On October 1 2015, Tzaneen’s public swimming pool was renovated at a cost of R11 million and was to be officially opened, but due to a so-called leak in the pool, the “white elephant” needed to be refurbished at a further cost of more than R7 million, the Letaba Herald reports.
However, Neville Ndlala denied all allegations and said the lack of lifesavers was still the reason for the postponement of the opening, instead if the refurbishment.
On November 12 2015, refurbishments were completed. By November 21, the public swimming pool seemed to be a no-go zone as the vacancy for a lifeguard did not fall into the municipality’s organogram.
The public alleged delays in the opening were due to an electrical “challenge” on the premises but Ndlala gave an assurance that it was just a small problem, and “it’s sorted out.”
November 26 saw the official opening with an entourage of dignitaries, including the then mayor, Dikilede Mmetla, but the opening proved to be unofficial since the lack of lifeguards was still apparent and the mayor admitted it was not yet open to the public.
Aspirant lifeguards then did their training at the municipality’s cost, but it then came to light that none of them was actually a good swimmer.
In September 2016 the pool was surprisingly still empty and the toddlers’ splash pool was infested with algae.
Ndlala then told the Letaba Herald that there was a leak in the pool and it had been handed back to the contractor to identify the leak and seal it.
When the pool was visited at a later stage, six “cleaners” were lounging around the pool and Ndlala stated they were employees of the contractor – which was most unlikely, as some of them wore GTM uniforms.
Nevertheless, the GTM published then a vacancy for a lifeguard on a 12-month fixed-term contract for a remuneration of R207 990.44 a year.
After almost two years, it seems the swimming pool soapie has reached its climax, and the curtain can now be drawn on all the drama.
Millions in taxpayers’ money was used to renovate the pool, due to a seeming lack of workmanship and thorough procedures from day one.
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Spring is now here, and the pool is officially open again … for now!
Swimming lessons will also be done by trainees at a remuneration during working hours per season.
Per instructor it will cost R3 000 for 3 lanes at 10 persons per lane for 2 hours a day or R20 per person, 10 persons per lane for 2 hours for all categories i.e. Juniors, Seniors etc. Entry is free for school children in groups during school hours provided that prior permission is granted by the municipality.
“A teacher shall at all times exercise direct supervision over the children at the swimming pool. The children shall not be allowed to stay in the water for a period exceeding 60 minutes, and school children must leave the premises not later than 13:00,” Ndlala said.
R450 per hour per lifeguard shall be payable for lifeguard services outside the specified working hours.
Swimming development and coaching requirements must be met by any interested person or organisation to conduct swimming and coaching development at the Tzaneen Public Swimming Pool. Please note that tickets are only available at municipal offices in Tzaneen, Nkowankowa, Lenyenye, Letsitele Library and Haenertsburg Library.
No persons will be allowed into the public swimming pool without a valid ticket.
Monthly and seasonal ticket holders must produce their identity cards that match the information on their tickets.
– Caxton News Service