The City of Cape Town has once again raised the flag for the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the country.
Ten of the City’s beaches were given the status at an announcement made in Mossel Bay recently, which forms part of the National Blue Flag Programme, coordinated by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA).
The ten beaches are Bikini Beach, Mnandi Beach, Strandfontein Beach, Muizenberg Beach, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Camps Bay Beach, Clifton 4th Beach, Melkbosstrand and Silwerstroomstrand.
Across the province too, we excelled. The Western Cape as a whole achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 30 beaches, 12 boats and seven of the eight Blue Flag marinas.
The City says it’s proud to consistently maintain its record of providing high quality beaches, which is not just for the benefit of tourists, but for locals too.
Achieving the high standards set by the Blue Flag Programme is not easy.
Beaches have to meet 33 criteria covering four categories namely, environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety. The accreditation comes just as we enter our summer season, but if conditions deteriorate at the beaches, it can be withdrawn.
The City’s Recreation and Parks Department works hard to ensure that Cape Town maintains these standards, but they say they need the cooperation of every single resident to ensure that our beaches are safe recreational spaces.
The City employs qualified lifeguards to man the beaches each summer and this year they aim to have 300 lifeguards on duty by the time it is peak season. Bathers have a role to play here – the City has appealed to them to remain in the designated bathing areas at all times and to only swim where there are lifeguards present.
Another way to help is to pick up all your litter, and not to bring alcohol to the beach.
So as temperatures soar, go and enjoy our beaches, and help the City in its quest to get even more beaches on the coveted Blue Flag list.
Liesl Smit – Senior Reporter and Anchor, Smile 90.4FM News