“We refused to work at the Langleg office because the toilet does not work; it is dirty and the floor is covered in soil. We have to relieve ourselves in the veld”
EARLY-BIRD holidaymakers have expressed disgust over the “appalling state” of local pleasure resorts, which annually attract thousands of visitors over the festive season.
No one was manning the access control offices at Langleg Pleasure Resort yesterday. Staff members are refusing to work there, due to what they say are unfavourable working conditions, and there are no cashiers to collect the entrance fee.
Posters of a smiling ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa showing a thumbs up are adorned on the poles at Riverton and Langleg pleasure resorts.
Patrons who wish to cool off in the pool at Langleg are given a constant reminder of the ANC’s 108th anniversary celebrations that will take place in the city next year, with posters having been stuck up on the trees.
Visitors who spent the day at Riverton yesterday said that the public toilets were in a state of disrepair.
“The toilets are blocked, leaking and there is water spilled all over the floor. The resort is dirty, full of litter and empty alcohol bottles are lying all over the place. Ladies are forced to squat and aim if they wish to make use of the ladies bathroom,” said a visitor.
One visitor said she had brought her family to Riverton for the day but was highly dissatisfied with the poor condition of the facility.
“My brother’s son was visiting from London and we thought we would spend the day here. We were highly disappointed at the state of the resort, after spending R350 to get through the gates. It has left a very bad impression on my visitors.
“The swimming pool and kiddies pool at Riverton are only now being filled up with water, by means of a hosepipe. We were not able to swim and should have rather stayed at home.”
Meanwhile, employees who are responsible for manning the access control gates at Riverton and Langley were issued with second warning letters and will be subjected to disciplinary hearings for insubordination and refusing to cash in the day’s takings.
Staff members believed that the access control offices are not fit to occupy and are unsafe.
“We refused to work at the Langleg office because the toilet does not work; it is dirty and the floor is covered in soil. We have to relieve ourselves in the veld,” the workers said.
“If we leave the cubicles, members of the public will enter the resort without paying. There is no security and we are expected to walk unaccompanied from the control office with large amounts of cash to the main office.
“There is no security and we are forced to work with aggressive people who try to force their way in without paying. If patrons are unhappy with the condition of the resort they vent their anger out on us. We have been attacked by people who are under the influence of alcohol. The police are usually attending to more pressing matters and don’t come out when we call for help.”
The workers added that the lights were not working while the remote for the air conditioner was missing.
“There are bats living in the ceiling and it was only recently that the door was secured with a lock, even though we work with large amounts of cash.
“We are also refusing to work alone, especially during the night shift, and prefer there to be two people in the office so that we do not feel so vulnerable.”
The employees stated that they were expected to clean their own work space.
“This is while cleaners are appointed for the job. We requested the Department of Labour to inspect our working conditions.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Thoko Riet stated that they are expecting about 2 000 people to visit Riverton and about 3 000 people at Langleg on New Year’s Day (January 1).
She added that only two employees were issued with warning letters for insubordination for refusing to rotate between Riverton and Langleg as well as refusing to cash in the money from the office and dropping it off at the drop safe.
“The memos stated that failure to comply would result in disciplinary action being instituted against them. Bearing in mind that they received two letters prior to the warning letter informing them to rotate their shifts.”
Riet also indicated that the toilets and offices at both resorts were clean.
“No employee is expected to relieve themselves in the veld. All the facilities and ablution blocks at the pleasure resorts are in a good state.”
Riet indicated that lifeguards were on duty during the summer season from September until January.
“No patrons are entering for free and there will be no increase in entry fees for this year.”