Ten of the City of Cape Town’s beaches will be flying the Blue Flag this season as Cape Town, once again, boasts having one of the highest numbers of Blue Flag beaches in the country. As part of the National Blue Flag Programme, coordinated by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), Blue Flag status was awarded today, 7 October 2017, to ten of the City’s most popular beaches.
The City of Cape Town’s beaches keep raking in the accolades as 10 of them were announced to have achieved Blue Flag status.
‘The City is incredibly proud and honoured to be awarded with 10 Blue Flag beaches and also the pilot beach of Seaforth. We acknowledge the faith and trust that has been placed in us and we realise that the hard work is only just beginning to ensure that these beaches continue to meet the standard associated with this eco-label,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Councillor Anda Ntsodo.The addition of a pilot Blue Flag status for Seaforth Beach, near Simon’s Town, means the beach will be considered for full Blue Flag status if certain criteria are met within a specified period of time.
‘We are preparing for 1 December, which is the start of the Blue Flag season. The City’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department, in conjunction with other departments, works hard to ensure that our beaches are clean, safe and full of fun activities for holiday-makers and we trust that the popularity of our beaches will continue to grow.
‘Some of the preparation which is underway includes conducting maintenance and upgrades to facilities, ensuring that the environmental integrity of sites is intact, placing lifeguards on duty to patrol these beaches, sampling the water for quality control purposes which will resume soon, dune rehabilitation, alien vegetation eradication and conducting some of the compulsory Blue Flag environmental education programmes,’ explained Councillor Ntsodo.
The City has successfully participated in the Blue Flag Beach Programme since its inception in South Africa in 2001, and has long been leading the country in achieving world-class standards for beaches.
‘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. This shows that the City has sustainable environmental management practices in place that succeed in maintaining our coastal ecological integrity, while still catering for the many visitors to our beaches.
‘The festive season is usually the busiest with, on average, over one million visitors to our beaches. It is no easy feat to manage beach facilities with such high numbers, but as it is testament to the popularity of the amenities, the City works hard to keep them clean and welcoming to all. Nevertheless, we urge all visitors to work with us by using these facilities responsibly and safely,’ said Councillor Ntsodo.
The Blue Flag is an international accreditation awarded to beaches that display excellence through meeting 33 criteria covering four categories including: environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety and services.
Participation in this international programme is voluntary and the status indicates that the beaches all have their own environmental education programmes, have bathing water of the highest standard, are clean, have adequate ablution facilities and parking, are environmentally sound, are safe and secure to visit, and adhere to international safety and tourism standards.
The National Department of Tourism is funding the Tourism Blue Flag Project, which is a national employment creation programme that will employ 50 extra persons to work on the Blue Flag Beaches, in an effort to complement and enhance tourism efforts.
The Blue Flag stewards will essentially concentrate on tourism projects and environmental education and the project will be managed by Wessa. This organisation co-ordinates the National Blue Flag Programme.
‘Not all beaches in Cape Town have Blue Flag status but this is not a negative reflection on these beaches. The Blue Flag status serves merely as a monitoring tool to assist the City in improving and enhancing services and facilities on all public beaches according to international best practice. We will continue to maintain the already-high standards set at all of our beaches,’ said Councillor Ntsodo.
The following beaches have attained full Blue Flag status for the upcoming 2016/17 summer season, as indicated alongside:
|Silwerstroomstrand||15 Dec -15 Jan|
|Melkbosstrand||1 Dec – 31 Jan|
|Clifton 4th Beach||1 Dec – 31 Mar|
|Camps Bay||1 Dec – 31 Mar|
|Llandudno||1 Dec – 31 Jan|
|Fish Hoek||1 Dec – 31Jan|
|Muizenberg||1 Dec – 31 Mar|
|Strandfontein||1 Dec – 31 Mar|
|Mnandi||1 Dec – 31 Mar|
|Bikini Beach||1 Dec – 31Jan|