Still nothing to go on at Klipfontein

This was once a perfectly usable toilet. It has been totally destroyed by vandals.

 

THERE’S an old joke that goes, “The toilets at a local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on…”

As amusing as that may be to anyone who gets a giggle from a well placed play on words, visitors to Klipfontein Dam can relate to the not so humorous side of this dilemma, as this is the actual case regarding the ablution facilities at the popular fishing destination and has been for several years.

In 2014, the Vryheid Herald published a letter from an anonymous angler regarding the matter and, three years later, almost to the day, the words still ring true…

“Is it too much to ask the municipality to pull its finger out of its fundamental orifice and ensure that the facilities at Klipfontein Dam are in a usable condition over the coming holiday season? Is that too much to ask?

You might also want to read: Klipfontein Dam – what can our guests expect? 

“There is little enough for people on holiday to do in Vryheid and one of the recreational facilities is Klipfontein Dam. Actually, there’re also Grootgewacht and Bloemveld dams, but neither of them have the fishing reputation of Klipfontein.

“People use Klipfontein because it is one of the best fresh-water dams for fishing in the entire country. It is used not only by local fishermen but people come from out of town to fish there. What are they faced with?

“Well, for a start they are faced with an entry fee, but what do they get for their money? Quite often they get nothing – no water for washing and no usable toilets.

“Please, AbaQulusi Municipality, can’t you do something for us over Christmas and New Year? Is that too much to ask?”

At their wits’ collective ends, local fishermen took the matter into their own hands eventually and undertook to renovate the facilities themselves, receiving funding from local businesses to carry out the necessary work on the facilities, as well as obtaining the permission of the municipality to do so. Approximately halfway through the job in 2015, they were forbidden to complete the repairs by the same municipality.

“This sudden and unexplained veto by the municipality begs the question, what will become of Klipfontein Dam if left to the discretion of the ruling municipal decision makers? [Former Acting Municipal Manager, Bongiwe Mnikathi, at that time] What is the actual reasoning behind putting a stop to the restoration of a once great tourist attraction, which was being done at absolutely no cost to the municipality?” – Vryheid Herald, May 12, 2015.

In the meantime, vandals have totally destroyed the ablution facilities at Klipfontein Dam. Vandals, not thieves, it would appear, as everything has been literally destroyed, not stolen. Windows have been smashed, sections of the walls have been ripped open, the toilets have been decimated and reduced to unusable and dangerous shards of porcelain sticking out of the floor and basins have been torn from the walls, clearly not with theft as a motive, but pure malice.

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The purpose of this vandalism is a mystery however, and only the perpetrators will understand the point of rendering these facilities useless to the tourists and visitors who inject their cash into the Vryheid economy whenever they visit Klipfontein Dam.

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  AUTHOR
Elaine Rodway

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