Vandalism of pools condemned

2019-04-09 06:00
Public pools in Manenberg and Retreat have been vandalised.

Public pools in Manenberg and Retreat have been vandalised.

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Retreat Swimming pool was reopened to the public following a break-in that happened on Thursday 28 March.

The pool which was one of the three that was burgled, reopened on Friday 5 April.

Zahid Badroodien, Mayco member for community services and health says in the early hours of Thursday morning (28 March), thieves gained entry to the room of the filtration plant at Retreat and removed the steel pipes, gauges and valves from the filter.

“I have learned, with dismay, about incidents of theft at three of our swimming pools in recent days that have caused thousands of rand in damages, and more important, resulted in the closure of the Retreat and Manenberg swimming pools,” says Badroodien.

He says this impacts directly on the operations of the facility as the damaged infrastructure is key to maintaining the water quality of the swimming pool.

The Retreat Swimming pool is one of the few indoor facilities in the city, which offers access all year round.

He says this act of wanton destruction meant that children in the area were unable to use the swimming pool over the final few days of the school holidays; the Learn to Swim programme had to be cancelled and the numerous swimming clubs whose members use the facility as a training venue had to find costly alternative venues until the repairs are completed.

The Manenberg Swimming pool has been closed for several days already, after the power cables were stolen, leaving the facility without electricity and affecting the water quality.

“We are also assessing the situation at the Parow North swimming pool, where a similar incident took place on or around Human Rights Day,” says Badroodien.

Among the items stolen in that incident were a chlorinator, two booster pump motors, a dosing system, chlorine masks, PVC pipes, copper pipes and other fittings.

What makes this incident all the more disappointing, he says, is that the swimming pool was in the process of being filled, with a view to opening it to the public.

These plans have now been scuppered. “The City of Cape Town works very hard to provide quality facilities for the benefit of our communities and to safeguard them as best we can.”

In August last year, the Community Services and Health Directorate announced a major financial injection to help keep clinics, libraries and community facilities such as recreational centres safe from criminals, including:

. R10.1m for security hardening measures like burglar bars, alarm systems, high mast lighting.

. R20m for the deployment of facility protection officers

. R9.8m for the deployment of 312 safety wardens.

“Unfortunately, acts of destruction like the ones highlighted here, continue to hamper our progress and deprive communities of access to amenities and opportunities.

“I call on residents to help us secure our amenities by reporting any suspicions or incidents that they witness or hear about.”

Badroodien says thieves and vandals will continue their inconsiderate and selfish deeds with wild abandon, unless they are caught and dealt with by the criminal justice system.V Anyone with information about the incidents should please inform the police at 021 480 7700.

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