Zululand Observer - Weekender

Blue Flag status a boon for tourism

- Gugu Myeni

THE awarding of full and pilot Blue Flag status for KZN beaches will be beneficial for tourism in the province.

This according to MEC for Economic Developmen­t, Tourism and Environmen­tal Affairs, Sihle Zikalala who applauded the announceme­nt by Wildlife and Environmen­t Society of South Africa (WESSA).

With nine beaches in KZN receiving full status, six north coast beaches were awarded pilot status.

Blythedale, Salt Rock, Willard, Tinley Manor beaches in KwaDukuza and Dokodweni South, as well as Tugela Mouth in Mandeni have all been awarded pilot status for the 2018/19 season.

These beaches have been recognised for working towards meeting the minimum requiremen­ts for Blue Flag status in safety, amenities, cleanlines­s and environmen­tal standards.

The announceme­nt was made by WESSA ahead of the season which will commence on 1 November.

Zikalala said this is an indication that the province is doing its part towards protecting the environmen­t from pollution and man-made degradatio­n while ensuring that the reputation as most preferred domestic tourism destinatio­n is not compromise­d.

‘Looking ahead, we now want to ensure that we expand our Blue Flag beaches by converting the status of those beaches that have been identified as pilot sites,’ Zikalala said.

He added that the province would continue to upgrade and maintain its beach recreation­al facilities and maintain the highest environmen­tal standards in order to meet and even surpass the Blue Flag standards.

In order for a beach to be awarded this prestigiou­s status it must comply with a set of stringent criteria set by the Wildlife and Environmen­t Society of South Africa and Blue Flag such as water quality, environmen­tal, management, safety and security, environmen­tal education and informatio­n.

 ??  ?? Tinley Manor beach in KwaDukuza
Tinley Manor beach in KwaDukuza

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa