Cape Town - Cape Town once again has more Blue Flag beaches than any other coastal area in the country. Eight of our beaches and two marinas have been awarded Blue Flag status.
The annual ceremony was held in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday. Cape Town has had Blue Flag beaches since the programme’s inception in 2001.
Over 3 650 beaches and marinas in 44 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean are awarded the status annually.
Blue Flag status is granted to beaches that are clean, have adequate ablution facilities and parking areas, are environmentally friendly, secure and safe. They must adhere to international safety and tourism standards. The status is awarded one season at a time and can be lost if the beach deteriorates.
Belinda Walker, mayco member for community services and special projects, said Blue Flag beaches were a significant tourist attraction: “International visitors know what to expect. The programme challenges local authorities, beach operators and yacht and marina management to achieve high standards.”
The city entered eight beaches, all of which were successful. They are Bikini beach at Gordon’s Bay, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Llandudno, Camps Bay, Clifton Fourth Beach and Silwerstroomstrand on the West Coast. The two marinas are the Granger Bay Water Club and the False Bay Marina at Simon’s Town.
The status lasts through the summer until March next year.
Walker said they were pleased at the acknowledgement of the city’s commitment to maintain world-class beaches.
“Cape Town is ready to welcome local and international tourists to our beaches.”
Walker said the fact a beach did not have Blue Flag status was not necessarily a negative reflection on the beach: “The Blue Flag serves merely as a yardstick to assist the city in improving and enhancing services and facilities on all public beaches.”
Last year, Cape Town was the first African city south of the Mediterranean to have Blue Flag marinas. - Cape Argus