Best beaches fly blue

JON HOUZET

IT’S a bumper Blue Flag season for Ndlambe this year as two beaches have been awarded Blue Flags again, there are three pilot Blue Flag beaches and the Royal Alfred Marina received Blue Flag Marina status for the first time.

Royal Alfred Marina Homeowners Association chairman Justin de Wet Steyn and manager Angus Schlemmer and the municipality’s deputy director of community protection services Fanie Fouche travelled to Hermanus in the Western Cape for the launch of the Blue Flag season.

The international Blue Flag is now in its 25th year of operation, and South Africa has been part of the programme for 12 years.

PROUD: Receiving Blue Flags in Hermanus last week were Royal Alfred Marina Homeowners Association manager Angus Schlemmer (left) chairman Justin de Wet Steyn (second from right) and Ndlambe municipality’s deputy director of community protection services Fanie Fouche (centre). With them are Minister of Tourism Martinus van Schalkwyk (second from left) and acting mayor of the Overstrand municipality, alderman Pieter Sholtz Picture: SUPPLIED

There are currently 36 world-class Blue Flag status beaches in South Africa, with 17 beaches holding pilot status. This year full Blue Flag status was awarded, for the first time, to four marinas, including the Royal Alfred Marina.

Kelly’s Beach in Port Alfred was awarded Blue Flag status for the eighth time and Kariega Main Beach in Kenton-on-Sea received its fourth flag this season.

The pilot Blue Flag beaches in Ndlambe are Boknes, Middle Beach in Kenton and Kleinemonde Beach.

Blue Flag is an international annual award given to beaches that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.

In South Africa, the Blue Flag programme is managed by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and participating local authorities under the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Coastcare initiative.

The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international co-ordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe – the Foundation for Environmental Education. South Africa was the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches.

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