Cape Town’s much-loved community swimming pool re-opens after many delays

Cool by die pool: Athlone Swimming Pool reopens. Picture: Facebook/ Brent Williams

Cool by die pool: Athlone Swimming Pool reopens. Picture: Facebook/ Brent Williams

Published Dec 22, 2023


Following much frustration and anger over the delay in the reopening the Athlone Swimming Pool in Cape Town, joy erupted on Tuesday as the gates were finally opened and the pool deemed safe for public use.

On Friday, a protest organised by the Bridgetown Community Development Forum was held just outside the premises and saw dozens of children joining.

The swimming pool was scheduled to reopen on November 17 for the holiday season.

FROM ANGER TO JOY: Kids can now enjoy a swim. Picture: Supplied

In late October, the City of Cape Town said that its Recreation and Parks Department would open 24 community swimming pools in stages between November and mid-December.

From December 11, the swimming pools would operate daily for the holiday season.

Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross, said the Athlone Swimming Pool was closed due to a mechanical plant failure emanating from the deterioration of ageing infrastructure and was restored in a phased approach.

Van der Ross said: “Failures in the system have resulted in rust and glass particles filtration through the system.

“This in turn impacts water quality and requires the draining of the swimming pool; to be filled again hereafter.

“Filling the swimming pool with water takes a minimum of two days. The water quality then needs to be restored to a safe compliance standard approved via Scientific Services.”

Van der Ross said the water quality is now of an acceptable standard and the pool is in operation.

The National Coloured Congress provincial secretary Paul Bester, who has been highlighting the situation, said other communities deserve the same.

Bester said: “This is only the swimming pool at Athlone, there is Eastridge, Westridge, Kensington, Bellville South. All of these swimming pools are having issues and have not opened yet.”

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