The City of Cape Town has made waves and topped other coastal cities as it boasts the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the country. Jeffreys Bay saw 10 of the Mother City’s beaches given the Blue Flag status in an announcement at the Eastern Cape seaside town yesterday. This forms part of the national Blue Flag programme, coordinated by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.
Blue Flag is an international accreditation awarded to beaches that display excellence through meeting 33 criteria covering four categories: environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.
National Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, announced the Blue Flag status of the City of Cape Town on 4 October 2017, awarding 10 beaches full Blue Flag status for summer season period (1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018).
These are the 10 Blue Flag beaches in Cape Town:
1 Bikini Beach
2 Mnandi Beach
3 Strandfontein Beach
4 Muizenberg Beach
5 Fish Hoek Beach
7 Camps Bay Beach
8 Clifton 4th Beach
10 Silwerstroomstrand (mid-December to mid-January)
Seaforth Beach was awarded pilot Blue Flag status for the summer season, meaning it will be considered for full Blue Flag status if certain criteria are met within a specified period of time.
“The City of Cape Town is proud to consistently maintain its record of providing high quality beaches and associated amenities which ensure that local residents are afforded enjoyable recreational spaces. Achieving high standards such as those set by the Blue Flag programme also contribute to Cape Town being an international destination of choice for tourists,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
The City is getting ready for the festive season and onset of beach goers in the summer.
“We are very proud that so many of our beaches are recognised as meeting the very high standards set out in the Blue Flag programme. Our beaches are popular, as the more than one million visitors over the festive season can attest to. City departments work hard to ensure that our beaches are clean, safe and full of fun activities for holiday-makers,” said Alderman Smith.
Participation in the international programme is voluntary and the status indicates that the beaches are clean, have adequate ablution facilities and parking, are environmentally sound, are safe and secure to visit, and meet international safety and tourism standards. The accreditation is awarded for one season at a time and if conditions deteriorate at the beach, it can be withdrawn.
The City of Cape Town has successfully participated in the Blue Flag beach programme since its inception in South Africa in 2001.
Three marinas have also achieved Blue Flag status, these being the Water Club at Granger Bay, Harbour Island, and the False Bay Yacht Club. Blue Flag marinas help ensure better business opportunities for tourism enterprises, while promoting economic development in the boat-building industry, thus creating job opportunities.
The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue flag sites this year, with 28 of the 44 beaches, all 11 boats (tourism boats that do environmental tours and educational programmes), and six of the seven Blue Flag marinas falling in the province. This is an increase of three Blue Flag boats from the previous season, and one additional marina.
Photography HSM Images