Blue Flag status for SA beaches to be announced on Friday

A list of South African beaches being awarded Blue Flag status will be announced on Friday.

This is an international award for beaches that meet certain requirements.

Vincent Shacks, General Manager of the Eco-Tourism Unit at WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) says the beach has to adhere to the city's three-tier criteria in line with the Blue Flag International Standard.

  • Environmental Education
  • Safety and services
  • Water quality

Read: 29 WC beaches awarded Blue Flag status (and why this matters)

Once the beach has adhered to those three criteria, the site gets inspected. That application is then forwarded to our national jury which is made up of various representatives from departments, the private sector and specialists in the fields of coastal tourism and management.

Vincent Shacks, General Manager of the Eco-Tourism Unit at WESSA

The decision from the national jury is then passed on to the international jury which sits in Europe with the global specialists on the same themes and from there a decision is made on whether a beach can be a Blue Flag beach or not.

Vincent Shacks, General Manager of the Eco-Tourism Unit at WESSA

Slater says beaches that don't have safety standards in place will be scrutinised. He says they are very strict when it comes to life-saving practices.

If you go to the beach and a Blue Flag is flying you should expect that international standard to be in place at that beach and we are very strict on that point.

Vincent Shacks, General Manager of the Eco-Tourism Unit at WESSA

The whole issue around safety is very important to the criteria. Things like are they adequate lifesavers on the beach are they stationed at appropriate intervals on the beach, is there an increase in lifeguards during peak seasons and are they recognisable?

Vincent Shacks, General Manager of the Eco-Tourism Unit at WESSA

This conversation follows the death a man who drowned at Camps Bay in Cape Town on Sunday.

Camps Bay is one of the beaches awarded Blue Flag status in 2017.

To hear the rest of the conversation with Rob Slater, listen below:


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