THE construction of a R8 million swimming pool facility is currently underway – a first for the New Brighton community. This facility will be a beacon of hope for the community, as it will be named after the anti-apartheid struggle hero, Thozamile Magqabi.The swimming pool project was initiated in 2010 by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM). It was later revived by the MBDA in 2015 and a number of workshops were held with Magqab’s family, NMBM officials, MBDA, community stakeholders and consultants.According to MBDA CEO, Ashraf Adam, a total of 38 jobs were created for the establishment of the facility.“A contractor was appointed in February 2018 for construction of the swimming pool facility. In addition, 30% of the contract value (R1.9 million) was sub-contracted to local SMMEs,” Adam said. The scope of work includes a 30m by 25m swimming pool, ablution facilities, a lifeguard area, a first aid area, a pump room, paving, and a ticket room.With punitive water restrictions in place for the metro, the swimming pool will make use of borehole water. Adam said the MBDA had successfully completed phase one of the project and is currently in the progress of completing phase two. Adam commented, “The second and final stage includes paving and a caretaker’s cottage. There are also no costs attached to the use of this facility and will be free to everyone – not only residents in the New Brighton area.” The facility is located in Sopazi Street in New Brighton and will be completed by September this year. Once completed, the MBDA will hand over the facility to the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.Adam added that the Magqabi family was consulted to give written permission regarding the naming of the facility after anti-apartheid struggle hero, Magqabi. Magqabi was an ANC veteran, who was involved in political struggle, as well as community development through various organisations. “He spent a number of years detained at Robben Island. Magqabi died at the age of 82, still residing at his house in Tabata Street in New Brighton. “That is why we have decided to name the facility after Magqabi,” Adam said.