Wilderness beach enjoys pilot Blue Flag status
The beach incorporates the jurisdiction of SANParks, Garden Route District Municipality and George Municipality.
The Blue Flag is a joint project of these role-players, with major involvement of Salina’s Restaurant, which overlooks Wilderness beach, and the support of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa) that manages the Blue Flag programme in South Africa.
It’s the second consecutive year the beach has pilot Blue Flag status since Garden Route District Municipality reapplied for the accolade.
Wilderness had full status in previous years but skipped application in 2017 due to administrative changes at the district municipality.
Addressing role-players at the ceremony on Tuesday, Garden Route District Municipality Disaster Management head Gerhard Otto said he had hoped Wilderness Beach would earn full Blue Flag status this year, but changes in the Wessa Blue Flag Beach requirements had made it impossible on short notice.
“Salina’s had in the past made its disabled toilets available to disabled beach-goers, which was sufficient in the past to qualify, but this is no longer the case.
"The George Municipality has already allocated funding for such upgrades at the public toilets in the parking area at the beach, but implementation was unfortunately outside the Blue Flag application timeframe.
"We believe this will be resolved next year and expect that Wilderness will have full Blue Flag status for the 2020/21 season,” Otto said.
The Blue Flag season in Wilderness runs from December 1 to January 31, 2020.