A capacity building workshop was held in Gordon’s Bay on 22 February 2019 to improve municipal understanding and benefits of the Blue Flag beach programme.
The workshop was well attended with much interest shown by municipal representatives from Overstrand, Mossel Bay, Cape Town, Malmesbury (Yzerfontein) and Agulhas.
Blue Flag status is a well-respected international award, ensuring that each Blue Flag beach is not only beautiful and safe but also environmentally friendly, socially responsible and have accessible facilities for the disabled.
The workshop included an overview of Blue Flag Structure and Policy, Blue Flag Criteria and Application, Annual inspections: compliances and non-compliances, Blue Flag pilot programmes and Tourism Blue Flag projects.
In South Africa, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) since 2001 and the programme offers many benefits: Improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, educational awareness programmes and excellent water-quality standards and facilities.
- The Overberg boasts three internationally-recognised Blue Flag Beaches: Kleinmond, Hawston and Grotto Beach. Castle Beach in Pearly Beach has also been granted a pilot status for the Blue Flag for the second year which, if it succeeds, may see Overstrand having four fully fledged Blue Flag beaches later this year.
•• Grotto’s Blue Flag status will remain effective till 31 March 2019.