Public Eye (South Africa)

Complaints and concerns as City’s pools are mostly closed

- Shorné Bennie

Once again, residents are unable to use the city’s bathing facilities during the much-anticipate­d swimming season. Previously it was reported that the pools were ready for use, but just a few weeks in, the Olympic pool in the northern areas has been closed for just over a week allegedly due to a filter pump that needs to be repaired and the need for purificati­on chemicals. Alexandra Pool has not opened.

Public Eye has received numerous calls and complaints that the Olympic pool was closed and when the paper visited the pool the gates were locked.

An employee who asked not to be named confirmed that the pool was closed.

“It has been closed for a week now, from what I know the pump is broken and needs to be repaired or replaced.

“There are also no chemicals for cleaning. I think it will take a while for the pool to reopen,” said the employee.

Ashveer Simboo, whose son swims competitiv­ely, said that he makes alternate arrangemen­ts to practise swimming due to the frequent issues with the pools.

“My son has participat­ed in about 12 Midmar Miles and he is also part of the Seals Swimming Club.

“We do our best to support our children with what they want to achieve. When the Olympic pool is closed, we then have to go to other pools and there are extra travelling costs with that.

“On Sunday there were supposed to be Salga selections held at the Olympic pool but the pool is closed.

“We just started a new season and the pool is closed again.

“There is no light at the end of the tunnel with the issues that the pool is facing.

“The municipali­ty is not playing their part. It is not even a month and the pool is closed again,” said Simboo.

Another parent, who asked not to be named, said that the municipali­ty is robbing the community as they purchase seasonal cards which cannot be used.

“We want to keep our children away from substance abuse and we support their talents but when facilities close and they lose interest, then what happens?

“We buy seasonal cards to enter, but then the pool closes. Our money is not returned to us, which means it is such a waste.

“The municipali­ty is taking our money but we can’t use the pool.

“They are robbing people,” said the parent.

Chairperso­n of the Umgungundl­ovu District Aquatics Associatio­n, Willy Williams, said the closure of the Olympic pool meant that events had to postponed.

“The Salga games selections had to be postponed.

“We have such hot weather and the residents won’t be able to use the pool.

“The water quality was poor as they had no chemicals and now the pump must be replaced.

“Just now the other pools will close as there are no chemicals.

“The Capital K is coming up, and where will the participan­ts practise?” asked Williams.

Msunduzi Municipali­ty spokespers­on Ntobeko Mkhize said the Olympic Pool had to be shut down to fix mechanical problems.

“There is a good chance that the Alexandra pool will open within the next two weeks.

“In all areas, the municipali­ty has begun repairing pools and some had to be remodelled.

“As for the Northdale pool, it’s currently being renovated in terms of the tanks that have leaked and a few pumps that have experience­d electrical issues.

“Chemicals are available in sufficient quantities; the assumption that there are no chemicals is incorrect, since more are being ordered.

“As the work of repairing pools continues, residents are asked to be patient.

“We will experience faults here and there, but we are committed to resolving them all,” said Mkhize.

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