- Manenberg‘s public pool is set to reopen on Friday.
- It was closed for maintenance after rust flowed into it.
- Many residents say they no longer care whether the pool is open or not.
The facility, which was closed for maintenance, will open to the public on Friday afternoon.
Locals were prevented from using it during the sweltering festive season.
Last month, scores of residents illegally entered the facility, some pelting staff with stones and threatening them after being refused entry.
At the time, community policing forum (CPF) chairperson Vernon Visagie said residents saw that the pool was “crystal clear” but could not understand why it was still closed.
The pool closed for much-needed maintenance and was scheduled to reopen at the end December, however that was halted after rust particles were seen flowing into the water.
During an impromptu visit by News 24, the pool was filled with water while City of Cape Town officials cleaned it and its pumps.
A handful of lifeguards were also on site, gearing up for the opening.
Facility officer Faatiegha Valentine said the pool would open on Friday at 14:00.
READ | Cape Town residents stone staff after being denied entry to ‘crystal clear’ pool
The CPF lambasted the City for not communicating or updating residents after they illegally stormed the pool last month.
“The City decided to open the pool when children are already back at school and parents back at work. They won’t have the pleasure of enjoying the pool now because of their own daily commitments and responsibilities.
“The pool was supposed to be opened for the holiday season; there is no excuse why the City did not make the necessary arrangements to sort the pool out before December,” Visagie said.
Crystal clear waters at the Manenberg pool.
He added the CPF was unhappy that the City failed to inform any of the local structures.
“We had no idea the pool would be opened on Friday, absolutely no idea. Residents were excited to go to the pool during the festive period which has now ended but their excitement was short-lived when the pool remained closed until further notice.
“No provision was made for our residents on where they could go swim. Why must our people travel to other swimming pools when we have one right here on our doorstep?” Visagie said.
READ | Cape Town law enforcement to secure Manenberg pool after residents broke into it, threw stones at workers
Residents walking past the facility peeped through the gates on Thursday to see if the water was “blue enough” for them to swim.
“We don’t care anymore that the pool is now ready, they took us for a joke last month and said we can’t swim because it was dirty and not ready, but now they want us to come back to the pool because they now need money to cover the expenses they forked out when they got people to come to clean the pool,” said resident Kashiefa Geduld.
Byron Arendse added his children were disappointed that they could not go swimming during the holidays.
Life guards were seen patrolling the pool on Thursday.
“Yes, I get that the pool was closed due to maintenance and whatever else they claim to be wrong with the waters, but at the end of the day, the pool is the one thing in the area that keeps people occupied and off the streets.
“For the City to rip that away from people over the holiday period really wasn’t the best decision they made,” Arendse said.
Aunty Charmaine Blouws added she was eager to take her grandchildren to the pool on Friday.
“Oh, they’re going to be so excited. I had no idea that it would be opened on Friday. I’m glad it’s finally going to be opened,” she said.
Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross, said the assessment of the source of the rust and filtration system was completed, and confirmed the pool was ready to open on Friday.
“The system was successfully flushed out and this has improved the water quality substantially. However, an in-depth infrastructural assessment is still required, as part of the long-term swimming pool’s repairs and maintenance programme,” Van der Ross added.
She said that even though the swimming pool meets the required standards to reopen, it would operate with limitations, such as load shedding disruptions and ongoing monitoring of the compromised filtration system.
“The cost of the assessment and repairs undertaken to restore the water quality for interim operations, has been provided for by internal teams and available equipment and resources,” she added.
The pool will open from Friday until the remainder of the summer season.
All community swimming pools are operational from Thursday to Sunday only.