EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda recently reopened the Lagoona Swimming Pool near Blue Lagoon beach in Durban.
The Lagoona Swimming Pool was closed in December due to sand entering the pool and blocking the filtration pipes.
The pool is popular amongst beachcombers due to its proximity to the Blue Lagoon and Umgeni River Mouth, popular as a picnic and braai spot for families or a group of friends.
According to the mayor, the opening of this swimming pool brings to 34 the number of swimming pools that are operational in the city.
“We are pleased to report that the contractor is on site at the Children Amusement Centre and we anticipate completing this R37 million project by the 15th of December, in time for the Festive Season,” said the mayor.
Kaunda also revealed that the city had engaged with the leadership of the tourism industry in the city to discuss how to strengthen and streamline their collaborative efforts to deliver a successful festive season in Durban.
He said among the resolutions of the engagement was to keep the promenade and beaches clean and safe for swimming, working towards obtaining a Blue Flag status for Durban’s beaches, maintaining high police visibility in all tourism sites to prevent crime and keep visitors safe and collaborating with business, government and community (social partners) to revive the city’s tourism sector.
Kaunda said that keeping Durban’s beaches open and safe for bathing was of paramount importance during the festive season, and the city’s water and sanitation teams were constantly monitoring the performance of their coastal pump stations resulting in the opening of 24 bathing beaches out of 27.
“We have also increased the frequency of testing the water quality. Ordinarily, we test our water quality once a week, but now we are testing twice so that if anything goes wrong, we can be able to pick it up immediately.
“We have also activated our maintenance teams that if anything goes wrong with our pumps, they must react immediately,” said Kaunda.
The mayor said they were also utilising the services of an accredited, independent science laboratory in a partnership that will ensure transparency and credibility.
“Together, we are conducting tests to ensure that our results are comparable. In a case where there are any challenges with water quality, we immediately close the beaches because we don’t want to expose people to danger.
“So, we want to assure our residents and visitors that our water is safe for both drinking and recreational purposes,” said Kaunda.
The mayor added that they were working on finalising the recruitment of seasonal workers including child minders, lifeguards and waste pickers to be deployed at beaches.
“To ensure that visitors are safe when they arrive in the city, we are already increasing the deployment of police in various tourism sites and places of leisure along the beach. There is also a significant increase in metro police deployed in the CBD to heighten visibility,” he said.
He said that working with community crime fighting structures, the city had identified identified crime hotspots in suburbs, township and rural communities and law enforcement officers were already conducting intelligence-driven operations in those areas.
“Last month, the municipality, started a process of repairing all our CCTV cameras and our teams have assured us that they will finalise this work by the end of this month. This will go along way in enhancing our ability to detect crime before it occurs,” said Kaunda.