More swimming pool complaints flood in

2009-09-22 00:00

ONCE again, the Msunduzi Municipality has failed to ensure that public swimming facilities are functioning as they should.

During the past few months, The Witness has received a barrage of complaints from dissatisfied residents.

The latest swimming pool on the complaints list is the Olympic-sizede one in Newholmes.

The municipality’s parks and recreation department, which is in charge of the facilities, has failed to open the pool on time.

It was scheduled to re-open on September 1 after the usual shut-down during the winter months, but residents had to wait until September 16 before being given access.

One complainant said: “We experienced weather temperatures above the 30°C mark during the first three days of September, but unfortunately ratepayers were again inconvenienced that the Olympic swimming pool wasn’t open on time.”

The complainant says that despite ratepayers’ complaints, officials remain indifferent.

According to well-placed sources, contractors are allegedly sent to the pool to do unnecessary tasks such as “fixing” pipes that are not leaking. Had management engaged with employees based at the facility, they would have realised that the leaking pool, not the pipes, needed urgent attention and that is why the facility failed to open on September 1, said sources.

The Olympic swimming pool is apparently not the only problematic facility.

Sources told The W itness the Pilditch pool in Woodlands and Alexandra Park swimming pool also have problems with leaking pipes.

The Buchanan swimming pool, which is the only facility open during the winter months, was not suitable for winter swimming for some time due to problems with the water temperature.

Readers who wrote to The Witness said the public swimming pools ran like clockwork when DA councillor Rodger Ashe was the sport and recreation manager.

Sports and recreation manager Thomas Roux said that in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act, there is a lengthy process when applying for funding.

Themunicipality to apply for funding and plan a year ahead for unforeseeable problems.

“It’s a catch 22 situation. The repairs at Olympic were not budgeted for and neither were the leaking pipes at Woodlands and Alexandra Pool,” said Roux.

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