Water rationing to Hankey and Patensie will be lifted temporarily for the duration of the nationwide 21-day Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks confirmed today that the temporary suspension of water rationing was approved so as to enable the communities of Hankey and Patensie to safeguard themselves against the disease.

“Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, is one way you can help prevent the spread of the virus,” he explained.

“That is why the municipality and Gamtoos Irrigation Board immediately took steps to have water rationing lifted after the President’s declaration of a national State of Disaster last week.

“We are very grateful to the Gamtoos Irrigation Board for supporting us in this and for making it possible.”

He said the lifting of the rationing meant that Hankey and Patensie would once again have water in their taps for the full day until midnight on April 16 when the lockdown comes to an end.

“We would like to remind these communities that the level of the Kouga Dam is dangerously low. It dropped to below 16% this week and continues to decrease.

“Residents are, therefore, still urged to use water extremely sparingly despite the temporary lifting of water rationing,” he said.

Residents are reminded that, in addition to punitive water tariffs, the current water restrictions prohibit the connection of a hose pipe or an irrigation system to taps supplying water from the municipal system.

Pools, ponds and fountains may not be filled or topped up with municipal water.

Washing paved areas, roofs, walls and similar structures with municipal water is also not allowed.

Residents are further encouraged to save their bath or shower water and to use this to flush their toilets.