MEMBERS of the Ward 10 committee for sport and recreation met with Sunshine Coast Tourism and TotT last week to discuss and propose a plan of action regarding several sport and recreation amenities in Port Alfred.
The meeting convened by Easter Festival co-founder Zwelinzima Nkwinti, who said that the aim was to start a project to promote Ward 10 facilities and to be able to include these with the development of a package in marketing strategy for the tourism office.
Several areas were highlighted including local beaches, public play parks, the municipal tennis courts, squash courts and the Indoor Swimming Pool.
Nkwinti asked what could be done to upgrade local beaches so that they met requirements and standards of other beaches in high tourist areas.
One of the areas identified was the dunes at East Beach which have encroached on the parking lot. Nkwinti suggested, with support from other members of the committee, that the parking area could be increased by removing dunes and dune vegetation between the two parking lots at East Beach. He said this would allow more beach access for visitors during peak seasons as well as aid in the success of events.
The general condition of ablutions at East Beach and West Beach were discussed with proposals to fix up the facilities and add a pay system which is commonly used in other areas. The bathrooms would be locked and could only be accessed when R1 is put in the slot.
“This will help to pay towards the maintenance of the toilets,” Clinton Milliard said.
The Port Alfred tennis courts and squash courts should be utilised more and the community should be aware that they are entitled to access to these facilities, Nkwinti said.
The Indoor Pool suffered a loss when the new lease holder and management learned that the primary pump used to heat the pool was no longer available at the facility. The pump had been donated to the facility when the previous owner, Anette Crous, was still there, but had subsequently been removed and sold back to its supplier when she left.
“We want the pool to go back to the community. People think they aren’t allowed to swim here, [but] it’s for everyone,” new lease holder Sharon Lemmer said.
Lemmer said they had been struggling as visitors to the pool complain that the water is not heated enough and she fears this will keep people away. “We need to source a new pump that can heat the pool at 27 degrees, at its optimum temperature,” she said.
Right now the remaining pump, old and falling apart, is heating the water at 22-23 degrees. A new pump is estimated to cost around R60 000.
Nkwinti said children’s play parks need to be maintained, and suggested fencing the area at the park near the Port Alfred library, and locking it at night to help safeguard from vandals.
The state of the Duck Pond boardwalk was discussed and it was disclosed there are plans to demolish it instead of rebuilding it as the costs are too high.
Millard disclosed that Ndlambe Municipality had followed the right processes and sent out a tender for the repair work. Allegedly the lowest quote came in at R400 000.
Sunshine Coast Tourism manager Sandy Birch suggested investigating the issue to find better ways to finance it. She also said that the majority of enquiries she received at the tourism office are foreigners looking for beach related activities and potential hiking opportunities.
See this week’s TotT for full story.