Pool will stay open for now

The Manenberg public swimming pool will remain open for now, and a final decision will only be made after assessing the impact its early closure will have on the community.

The Manenberg swimming pool will remain open for now – this after a proposal was made for its early closure for this season, after a staff member was attacked there on Wednesday January 30.

The 31-year-old Recreation and Parks Department employee was patrolling along the perimeter of the swimming pool when he noticed that a section of the concrete palisade fencing had been vandalised, said mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.

“He then spotted a group of boys trying to gain entry to the facility through the opening.

“When attempting to close the opening, while on the telephone to summon Law Enforcement, one of the boys hurled a brick at the staff member that hit him in the face. He was left disorientated and bleeding profusely and was taken to hospital for treatment. I was horrified to learn of this attack,” Dr Badroodien said.

The City’s Law Enforcement Department advised that the swimming pool be closed in the interests of safety, as this was the second incident within a week. The previous week, three vehicles belonging to a contractor who was working at the swimming pool had been stoned too.

Dr Badroodien said on Monday February 4, that a decision to close the pool had not been made yet.

“Due to the volatility, it was advised that the pool be closed, but a meeting will be scheduled, hopefully by this week, to meet with the director of the Recreation and Parks Department, as well as the ward councillors. We need to discuss the impact the closure will have on the community before a decision can be made,” Dr Badroodien said.

He said the City condemned the incident, and called on anyone with information about the attack to report it to the police.

“I’d like to wish our staff member a speedy recovery and will ensure that he receives the necessary support from the City’s Employee Assistance Programme. This is a most unfortunate development, considering the fact that we have been able to extend the operating times of 13 outdoor swimming pools that were open to the public this summer.”

Captain Ian Bennett, spokesperson for Manenberg SAPS, confirmed an investigation is under way. Anyone with information can contact Manenberg SAPS at 021 699 9400 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

The swimming pools opened on Saturday December 1 and were initially meant to close at the end of January this year. However, thanks to a system of backwashing and reuse of water that allows the City to comply with the requirements of the current Level 3 water restrictions, along with additional funding secured to extend the contracts of lifeguards, swimming pools will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends until the end of the Easter weekend.

Atlantis, Langa, Khayelitsha, Mnandi, Bellville South, Bonteheuwel, Goodwood, Vulindlela, Emthonjeni, Hanover Park, Manenberg, Muizenberg and Eastridge pools will remain open to the public until Monday April 22. These pools will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm to 5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. The City’s four indoor pools in Blue Downs, Retreat, Strand and Long Street, as well as the Sea Point swimming pool will remain open to the public daily.