Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 30 October 2010
South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to implement the Blue Flag programme and it was launched here in November 2001 as part of the South African Government’s CoastCare initiative. Since 2001, the Blue Flag programme has become a truly global initiative with over 42 countries participating and a further seven countries undertaking the feasibility stage.
27 South African beaches (listed at end of article) have achieved world-class standards during the past season and have been adjudicated by both a South African and an International Blue Flag Jury to meet the standards of excellence Blue Flag beaches must achieve.
“The success of the Blue Flag programme in South Africa over the past 10 years can be attributed to the commitment of participating municipalities to provide beach-goers and holiday-makers with world class beaches offering safe, clean and well-managed facilities,” said Alison Kelly, WESSA’s Blue Flag Program Manager.
“The municipalities managing Blue Flag beaches are showing that high levels of excellence and delivery of services to benefit both local and international visitors are possible. Blue Flag as an organised and internationally managed accreditation programme provides a viable system for service excellence on our coastline and those municipalities receiving accreditation today should be acknowledged for what they have achieved” Kelly said.
An ongoing challenge for many South African beaches will be the need to manage the damages caused to infrastructure and the coastline as a result of changing climatic conditions. Notwithstanding these challenges, municipalities participating in Blue Flag have devoted resources to the rehabilitation of these beaches and the standards necessary to fly the Blue Flag have been quickly re-established.
Blue Flag as an environmental programme also brings significant benefits in terms of improved environmental management of our coastline. This is clear in the highlighting of issues relating to bathing water quality and the need to ensure that infrastructure is effectively managed to minimize impacts on coastal environments. A significant potential threat to Blue Flag sustainability into the future will be the potential negative impacts of land-based pollution on sea bathing water quality.
“We are noticing slow deterioration in bathing water quality along most of the coast and this appears to be related to poor sewerage and stormwater management within the broader catchment that leads to the beaches,” said Kelly. She noted that water quality in rivers and estuaries is deteriorating markedly.
“The release of the Green Drop report earlier this year highlights the very real challenges this country faces in managing waste water management systems and the need for us to ensure that the necessary skills and technical ability is in place at local government level,” Kelly said.
The South African beaches that have received Blue Flag accreditation for the 10th year of Blue Flag in South Africa are:-
MacDougall’s Bay, Port Nolloth
Yzerfontein Main beach, Yzerfontein
Clifton 4th beach, Cape Town
Camps Bay, Cape Town
Muizenberg, Cape Town
Strandfontein beach, Cape Town
Mnandi beach, Cape Town
Bikini beach, Gordon’s Bay
Kleinmond beach, near Hermanus
Hawston beach, near Hermanus
Grotto beach, Hermanus
Lappiesbaai, Stilbaai, Southern Cape
Witsand at the mouth of the Breede River
Santos beach, Mossel Bay
Hartenbos beach, Mossel Bay
Robberg 5 beach, Plettenberg Bay
Dolphin beach, Jeffrey’s Bay
Humewood beach, Port Elizabeth
Wells Estate, north of Port Elizabeth
Kelly’s beach, Port Alfred
Kariega Main beach, Kenton-on-Sea
Umzumbe (Pumula) on the south coast Kzn (new)
Lucien beach near Margate (back in the programme)
Trafalgar beach, south coast Kzn
Marina beach, south coast Kzn
Ramsgate beach, near Margate