In photos: Cape Town’s favourite public space

Thousands visit Sea Point pool, one of the few municipal pools operating during the drought

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Photo of people swimming in Sea Point Pavilion
A woman keeps watch over children in the shallow pool at the Sea Point Pavilion.

Because it uses sea water, the Sea Point Pavilion has been one of the few municipal pools open during the summer school holidays. Barry Christianson photographed Capetonians enjoying this famous public space.

Families from all over Cape Town queued to enter the pool on Saturday. For most visitors it was an all-day affair. They brought tents, gazebos, and cooler boxes with enough food to last the day. They arrived in the morning before the pool opened and left in the evening when it closed.

Besides the beauty of the surroundings and the lawns, parents like the Pavilion because they feel that their children are safe: there are diligent and visible lifeguards, and police are also present.

Some people enjoyed the sun but chose not to swim.

The pool was packed on Saturday, a warm summer day.

But even on Sunday, when it rained, the pool was popular. Lifeguards sat under a gazebo, taking shelter from the rain. They’ve had a few near drownings this season, but nothing too serious.

Despite the rain and overcast weather on Sunday people still swam.

TOPICS:  Society

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Write a letter in response to this article


Dear Editor

It is with some pride that I looked at the pics of Cape Town's favourite public place. It was the outcome of a sustained campaign to prevent the Council and the Province building a shopping centre on the Pavilion site. Now we have this wonderful spot where all South Africans meet and mingle in the spirit of enjoying the beauty of the ocean and public space. It epitomizes what we all hope for our country.

Dear Editor

For those of us having to travel long distances to the pool from late December to Jan 7th, it would be good to be able to find out timeously (daily) the changing opening and closing times (which are necessary to keep the quality of the water high during high usage).

How much know how and organisation and time does it take to:

1. have an extra person to answer the phone for the first two hours while other personnel have their work cut out managing the long queue entering the pool when it opens.
2. Alternatively put a voice mail message on the phone - updated on a daily basis - stating the opening hours for that day.
3. And/or updating the website on a daily basis?

From my observation I think that more than one person is needed to manage the crowd of people pushing to get in when the doors open in the morning. It would be great to see just some of these measures in place just for this period, and to see a staff who are not under such intense pressure, especially on Dec 25 and 26, and January 1, 2 and 3.

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