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Johannesburg leisure amenities get new lease on life

In a grand ode to spring, the City of Johannesburg opened 42 swimming pools to the public on Spring Day, 1 September 2017. This followed the reopening of a number of other public recreational facilities over the past few months.

Florida Lake SP 1

In a first for the Joburg Property Company (JPC), the body’s Facilities Management division undertook the entire process of managing the repairs and maintenance work on the pools. Ordinarily, this would have been the responsibility of the Community Development division, because the provision of pools falls under its authority, but Facilities Management had the capacity to accomplish the feat in time for the warmer weather.

Everything possible was done to contract specialist contractors and teams working seven days a week to get the pools ready in time for the spring opening, according to JPC Assistant Project Manager Dheeran Ramdhari.

Some of the work needed on the 42 pools were repairs to and, in some cases, replacements of filtration systems, tiling, heating systems and fiberglass. This included work on motor switchgear, pumps and electrical systems.

The revamped pools opened on 1 September comprised one in Region A, 11 in Region B, three in Region C, seven in Region D, one in Region E, 11 in Region F and eight in Region G.

“With the volume of swimming pools we were requested to repair and maintain, my fear was that we would not be able to meet our deadline, but we persevered, kept the faith and delivered to the best of our abilities,” said Dheeran.

Proper planning has also paid off in that several other leisure facilities around the city have undergone revamps and been reopened. The timing has been perfect, as the warmer weather has already brought greater demand for outdoor activities.

One such facility is the Zoo Lake Bowls Club, which reopened to the public in late May this year after being closed since 2014. The reopening was partly thanks to JPC’s efforts in finding a suitable tenant to lease and manage the space.

The 80-year-old Zoo Lake Bowls Club is an important Johannesburg establishment, which provides the community with a central, affordable venue for social gatherings. Apart from its sprawling bowling greens, the venue often offers live entertainment. Events and happenings are announced on the club’s Facebook page, Zoolake Bowls.