Work to start at pool

2019-02-12 06:01
Athlone swimming pool has been out of commission for a number of years.

Athlone swimming pool has been out of commission for a number of years.

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Summertime has peaked and with the sweltering heat battering the Cape Peninsula, residents are battling to keep cool.

The City of Cape Town has an array of swimming pools open to the public; however, for residents of Athlone, they have not been able to use this service for a number of years, as the pool has fallen into a state of disrepair and is currently empty.

“The closure of the Athlone pool has caused a great amount of grief within the community of Athlone and has been a bit of an inconvenience as well, for which I profusely apologise. However, we need to be mindful of the reasons and the way forward,” said Rashid Adams, ward 49 councillor.

He said Athlone swimming pool was deemed unsafe at the end of 2017, with broken tiles and corroded pool pipes. He says a tender process was initiated, but due to various challenges, this had to be readvertised at the end of the previous financial year.

Adams added that the asbestos pipes currently in place needs to be replaced with new PVC pipes. The children’s pool also needs to be connected to the filtration system via the main pool so that the water ends up flowing from the main pool to the baby pool. Added to that, the existing pump in the baby pool must be replaced so that it can function properly. Because of the danger posed by the tiles in the pool, all floor and wall tiles will have to be replaced before the pool can be filled again.

The remedial work is set to start this week.

Antonio van der Rheede, subcouncil 11 chairperson, whose residents use the pool, said they are seeking a joint approach going forward.

“A pool is a specialist facility and you almost need to have a person who is compliant with that particular grading as an engineer or whatever, because now they need to redo that work, but we will exercise strong oversight, stretching over two subcouncils. Our children and residents in subcouncil 11’s boundaries also use that facility and on that basis we will jointly, with subcouncil 17, exercise oversight and just get the facility going. The facility has a rich history as one of the oldest pools in the city and we just need to get it to a state where it is open and available,” he said

Van der Rheede cited further concerns at the public pool in his ward in Hanover Park. Officials raised concerns last year, which were picked up by Van der Rheede when he visited the facility.

“The clarity of the water ... there were issues with the rim flow – which is the plastic boundary around the pool – which was broken and children’s feet were getting injured, as well as the issue around the equipment which was damaged during a previous break-in months ago and was not fixed.

“Before the season starts, you as a management team have to ensure you take the facility through a preparedness programme for the season. My question is, when the official raised the issues, he was saying he was going to fix it, but why did you not fix these things in the off season?” asked Van der Rheede.

While the pools were closed for the drought, measures were put in place to prevent wastage and when the pools opened again, but Van der Rheede said the new measures require more intensive maintenance to provide the same level of service.

“My question is, because of that, it means that the filters and everything needs to be in tip-top condition. It puts a strain on the system and that is what affected the water clarity. For me they should have checked this a few months before the time and not a week or two before their pool goes on and then they find challenges with the clarity of the water, challenges with the maintenance there, and for me it is about management,” Van der Rheede said that, adding that he has approached the new Mayco member for parks and recreation, Zahid Badroodien, to raise his dissatisfaction with the facility in Hanover Park.

Meanwhile, Adams hopes the pool will once again serve the community in years to come.

“I look forward to the successful completion of this project and the reopening of this much-needed facility. Recreation within our communities needs to be encouraged and I am positive of the fact that the communities of Athlone will welcome the reopening and use this opportunity for the further development of our people.”

Summertime has peaked and with the sweltering heat battering the Cape Peninsula, residents are battling to keep cool.

The City of Cape Town has an array of swimming pools open to the public; however, for residents of Athlone, they have not been able to use this service for a number of years, as the pool has fallen into a state of disrepair and is currently empty.

“The closure of the Athlone pool has caused a great amount of grief within the community of Athlone and has been a bit of an inconvenience as well, for which I profusely apologise. However, we need to be mindful of the reasons and the way forward,” said Rashid Adams, ward 49 councillor.

He said Athlone swimming pool was deemed unsafe at the end of 2017, with broken tiles and corroded pool pipes. He says a tender process was initiated, but due to various challenges, this had to be readvertised at the end of the previous financial year.

Adams added that the asbestos pipes currently in place needs to be replaced with new PVC pipes. The children’s pool also needs to be connected to the filtration system via the main pool so that the water ends up flowing from the main pool to the baby pool. Added to that, the existing pump in the baby pool must be replaced so that it can function properly. Because of the danger posed by the tiles in the pool, all floor and wall tiles will have to be replaced before the pool can be filled again.

The remedial work is set to start this week.

Antonio van der Rheede, subcouncil 11 chairperson, whose residents use the pool, said they are seeking a joint approach going forward.

“A pool is a specialist facility and you almost need to have a person who is compliant with that particular grading as an engineer or whatever, because now they need to redo that work, but we will exercise strong oversight, stretching over two subcouncils. Our children and residents in subcouncil 11’s boundaries also use that facility and on that basis we will jointly, with subcouncil 17, exercise oversight and just get the facility going. The facility has a rich history as one of the oldest pools in the city and we just need to get it to a state where it is open and available,” he said

Van der Rheede cited further concerns at the public pool in his ward in Hanover Park. Officials raised concerns last year, which were picked up by Van der Rheede when he visited the facility.

“The clarity of the water ... there were issues with the rim flow – which is the plastic boundary around the pool – which was broken and children’s feet were getting injured, as well as the issue around the equipment which was damaged during a previous break-in months ago and was not fixed.

“Before the season starts, you as a management team have to ensure you take the facility through a preparedness programme for the season. My question is, when the official raised the issues, he was saying he was going to fix it, but why did you not fix these things in the off season?” asked Van der Rheede.

While the pools were closed for the drought, measures were put in place to prevent wastage and when the pools opened again, but Van der Rheede said the new measures require more intensive maintenance to provide the same level of service.

“My question is, because of that, it means that the filters and everything needs to be in tip-top condition. It puts a strain on the system and that is what affected the water clarity. For me they should have checked this a few months before the time and not a week or two before their pool goes on and then they find challenges with the clarity of the water, challenges with the maintenance there, and for me it is about management,” Van der Rheede said that, adding that he has approached the new Mayco member for parks and recreation, Zahid Badroodien, to raise his dissatisfaction with the facility in Hanover Park.

Meanwhile, Adams hopes the pool will once again serve the community in years to come.

“I look forward to the successful completion of this project and the reopening of this much-needed facility. Recreation within our communities needs to be encouraged and I am positive of the fact that the communities of Athlone will welcome the reopening and use this opportunity for the further development of our people.”

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