Three local swimming pools have suffered thousands of rands-worth of damage after various infrastructural and filtration fittings and elements were removed and stolen. The Retreat and Manenberg swimming pools have been closed due to the destruction.
The City of Cape Town, Mayoral Committee Member for Services and Health, Zahid Bardroodien confirmed the incident. “In the early hours of Thursday March 28 2019, thieves gained entry to the filtration plant room at Retreat and removed the steel pipes, gauges and valves from the filter,” she said.
The infrastructure damaged is key to maintaining the water quality of the swimming pools and is essential to the facility.
Retreat swimming pool is one of the few indoor pools in the City and is open all year round.
Badroodien explains the impact of the theft and damage.
“This act of wanton destruction means that children in the area are unable to use the swimming pool over the final few days of the school holidays; the Learn to Swim programme has had to be cancelled and the numerous swimming clubs whose members use the facility as a training venue will have to find costly alternative venues until the repairs are completed.”
The Manenberg swimming pool has been closed for several days since its power cables were stolen, leaving the amenity without electricity and affecting the pool’s water quality.
“We are also assessing the situation at the Parow North swimming pool, where a similar incident took place on or around Human Rights Day.”
The items stolen included a chlorination, tow booster pump motors, a dosing system, chlorine masks, PVC pipe, copper pipes, and other fittings. Badroodien says the Manenberg pool was scheduled to undergo renovations but these have had to be halted.
“What makes this incident all the more disappointing is that the swimming pool was in the process of being filled, with a view to opening it to the public. These plans have now been scuppered.”
This comes after the Community Services and Health Directorate announced in August 2018 that financial support would be given to make public recreational facilities are safe from criminals. The financial injection to keep clinics, libraries and community facilities safe included:
– R10.1-million for security hardening measures like burglar bars, alarm systems, high mast lighting, etc.
– R20-million for the deployment of Facility Protection Officers
– R9.8-million for the deployment of 312 Safety Wardens
“Unfortunately, acts of destruction like the ones highlighted here continue to hamper our progress and deprive communities of access to amenities and opportunities.”
Badroodien is urging members of the community to report any incidents surrounding City amenities and facilities.
“I call on residents to help us secure our amenities by reporting any suspicions or incidents that they witness or hear about. Anyone with information about these specific incidents should please inform the South African Police Service or the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.”