Worries that pools won’t open for Spring

2019-08-06 15:39
Msunduzi workers cleaning the Buchanan Street Swimming Baths on Monday. PHOTO: moeketsi mamane

Msunduzi workers cleaning the Buchanan Street Swimming Baths on Monday. PHOTO: moeketsi mamane

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The historic Buchanan Street baths in the centre of the city are ready for summer, but swimmers are concerned that other public pools will remain closed after the start of the swimming season.

Dintle Kubheka, the supervisor at the Buchanan Street baths, said they were ready to welcome bathers as maintenance at the pool, which opened two weeks ago, was already complete.

The Concerned Swimming Fraternity’s Jay Jugwanth said on Monday, however, that with only a three weeks left, the fraternity were not optimistic that the maintenance and rehabilitation works at other city pools would be finished by September 1. “The swimming pools never open on time because of poor planning by the Msunduzi parks and recreation department during the winter season. We have three weeks before the pools open and very little has been done,” said Jugwanth.

He said the local swimming fraternity had put pressure on the municipality over the years, to ensure that all repairs were conducted during the winter months, so that there would be an uninterrupted summer swimming season.

Jugwanth said at the Olympic pool in Newholmes, they had requested to change to gas chlorine to keep the water in a decent state, but “the municipality is still using chlorine granules”.

He said the shortage of lifeguards also remained a concern.

“We want a lifeguard for every 200 bathers as per regulation. We also need to make sure that all the lifeguards’ qualifications have been updated and that they have done the recent swimming proficiency tests,” he said.

He said the Eastwood pool was also in a bad state, adding that the community was partly to blame for the vandalism.

Jugwanth said there have long been issues with the Alexandra pool filtration system.

“We have long asked the municipality to set aside politics and call on the expertise of people who have worked in pools in the past,” Jugwanth said.

The Witness has run several reports about the range of problems at Pietermaritzburg’s pools.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pools

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