Swimming enthusiasts can now make a splash – the Joan Harrison Swimming Complex finally opened its doors yesterday after being closed for more than three months during the autumn/winter period.
Buffalo City Metro spokeswoman Bathandwa Diamond had promised earlier this month that the aquatics complex would resume services yesterday but, despite all the pools being filled and ready, the water was still a little murky-looking when the Daily Dispatch team arrived at the complex.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya told the Dispatch yesterday they were looking forward to welcoming thousands of people over the school holiday period to the pool.
“The pool is almost ready, with the exception of the baby pool that is currently being retiled, but it will be done ahead of the December swimming season,” he said.
Ngwenya said they had teams working around the clock to ensure safety measures were in place at the complex.
Both the waterpolo pools, along with the diving pool and the Olympic pool, were filled to the brim, but the water colour was a concern.
Hudson Park Primary water polo coach and Grade 6 teacher Ellis de Kramer, who was coaching her team at the complex yesterday, said she was happy “The Joan” was open again.
“The pool being closed for as long as it was was a setback for us because we could not practise as often and we had to make use of the high school’s facilities.
“Our water polo season started at the beginning of the term and we have tournaments coming up, but at least now we can practice,” she said.
De Kramer said their matches were set for the beginning of November.
They had not been able to receive their season pass tickets yet, but De Kramer was confident that they would soon.
Ngwenya said people could purchase season tickets at the front office.
“The pools’ water is continuously being treated and we are finalising the tiling on the kiddies’ pool.
“We have committed R5.5-million for maintenance and refurbishments of the Orient, Joan Harrison and Water World swimming pools.”
Swimming coach and longtime critic of mismanagement at “The Joan” Joe Hillstrom said when he arrived at the facility yesterday at around 6am, there were no lifeguards on duty and the pool was opened by the supervisor.
Ngwenya added: “We have also committed R4-million for an upgrade at Ubuhlanti.
“This amount will go towards construction of ablution facilities, braai areas, vendor stalls and roads in these two recreational sites.” — firstname.lastname@example.org