Swimmers fume as Maritzburg’s main public pool stays closed

2019-09-20 15:00
Alexandra Swimming Pool was closed on Thursday.

Alexandra Swimming Pool was closed on Thursday. (Moeketsi Mamane)

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There is not a single drop of water in Pietermaritzburg’s main public swimming pool — 20 days after swimming season began.

The Alexandra Swimming Pool is closed, and bathers are being turned away because the pool is yet to be filled.

In the past concerns have been raised about lifeguard numbers and general safety at the pool.

During a recent walkabout by the Concerned Swimming Fraternity (CSF) before swimming season began on September 1, Alexandra Pool was deemed the “worst public pool in the entire city”.

The pool water was found to be dark green and opaque, and there was litter around the pool. There were also complaints by the CSF of broken fixtures like stands and benches.

The Witness visited the pool on Thursday to find the front gate locked. Reporters were turned away when trying to gain access, but from outside people were seen inspecting the area. The CSF estimates it will take three million litres of water to fill the large pool.

As temperatures rose to uncomfortable degrees this week, disgruntled bathers who had tried to go to the pool this week told The Witness they were furious about the closure.

“This is supposed to be the best pool in the city. It is part of this area [Alexandra Park] which is supposed to be the place where everyone comes to have fun. This is a big pool which is good for people who like to train as well,” one bather said.

“The weather was perfect for swimming, but you can never tell whether this municipality can live up to the bare minimum. Even keeping a pool open is impossible for them.”

The CSF’s Jay Jugwanth said: That the Alexandra Swimming Pool is once again dysfunctional at this time of the year [and that] is not surprising to the CSF.

“The poor planning in relation to repairs and renovations inconveniences the broader community. It is sad; children come all the way from the Edendale and find the pool closed. It is school holidays now.

“Unconfirmed reports [to the CSF] suggest that the delay in filling the pool is that mechanical equipment has not arrived as yet.”

Jugwanth said new deputy mayor, Manilal Inderjit, is in the process of “facilitating a meeting between parks and recreation and the CSF where we can exchange ideas and contribute towards making our pools functional and accessible.”

Msunduzi said the water was being filled on Thursday but the process was “slow”. She said the City was working on the problem.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  swimming pools
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