extracted for Hankey and Patensie, belongs to the national Department and they determine how much water may be taken from the dam for these towns,” he explained.
“Despite the dam level increasing significantly towards the end of last year, the national Department refused to increase the quota before they could conduct their annual review in June.”
He said the municipality had been gathering information to support its application that the water quota for Hankey and Patensie be increased.
“We believe the Department has been basing its allocation on outdated information. The population of the towns has grown considerably since the quotas were first calculated and this must be considered going forward to ensure these communities are treated fairly when the review is done.
“Water rationing has had a significant impact on the lives of these communities and must be brought to an end.”
He said the municipality had also prioritised drilling and connecting boreholes to the existing water supply for these communities.
“We want to break Hankey and Patensie’s dependency on the Kouga Dam so that, even if the national Department refuses to lift its restrictions, the municipality will be able to increase and normalise the water supply to these towns.”
While water restrictions remain in place for all Kouga towns, only Hankey and Patensie are affected by water rationing due to their dependence on the Kouga Dam.