Cape Town - At least eight City beaches, including Clifton 4th beach and Llandudno, will be waving the Blue Flags this summer, an internationally recognised green light for catered water facilities.
The City’s Recreation and Parks Department confirmed that eight Cape Town beaches had received accreditation for the Blue Flag status by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa), while two were awarded pilot Blue Flag status.
Wessa is an international non-profit environmental conservation organisation that advocates environmental stewardship and advocacy.
In 2001, Wessa assumed a pioneering role in South Africa by introducing and implementing the Foundation for Environmental Education Blue Flag programme.
The programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas. It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four categories: water quality, environmental management, environmental education, and safety.
The initiative also recognises beaches that meet its set criteria for accreditation. This motivates beaches to have universal access, effective waste management systems, availability of interpretive signage, and control of domestic animals.
The successful beaches were Bikini Beach, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th beach, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Melkbosstrand, Muizenberg and Silwerstroom.
Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and recognised eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.
Mayco member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross said it took a lot of hard work behind the scenes to ensure the city was ready for the summer season, and that residents and visitors would enjoy the its world-class amenities and facilities.
“This is a wonderful achievement for our recreation and parks department, but for Cape Town as a whole. As we wade deeper into the summer season, our beaches and recreational facilities will be bustling with residents and visitors.
“Details of our lifeguard deployments and general summer safety plans will be made public in the coming weeks as we count down to the start of the festive season, and this Blue Flag announcement is a most welcome boost,” Van der Ross said.
During the Blue Flag season, beaches that have received complete accreditation must fly their flag on the beach. The flag may either be flown 24 hours a day during the Blue Flag season, or only during the hours when the beach meets all the Blue Flag criteria, according to the Blue Flag beach criteria and explanatory notes of 2020.
Cape Town’s Blue Flag season will run from December 1 until January 31 at all accredited beaches, except Camps Bay and Muizenberg, where it will be in effect until the end of March.