Joan Harrison opens to confusion over tariffs

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Following four months of closure, there is now some confusion around the Joan Harrison Swimming Complex’s tariff rates.

TARIFF CONFUSION: The Joan Harrison Swimming Pool has been officially opened for the season, but there has been some confusion over the tariff rates Picture: RANDELL ROSKRUGE

Long-time critic of “The Joan”, swimming coach Joe Hillstrom, told the Daily Dispatch that when he asked about a pensioner’s season ticket, he was told by the complex manager to buy a coach’s pass.

Hillstrom queried this, saying in previous years he had entered the aquatic centre with a pensioner’s pass.

Buffalo City Metro says coach’s rates were there for a reason as they used the pools for an income and not leisure.

Hillstrom said: “I wanted to buy a pensioner’s season ticket but the supervisor said that I can only have the coach’s season ticket as I am a swimming coach.

“I then asked him to have a look at the ticket [which] allows one to use the swimming pool and the toilets. The coach’s ticket says nothing else and is not a licence – it is merely an entrance fee.

“He said that he was going on orders that I must purchase the coach’s ticket,” he said.

Hillstrom said last year he bought a pensioner’s ticket without any challenges.

“When I tried to discuss the issue, I was told it was not open for discussion.”

According to BCM, the current rates for the Joan Harrison are as follows:

lSingle entrance tariffs for adults R14, while children aged three to 17 and pensioners pay R12;

lSeasonal tariffs for adults: R466;

lSeasonal tariffs for children and pensioners: R234

lHalf season tariffs for adults: R233;

lHalf season tariffs for children and pensioners: R117;

lSeason tickets for coaches/ trainers: R466 a lane with a maximum of two lanes per coach, or R71 a day.

BCM spokeswoman Bathandwa Diamond said: “The difference between coaching and pensioner rates is that a coach uses the complex for business purposes and it is done on the premises of the municipality, hence the different tariffs. The pensioner is an individual coming for his/ her leisure.”

Hillstrom claims he was arrested by eight municipal policemen when he investigated about the tariffs.

“If one goes back in the rates and tariffs, a coach used pay a nominal fee for their season ticket, which was R52 ,and the following season it was supposed to have gone up to R57, but it was pushed to R75 per day.

“That is when I started investigating what was happening in the rates and tariffs. I have been harassed ever since then. I have been arrested by eight municipal policemen and taken to the charge office but no charges were ever laid and the harassment continues.”

Border Biathlon provincial head Michael Forbes said they had opted not to use “The Joan” after experiencing inconsistencies in the past.

“We decided to make use of other facilities due to the tardiness and unclear communication received from the complex,” he said. — oreillya@tisoblackstar.co.za

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