City pools in sorry state

2019-08-29 16:23


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It doesn’t look like public pools will be opened when swimming season starts this weekend, with Msunduzi not even having started work at most pools.

The Concerned Swimming Fraternity (CSF) conducted a survey of city pools on Wednesday, and found a lack of cleaning material and broken fixtures. They found that most pools were not being overseen during the off season by staff.

Pools are set to open on September 1 for the new swimming season.

The water in Alexandra swimming pool is dark green and murky, and staff have not yet begun the process of draining the pool, cleaning the inside and refilling it, which takes days.

CSF members had to close a gushing tap during their survey and saw bins full of litter, including alcohol bottles.

At Pilditch Bath in Woodlands, there is a large dump of empty bottles behind the swimming pool, and bleachers are damaged and splintered. The CSF also criticised the pool’s rusted gates and fences.

The Sobantu swimming pool drained itself because of a leak.

The Eastwood swimming pool had broken bottles littered across the parking lot, and the CSF found that the paddling pool hasn’t been in use since last year.

The Olympic swimming pool in Northdale was the only one which was getting final touch-ups during the survey yesterday, but it was found that they could not yet drain the pool because they were still awaiting equipment and chemicals to clean the pool. It was found that bags of cement and tiles, earmarked to revamp the problematic paddling pool, have been going to waste for two years.

The CSF’s chairperson, Jay Jugwanth, said part of the problem was that there were only four permanent staff members to oversee all seven city pools during the winter season.

Jugwanth said the CSF was left “disillusioned” by the situation. “The pools are in a sorry state of disrepair,” he said, adding that the City’s parks department had neglected the swimming pools.

“There is unquestionable evidence that the relevant department abandoned the upkeep of swimming pools during the winter recess. We only have four permanent lifeguards and a dysfunctional department. The pool at Alexandra Park is at the doorstep of the parks head office [and] it is murky to the point that the water is opaque.”

He said pools not opening on time was a perennial issue.

The Witness reported recently on a R45 million swimming pool tender scandal, where Msunduzi has alleged that its employees colluded with a service provider to submit fraudulent documents for work that the company claimed it had done, but had not.

The City was asked to comment on this story, but had not responded by Wednesday.

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality

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