Delay in pool law

HAZARD: Paramedics resuscitate a child. 07/12/2009. © Unknown.
HAZARD: Paramedics resuscitate a child. 07/12/2009. © Unknown.

INSUFFICIENT input from the public has caused a delay in the passing of a City of Johannesburg bylaw aimed at preventing child drownings.

The draft document, which was open for public scrutiny last year, will see every homeowner forced to erect a fence or wall around their pool and have a pool cover or pool alarm on it.

City of Johannesburg spokesperson Virgil James said they were unhappy with the volume and quality of contributions at public hearings.

"We will reopen public hearings next month to allow more people to contribute," he said.

James said the city would inform the public through its website, posters and the media on where hearings would be held.

"The new law will enable the city to protect children even at their homes," he said.

"We have already partnered with Swimming SA and they are offering free swimming lessons to children at our pools," he said.

According to Johannesburg Emergency Management Service spokesperson Percy Morokane people who drowned in pools between 2006 and last year increased from 96 to 128 a year.

He said most of these were children under the age of 10.

In October and last month 33 people drowned in pools in Johannesburg, Morokane said.