If the unstinting beauty of Cape Town beaches is not a good enough reason worth a visit, here is more motivation for you says the municipality – clean, safe, secure and adhering to international safety and tourism standards have earned beaches in Cape Town the distinguished Blue Flag status. The accreditation was awarded to 8 beaches and 2 marinas in the Mother City on Tuesday, the 8th of October 2013.
Cape Town beaches boast the highest number of Blue Flag accreditation in South Africa. In 2012 the city of Cape Town was the first in Africa south of the Mediterranean with marinas receiving the Blue Flag status.
The Blue Flag accreditation is a major tourism advantage and attraction as both local and international visitors can be assured of the stringent safety and security features characteristic of the awarded Blue Flag beaches and marinas. The status promises that the beaches are clean, safe and environmentally friendly.
Belinda Walker, mayoral council member, expressed delight saying, “The city is very pleased at this acknowledgement of our commitment to maintaining world-class beaches.”
The 8 beaches in Cape Town awarded Blue Flag status is: Bikini, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenburg, Llandudno, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th and Silwerstroomstrand; with the 2 marinas being Granger Bay Water Club and False Bay Marina.
In more good news for South Africa’s tourism and hospitality industry in the Cap region, Port Elizabeth along the south eastern coastline also received 2 Blue Flag certificates – Kings Beach and Humewood in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality area.
“For a beach to get a Blue Flag status it has to follow strict guidelines and put systems in a place to make sure that the beach commits to environmental management, water quality improvement, safety and security,” said spokesperson for the Port Elizabeth municipality Roland Williams.
The Blue Flag status is awarded for a season and should the condition of an awarded beach or marina change for the worse, then the accreditation would be cancelled.
Close to 4 000 beaches and marinas in 44 countries spanning Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean are awarded Blue Flag certificates every year.
Four criteria have to be met with in order for a beach or marina to receive a certificate. These include water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management; and safety and services available.
The popularity and success of the Blue Flag campaign can be attributed to economic development opportunities presented for the hospitality and tourism industries which local authorities are keen to take advantage of. The campaign has seen a dramatic rise in the number of beaches entering the campaign.