Sports facilities below par
From low PH levels, high acidity, and dry skin to algae-filled water and a lack of upkeep and maintenance, complaints over the deteriorating state of Buffalo City Metro’s popular recreation facility, the Joan Harrison swimming pools, have been on the increase since January.
And while the pools’ woes are well documented, one of the city’s other sporting facilities, the Jan Smuts Stadium has also been under scrutiny.
“Large sections of the perimeter wall have been destroyed by vandals, and the office section above the stands has also been destroyed by fire,” said Stirling High School principal Doug Prior.
“I am not sure how many toilets are functional at present, but until the facility is safe and has the necessary ablutions, we will have to find other options for our inter-house athletics days.”
According to BCM acting senior manager for recreation, Allen Zealand, one of the biggest challenges to maintenance and causes for these shortfalls was consistent vandalism of facilities.
He said in January the Joan Harrison swimming pools’ substation and electrical box were broken into and vandalised four times.
“People fiddle with the wires and blow the whole system. The pool pumps stop working and we have to get electricians in to get the system back up and running,” said Zealand.
The substation and electrical box are situated outside the facility’s walls.
In January, vandalism to the substation caused the underground pump plant, which services the water polo pools, to flood. This had resulted in damage to the electrical as well as the filtration systems, Zealand said.
The latest incident caused an electrical surge, blowing two cash registers and the building’s lights.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said they were planning to fence in the substation and electrical box.
In July last year, a section of the Jan Smuts Stadium was damaged in a fire, and it has yet to be repaired.
Ngwenya said that the delay was because repairs would “require an engineer design to reinstate”.
“Toilet repairs are currently under way, but the biggest challenge on maintenance is vandalism and theft,” said Ngwenya.
He added that this was being mitigated by a security presence at the stadium...