TZANEEN: Is this the final episode in the pool saga?

Time to last!

In November 2015, Letaba Herald reported that Tzaneen’s public swimming pool was renovated at a cost of R11mil.

Read: Tzaneen se swembad moontlik oop in September, of nie?

Photo taken during the ‘official opening’ in 2015.

And this is where the swimming pool soapie saga starts.

The opening of the public swimming pool gets postponed due to a lack of lifeguards.

The Newly refurbished Tzaneen public swimming Pool which was supposed to be re-opened iin October 2015.

On October 1 2015, The Herald reported that the swimming pool will be officially opened. But due to a so said leak in the pool, the ‘white elephant’ needed to be refurbished at a cost of more than R7 million due to the leak that needs to be fixed.

Read: Gaan Tzaneen nou kan swem?

At the time, Neville Ndlala denied all allegations, and said that the lack of lifesavers was still the reason for the postponement of the opening.

The then Mayor of Tzaneen, Dikeledi Mmetle in 2015.

November 12 2015, refurbishments are done, but a lack of logistics then seemed to be the problem. November 21. Still the public swimming pool seemed to be a no-go zone, since the vacancy for a lifeguard does not fall into the municipality’s organogram.

A greenish public swimming pool still not open for the residents of Tzaneen, January 2017.

Allegations reached our office that the delay in the opening is due to an electrical ‘challenge’ on the premises.

But Ndlala gave us the assurance that it is just a small problem, and “it’s sorted out.”

Read: Public swimming pool launch postponed due to leak

November 26. The official opening with an entourage of dignitaries, including the then Mayor, Dikilede Mmetla. But the opening seemed unofficial, since the lack of lifeguards is still apparent.

Read: Tzaneen Swembad Saga: Eers oop…nou dolleeg!

With regard to the aspirant lifeguards,who did their training at the cost of the municipality, it come to light that none of them were actually good swimmers.

Read: TZANEEN: And so the swimming pool saga continues…

September 2016. The pool was now empty and the toddlers splash pool drenched with algae.

Ndlala then told the Herald that there was a leak in the pool and it was handed back to the contractor to identify the leak and seal it.

Letaba Herald visited the pool, and to our surprise six ‘cleaners’ were lounging around the ‘unvisited’ pool.

Ndlala then told the Herald that they were employees of the contractor.

This was most unlikely, as some of them wore GTM uniforms.

Empty. There was a leak in the pool, September 2016 and the pool was handed back to the contractor to identify the leak and seal it.

Nevertheless, the GTM published a vacancy for a lifeguard on a 12 month fixed term contract for a remuneration of R207 990.44 p/a as published in the Herald.

After almost two years, it seems that the swimming pool soapie has reached its climax, and that the curtain can now be drawn on all the drama.

This after millions of taxpayers’ money was used to renovate the pool, due to a seeming lack of workmanship and thorough procedures from day one.

All said and done, spring is 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 life guard shall be payable for life guard services outside the specified working hours.

Swimming development and coaching requirements must be met by any interested person or organization 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.

Bertus de Bruyn
news editor

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