The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) has compiled its list of Blue Flag beaches for 2021. In total, 48 locations make the final cut, with a majority of the prestigious accolades going towards the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal also have multiple achievements to report.
What is a Blue Flag beach?
A beach that has been awarded a Blue Flag means that it meets the highest standards of environmental management. These standards are for water quality, safety, and public environmental education. In a statement released over the weekend, WESSA revealed that two beaches were in line for a ‘special award’:
“Grotto Beach in the Overstrand Municipality and Humewood Beach in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality received a special award to recognize their achievement of 20 consecutive years of these awards. WESSA is committed to continuing its work with local municipalities and tourism operators to grow the Blue Flag programme in South Africa.”
“The programme provides an excellent international standard for municipalities and tour operators to strive toward. Sites flying the Blue Flag are showing their commitment to conserving our fragile marine and coastal environment, raising environmental awareness and increasing sound environmental practices.”
WESSA statement on its 2021 awards
Where are South Africa’s Blue Flag beaches?
- Western Cape (31 beaches):
- Eastern Cape (seven beaches) and KwaZulu-Natal (ten beaches):
Boat tours, marinas also scoop awards
Interestingly enough, the Blue Flag awards also extend to boat tours and marinas. A further ten prizes have been dished out in these categories, with Robberg Express, Oceanic Express, Megoladon, and Megoladon II making it a clean sweep for vessels in the Western Cape – with a total of six marinas also getting the nod:
- WESTERN CAPE: V&A Waterfront
- WESTERN CAPE: Thesen Islands
- WESTERN CAPE: Thesen Harbour
- WESTERN CAPE: Yachtport SA
- WESTERN CAPE: Harbour Island
- EASTERN CAPE: Royal Alfred Marina