Long Street baths reopen

Long Street pools have been reopened following renovations.

The Long Street swimming pool has opened again after being closed for repairs and maintenance.

The opening of the pool came as plans to revitalise Long Street is under way – starting with the upper side, in which the pool is incorporated.

The plan is spearheaded by the revived Long Street Association.

Mayco member for community services and health, Dr Zaid Badroodien, said the City’s recreation and parks department is happy to reopen the Long Street swimming pool after its closure of more than a year.

“The pool was operational before the lockdown, but had to close after inclement weather ripped off roof sheets.

“We used the closure to enact further repairs and upgrades. This historic gem dates back to 1908 and we’re aware of its popularity among locals and visitors.”

The repairs and maintenance that took place include the replacement of the rusted steel piping with new UPVC class 16 pipes from plant room to filters; repair and service of steel filter tanks; repair on heating units and the pumps; repairs to the damaged roof; replacement of filter media with new glass media and an electrical assessment.

However, Dr Badroodien said there is still work to be done despite the pool being open. This includes the replacement of electrical distribution board for heating units and the completion of electrical work.

“We spent more than R1.1 million on the work done so far as it required specialist knowledge and skills.

“Long Street is one of a few pools which operate all year and is well used by recreational and professional bathers, swimming clubs and various schools, and activities and programmes such as under water hockey and water aerobics take place.

“We are pleased that many of these activities can now resume with the observation of Covid-19 regulations.”

The CEO of the City Central Improvement District (CCID), Tasso Evangelinos, said they welcomed the reopening of the Long Street baths, which have been restored to its former glory.

“The historic baths are an integral part of the fabric of downtown Cape Town, and we are pleased that they will once again become a must-visit destination and encourage visitors to come back to town to enjoy what the CBD has to offer.

“Any rejuvenation of the central city is crucial to the success of the area, and instils confidence is everyone who uses the space, from residents, to visitors, office workers and business owners.”

The Long Street Association vice-chairperson, Grandt Mason, said they were working with the City of Cape Town to find a sustainable solution to maintain the pool, and to restore it to its former glory.

He said the pool was expensive to maintain, and the Turkish baths attached to the pool remained closed due to lack of funding.

He said the Long Street Association had plans to find funding to find a long-term solution to keep the pool open and maintained, but also to keep it accessible to the public, all while looking for ways to incorporate into the bigger picture, which was to look for ways that the asset can help the rest of Long Street and vice versa.

“Please use the pools now that they are open. We want it to remain an accessible, but we are busy with a more sustainable solution to restore it to its glory.”

Dr Badroodien said Long Street swimming pool has a long, proud and colourful heritage. It was once known as the slipper baths because residents from so many of the surrounding apartment complexes walked over to the facility in their slippers to have a shower.

“It is encouraging to know that it will once again be well used.”

The pool will be open daily from 7am until 3.45pm. The pool will be open for women only on Tuesdays from 10am until 2pm.

Visitors are reminded that the following is not allowed at the pool:

· Alcohol

· Firearms

· Animals

· Use of soap

· Glass containers

· Balls or frisbee games

· Underwater diving equipment

· Inflatable mattresses and tubes

· Playing of music

· The preparation of food