Ten Cape beaches retain coveted Blue Flag status
Cape Town has retained the status of its 10 Blue Flag beaches, while Grotto Beach in the Overstrand Municipality received special recognition for maintaining the environmental award for 20 consecutive years.
In launching the summer season, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), the National Operator for Blue Flag, announced that Bikini Beach, Camp's Bay, Clifton 4th beach, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Melkbosstrand, Mnandi, Muizenberg, Strandfontein and Silwerstroom have qualified.
WESSA used 33 criteria to determine if each beach meets the level of service excellence required for Blue Flag recognition.
Each beach is measured in four categories: Environmental Education and Awareness, Water Quality, Environmental Management, and Safety Services.
The individual criteria allow for an in-depth analysis of a variety of areas of competence.
Nationally 58 Blue Flags will be flown at 48 beaches, six marinas, and by four sustainable tourism boats.
“The Blue Flag programme also allows for new sites to participate in the pilot programme, in an effort to get themselves up to full Blue Flag status in future.
’’Nineteen Pilot sites received recognition for their efforts in working towards the minimum requirements for Blue Flag Status,” WESSA said.
“The programme provides an excellent international standard for municipalities and tour operators to strive toward. Sites flying the Blue Flag are showing their commitment to conserving our fragile marine and coastal environment, raising environmental awareness and increasing sound environmental practices.”
Mayco member for community services Zahid Badroodien gave the credit to environmental staff who have ensured the quality and cleanliness of beaches are consistently maintained.
He said the international standards, which have been achieved at the ten beaches, are critical drivers to economic growth.
“After months of restricted movement, it is expected that more people will flock to the City's beaches this summer.
’’The Western Cape premier has also announced the resurgence of Covid-19 in the Cape Town metropole, which will impact on the summer season.
“I urge all residents to adhere to the safety regulations when they are at our beaches and pools.
’’We are also extremely proud that 10 of the City's beaches once again ticked all the boxes and will be flying the flag of excellence,” Badroodien said.