Repaired aquarium is back

After a R2.8m revamp, following severe damage caused by high seas, the iconic EL venue is re-opening

The East London Aquarium will finally reopen its doors to the public today after being closed for five months.
The aquarium was severely damaged during high seas in August last year, forcing the metro to close it for five months while repairs were being done. Buffalo City Metro confirmed that the facility would reopen on Saturday after repairs to the value of R2.8m had been completed.
Municipal spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said:
“It [the cost of repairs] was a total of R2.8-million and included structural work, replacement of embankments that had been washed away, the replacement and repairs of seal pool balustrading [sic] and the shark pool decking, the seal rehabilitation pool and some repairs to the large whale watching deck and decking that accesses the environmental centre. This has been a replacement of what was lost to high seas and not an upgrade.”
The festive, celebratory opening event scheduled for next week is being called “The Fine & Fabulous Fine & Fishy Aquarium Re-Opening Event” and will start at 10am and run until about 2pm.
The event’s Facebook page proclaims: “We invite you to come along and enjoy where fun and fantasy blend with awareness and education about our sealife and ocean conservation. There will be eats and treats, crafting activities, market vendors selling kiddie-related products, and a visit from a mermaid! Aquarium entry prices apply [R47 for adults and R29 for kids].”
By Friday morning over 700 people had already expressed their interest in attending the event.
“The weekend of September 29 will have friends of the East London aquarium celebrating the reopening by having a number of activities for the public such as stalls and photographic opportunities and craft activities related to the ocean.
“We encourage the public to visit as often as possible, especially now that we are back to normal. Either weekend is good to visit, with this weekend being calmer in terms of activities and the weekend of 29th for more active involvement and fun.”
Ngwenya further said: “We are pleased at the fact that the aquarium is even featuring on various music videos, promo videos, and photos, meaning it’s an iconic place that is part of this society.”
The spokesperson called on residents to be involved at the aquarium by volunteering their services.
He said that the aquarium’s operations and activities could be followed on its Facebook page...

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