Strict new by-laws for Joburg swimming pool safety

Why don't we begin the week by skipping straight past the sublime and move directly on to the utterly ridiculous!

I know that pool safety is important BUT ... are you serious?

The burden on the unfortunate individual who is unlucky enough to try and sell property in SA is becoming overwhelming.  You need certificates for EVERYTHING.

Our municipalities don't even have the resources to enforce the most basic of by-laws or attend to filling potholes and having functional traffic lights, how do they propose enforcing this?

Still, I suppose at least they are creating work for whoever is lucky enough to be qualified to issue pool certificates.

The best comment I have seen on this is by Kura Chihota, who said that at least he does not have to worry because he does not have a pool but a fire prevention reservoir.  (Those readers familiar with Nkandla-gate will appreciate this comment.)

Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney

Strict new by-laws for Joburg swimming pool safety

New safety by-laws for residential swimming pools, which could have serious legal implications for homeowners, including a jail term, are about to be approved by the City of Joburg.

All pools will have to be registered with the City of Joburg and a certificate of compliance will have to be obtained by homeowners. Houses with pools will not be able to be sold without this certificate.

Other implications are that if the pool is not properly fenced off, and someone is injured or drowns in a pool, the public liability insurance may be invalidated.

The new regulations state that a pool has to be surrounded by a wall or fence, built or erected according to National Building Regulations, which a child of 7 would not be able to climb over. The ingress and exit doors have to have self-locking mechanisms and there many be no gaps greater than 100m.

A pool net or cover, within certain specifications, or a floating pool alarm device, which is in the water at all times, may also be allowed.

The by-laws state that anyone with a swimming pool has to notify the council so that they can be registered. On inspection, a permit will be issued to the owner for the pool. Those pools that are already fenced at the time of the by-law passing will be inspected by an authorised official, to determine whether the existing fence is adequate.

Every indoor pool must be secured with the floor glide system or be fitted with a floating pool alarm device.

No child under the age of 7 may be permitted to be alone in a swimming pool. They will have to be accompanied by someone aged 18 or older.

Owners will be given 21 days in which to comply. They also have a right of appeal. The penalties allow for fines of R50 a day for every day of non-compliance.

They also specify a jail term of up to six months and an additional day for every day the pool is not compliant.

Residents have two opportunities left to comment on the bylaws before they are passed: tomorrow from 9am to 1pm at the Sandton Library, and on February 22 at the Reception Room, Civic Centre, in Braamfontein between 9am and 1pm.

The Star


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Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!