South Africa has grown its Blue Flag beach collection from 23 to 27 for the new season starting on November 1, on condition that three of the beaches meet certain requirements by the end of next month.
The names of the 17 Western Cape, six KwaZulu-Natal and four Eastern Cape beaches were announced at South Africa's 2011/2012 Blue Flag Beach Season launch at Kenton-on-Sea on Tuesday. Of the 27 that applied, 24 were awarded full status, while Silwerstroomstrand (Cape West Coast), Llandudno (Cape Peninsula) and Keurboomstrand (Garden Route) still need to complete steps such as ablution upgrading and putting up educational signage before receiving full status.
Since the Blue Flag drive launched as part of South Africa's CoastCare initiative in 2001, it has grown remarkable from just three Blue Flag beaches in the first year, to 27 this year.
Adding to this, False Bay Yacht Club, Granger Bay Water Club and Royal Cape Yacht Club have also been named South Africa's very first Pilot Blue Flag Marinas, with Port Alfred set to join the ranks in the near future.
During her keynote address at the prestigious launch, Rejoice Mabudhafasie, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairspraised the efforts of municipal staff, councillors and supporting communities in developing their Blue Flag beaches and maintaining standards of excellence in managing them. She added that her hope was to develop South Africa's entire coastline into one large Blue Flag project.
Her thoughts were echoed by Ted Knott, WESSA's National Coastal Project Manager and National Blue Flag Programme Co-ordinator, who agreed that "Blue Flag should be the benchmark, not the exception."
The South African beaches that have received Blue Flag accreditation for the 11th year of Blue Flag in South Africa are:
City of Cape Town Municipality:
Clifton 4th beach
Bikini beach, Gordon's Bay
Grotto beach, Hermanus
Mossel Bay Municipality:
Witsand, at the mouth of the Breede River
Robberg 5th beach, Plettenberg Bay
The Waves, Keurboomstrand
Dolphin beach, Jeffrey's Bay
Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality:
Humewood beach, Port Elizabeth
Kariega beach, Kenton-on-Sea
Kelly's beach, Port Alfred
Hibiscus Coast Municipality:
Trafalgar beach, south coast KZN
Marina beach, south coast KZN
Ramsgate beach, near Margate
Lucien beach near Margate
Umzumbe (Pumula) on the south coast KZN
(*Refers to conditional Full Status, upon the beach meeting the relevant criteria by the end of November)