The Mother City boasts beautiful beaches wherever you turn, and ten of them have just been honoured for their excellence. Ten Cape beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), thanks to their internationally accredited standards and facilities.
Following a national audit of beaches submitted for assessment by each local municipality, 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, which include:
– Universal access (for the disabled, elderly and mothers with young children)
– Control of domestic animals (such as dogs on beaches)
– Availability of interpretive signage
– Effective waste management
The following City beaches have qualified to fly the Blue Flag this season:
In addition to the 10 beaches that received Blue Flag status, the City of Cape Town received a special 10-year award recognition for Silwerstroom’s strand.
The Blue Flag Season will run from December 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021 for Bikini Beach, Clifton Fourth beach, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Melkbosstrand, Mnandi and Silwerstroom.
Camps Bay, Muizenberg and Strandfontein will have an extended season until March 31, 2021. The Blue Flag applicable times at all of these beaches is from 10am to 6pm daily.
“The City is pleased to once again receive this recognition. Being able to retain the status of all 10 Blue Flag beaches can be attributed to the work of our environmental staff, who have ensured the quality and cleanliness of these beaches have been consistently maintained,” said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.
“These spaces are especially important as we head into the summer months, enabling residents to enjoy nature and the ocean, while being able to safely social distance in line with COVID-19 regulations.”
Mayoral Committee Member for Community Service and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien added: “Beaches are popular places to spend time with family and friends in the outdoors and to enjoy the summer weather. 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.”
“We would like to congratulate the Recreation and Parks Department and all of the teams who worked tirelessly to once again achieve an exceptional milestone. For many years now, the City has boasted the most Blue Flag beaches with full status in South Africa. Blue Flag is an excellent opportunity to attract international travellers, boost the economy and offers locals a beautiful place to enjoy this Festive Season,” said Councillor Badroodien.
The City plans lifeguard deployment for the coastline annually in line with the school holiday dates. Lifeguard deployment is operational at City beaches and tidal pools. The Recreation and Parks Department will also implement its Drowning Prevention Plan. Lifeguards will be on duty daily, from 10am until 6pm, until April 12, 2021.
On an operational level, much time has been invested in getting facilities ready to receive an influx of visitors for the season. At Camps Bay, an old asbestos roof has been replaced and in Muizenberg, the pavilion was re-painted.
For water quality, an independent laboratory has been appointed. Working in conjunction with transversal teams and multiple processes within the City, they are currently monitoring the water quality at the beaches which are undergoing audits.
Also, as nature flourished during the lockdown period, much had to be done before the start of the season to manage dunes, control alien vegetation, manage animal populations and collect waste from beaches.
Picture: City of Cape Town