TWO BLUE FLAGS

Nd­lambe’s flag­ship beaches have never lost sta­tus

Talk of the Town - - Front Page - JON HOUZET

Afeather in Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s cap, two beaches have once again been awarded Blue Flag sta­tus and a third is a pilot Blue Flag beach.

Deputy di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity pro­tec­tion ser­vices Fanie Fouche said Kelly’s Beach in Port Al­fred had re­ceived its 14th con­sec­u­tive Blue Flag and Kar­iega Main Beach in Ken­ton-on-Sea had achieved its 10th Blue Flag. They have never lost Blue Flag sta­tus since they first re­ceived it.

Ken­ton Mid­dle Beach is a pilot Blue Flag beach.

At one time Bok­nes Beach was also a pilot Blue Flag beach, but it has not been for the past few years. Also, in years past the Royal Al­fred Ma­rina achieved Blue Flag ma­rina sta­tus, but not re­cently.

More than 60 Blue Flags were awarded to beaches‚ mari­nas and tour boats along the South African coast­line at a cer­e­mony in Mos­sel Bay last Fri­day. The West­ern Cape achieved the lion’s share, with 30 beaches‚ 12 boats and seven mari­nas re­ceiv­ing Blue Flags. Ten of th­ese beaches are in Cape Town.

Closer to Nd­lambe, Ham­burg also re­ceived a Blue Flag, while the Nel­son Man­dela Metro were awarded Blue Flags for Hume­wood Beach, Kings Beach and Ho­bie Beach

Fouche, who was a spear­head for achiev­ing Blue Flag sta­tus while he was still prin­ci­pal con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer for Nd­lambe, said the Blue Flags would be ben­e­fi­cial for the area from a mar­ket­ing and tourism point of view.

He ex­pressed pride that Kelly’s Beach and Kar­iega Main Beach had never lost Blue Flag sta­tus, dur­ing a time when ma­jor cen­tres like Dur­ban in eThek­wini and Buf­falo City Metro had beaches that lost sta­tus be­cause of sewage pol­lu­tion and stormwa­ter runoff.

“Kelly’s and Kar­iega were two of only a hand­ful of beaches in South Africa al­lowed to hoist Blue Flags dur­ing the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup. The com­mu­nity should be proud and pro­mote th­ese Blue Flag beaches,” Fouche said.

The Blue Flag scheme is an in­ter­na­tional award which recog­nises out­stand­ing com­pli­ance with bathing-wa­ter qual­ity and sewage-treat­ment reg­u­la­tions. It aims to raise en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and pro­mote sound en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment of beaches‚ mari­nas and in­land bathing wa­ters around the world.

In South Africa‚ the Blue Flag pro­gramme is man­aged by the Wildlife and En­vi­ron­ment So­ci­ety (Wessa) and par­tic­i­pat­ing coastal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Pic­ture: JON HOUZET

BLUE AND PROUD: The pris­tine Kelly’s Beach in Port Al­fred has been awarded Blue Flag sta­tus for the 14th con­sec­u­tive year, along with Kar­iega Main Beach in Ken­ton

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