- Last week City of Johannesburg announced it would have to shutter some of its pools as loadshedding causes problems for infrastructure.
- Without electricity, filtration and purification systems can’t work and this poses a risk to the quality of water in Johannesburg’s municipal pools.
- The municipality says that its dedicated teams are working to overcome the challenges loadshedding poses to its pools.
Johannesburg residents hoping to spend some time at a municipal pool over the festive season may find themselves holding their towels outside a closed complex.
Last week the City of Johannesburg issued a statement informing residents that as a result of loadshedding, municipal pools weren’t operating optimally.
“Widespread loadshedding, which impacted the entire nation, has substantially affected the turnaround time for the filtration systems in our municipal swimming pools. The restricted availability of electricity hours impedes the proper functioning of our filtration and purification systems, posing a potential risk to the water quality in our pools,” the city wrote.
As a result of these failings, the municipality has decided to shutter some of its 31 operational, municipal pools until it can address the filtration and purification system failures.
While we understand that City of Johannesburg needs to ensure residents are safe, and a poorly filtered and purified pool is a good way for masses to become ill, this couldn’t happen at a worse time. Temperatures in Johannesburg over the last two weeks have been unbearable with peaks of 34 – 35 degrees Celsius depending on where you are in the city on some days.
How many pools will be shuttered is unclear, but by the sounds of the media statement, there are a few that won’t be accessible to Johannesburg residents. The municipality did, however, state that municipal pools will be closed on 25th and 26th December, as well as on 1st January. The municipality says that notices will be displayed on affected pools when they are inaccessible.
“We understand the inconvenience this situation may cause, and we sincerely apologise for any disruptions to your recreational plans. Our dedicated team is working diligently to find expeditious and effective solutions to the challenges posed by the weather and loadshedding. Your patience and cooperation during this period are greatly appreciated,” City of Johannesburg said.
There is no respite for Johannesburg residents as South Africans were lambasted at the weekend for daring to use airconditioners and fans during a heatwave.
“The Sunday just before Black Friday, we had some units down, and we had started recovering them when we were hit by the incredible heatwave, and suddenly usage spiked by about 1 500MW,” general manager at Lethabo Power Station, Karabo Rakgolela told the Sunday Times, via MyBroadband.
“In a heatwave such as this recent one, you can see the usage go up as the entire affluent South Africa switches on their airconditioning and fans, and that usage stays up as long as it stays warm,” the GM added.
Reactions to this statement have been, as you might imagine, severe. South Africans point out that demand has remained somewhat constant while Eskom’s availability has fallen and no matter what the weather, there always seems to be a reason for loadshedding to ramp up.
At present Eskom is moving between Stage 3 loadshedding between 05:00 and 16:00 with Stage 4 in place between 16:00 and 05:00.
South Africans, and Johannesburg residents in particular are going to have to get creative to stay cool over what is generally, a warm festive season.