64 Blue Flags will be proudly flown at 45 beaches, 9 marinas and by 10 sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2019/20 South African Blue Flag season. The season officially opens on the 1st of November 2019. This was announced at the National WESSA Blue Flag launch hosted by the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town on the 23rd October 2019.
The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 33 beaches, 10 boats and seven of the nine Blue Flag marinas. The Eastern Cape has been awarded two Blue Flag Marina sites, as well as six beaches. Kwa-Zulu Natal has been awarded six Blue Flag beaches.
In Cape Town, these beaches ticked the boxes and were awarded Blue Flag Status:
Bikini Beach, Gordons Bay
Fourth beach, Clifton
Seaforth (pilot status)
“The City is honoured to once again be part of the Blue Flag programme, with 10 of our beaches making the cut. The Blue Flag beaches are geographically well positioned around the metropole, from Silwerstroomstrand in the north, beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard, to the secluded little Bikini Beach next to the Gordons Bay Harbour in the South. These beaches are visited by thousands of residents and tourists every year and the City is making sure that they are of a high standard,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
The Blue Flag programme also allows for potential Blue Flag sites to participate in the Pilot Programme. This year will see 35 beaches across our three coastal provinces on this development phase of the programme. WESSA will work with beach managers from these Pilot beaches, towards the longer-term goal of achieving full Blue Flag status. Part of this support includes the provision of Tourism Beach Stewards to these beaches, over the busiest holiday periods.
In her opening address, Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt said:
“Blue Flag offers the City a management tool for acceptable living. We need to educate to change behavior.”
Speaking at the event, South African endurance swimmer and founder of Breathe Conservation, Sarah Ferguson thanked WESSA for the work the organisation is doing through the Blue Flag programme and she emphasised that “together we can make a change and achieve great things, if we all find our passion and follow that and in the process think about the environment”
An impressive 40% of the Blue Flag beach sites have been on the programme for 10 or more consecutive years, while 7 of those sites have been on for 15 or more consecutive years. This season also sees the addition of four brand new sites to the programme. WESSA is proud to be the national implementing partner for Blue Flag in South Africa since 2001.