About Gamtoos Irrigation Board
Gamtoos Irrigation Board (GIB) is a licensed irrigation board based in the town of Patensie, nestled in the Gamtoos River Valley in the Eastern Cape.
Hankey, Patensie, Loerie and Thornhill are the key towns in this region, where our agricultural water users produce everything from citrus, vegetables and dairy to herbs, avocados, chicory, strawberries and blueberries.
The area falls under the Kouga Local Municipality, which covers an area of 2 670 square kilometres and is home to a population of 98 580 (Census 2011).
GIB has gained an outstanding reputation for managing large-scale, labour-intensive infrastructure and environmental projects in the province. The Board’s expertise has been widely recognised and it has won numerous awards, contributing towards social upliftment and conservation.
Gamtoos water scheme
Established in 1991 under the previous Water Act of 1956, Gamtoos Irrigation Board’s primary objective is to manage and distribute raw water from Kouga Dam to agricultural water users in the Gamtoos Valley and urban users in the Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga municipalities.
The organisation operates and maintains the Gamtoos water scheme, which includes the dam and associated canal system, pipelines, balancing dams, office buildings, stores, workshops and houses.
GIB is busy going through the process of changing to a Water User Association, in line with the requirements of the National Water Act of 1998.
Natural resource management
Water security is integral to our business; therefore we also oversee multiple water conservation and demand management initiatives.
Running various Natural Resources Management programmes, such as the removal of alien invasive plant species, under the auspices of the South African government’s Expanded Public Works Programmes contributes to this core objective.
As part of a close-knit rural community that encompasses Hankey, Patensie and Loerie, social investment is an on-going priority. Gamtoos Irrigation Board provides assistance with maintenance and other forms of support to various schools, NGOs, emerging farmers and the local municipality.