environment sustainability

Blue Flag Beaches… B-)

Twenty seven South African beaches have achieved the Blue Flag status for excelling in safety, cleanliness, provision of amenities and maintenance of environmental standards. The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 3 450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to implement the Blue Flag programme, which was launched in SA in November 2001 as part of government’s CoastCare initiative. The programme works towards sustainable development at beaches through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management and safety among other things.

Blue Flag in South Africa has grown from only three beaches in the first year to 27 for this, the tenth year of the programme. “Growth has been significant and sustainable for most coastal municipalities and each year sees new beaches being introduced to the programme,” Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Thursday. The minister said that government, together with the industry, is continuously investing in tourism services and that the recent World Cup should motivate all concerned to continue to achieve the highest standards.

The beaches that received the Blue Flag accreditation 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

– Margate Beach

Wildlife and Environment Society of SA Blue Flag Program Manager, Alison Kelly, said a challenge facing South African beaches is the need to manage damage caused by changing climatic conditions. “We are noticing slow deterioration in bathing water quality along most of the coast and this appears to be related to poor sewerage and storm water management within the broader catchment that leads to the beaches,” said Kelly.


5 replies on “Blue Flag Beaches… B-)”

Magnificent, unspoiled beaches such a Long Beach Noordhoek and others in the southern peninsula may not have made blue flag status, because they do not offer extensive ameneties, but these great beaches are certainly worth a visit. Surfers and those who enjoy the natural envirenment love them because they are seldom crowded.

This is an advertisement for the ‘best beaches’. How about a page to warn people away from of the worst beaches in the world – and Durban’s beach lists as the world’s filthiest and most overcrowded beach in the entire world, according to the Huffington Post. You do your readers no service if you also do not warn them away from the violence, filth and mayhem which will await them at Durban beach if they dare venture there over the December/January holiday season. Especially the filth but also the excessive violence and the targetting of ‘white’ tourists by criminal gangs are being reported each year – and it’s getting worse each year.

Hi Adriana

This is not an advertisement but a blog post. Durban is not listed in this post as a beach which has Blue Flag status because it did in fact lose this status a few years back.

I am sorry if you’ve had a bad experience at the Durban beachfront but myself and family regularly swim and surf there and we really enjoy it.



Hi Adriana,

Please can you provide us with some links to the articles that say Durban’s beaches are the worst? All I can find is one image that says it is overcrowded and this is obviously New Year’s day when everyone is on the beach:

I would also like to see details of the reports of excessive violence you talk about. This article was based on a government report and I would be interested to see where you get your facts from.

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