DURBAN BEACHES AWARDED WITH BLUE FLAG STATUS
Twelve beaches within the eThekwini Municipality have been awarded the National Blue Flag Status in the 2020/21 season on the 27th of November 2020 at Ushaka Marine World in Durban.
Five of these received full status and 7 received a blue flag pilot status. Beaches that received full blue flag status are Ushaka, Durban North, Point, Amanzimtoti and uMhlanga Main. Those that received a pilot status are South Beach Central, Umgababa, Umdloti Tidal, Westbrook, Ansteys and Brighton.
The commitment to increase the number of Blue Flag beaches indicate that the City is moving in the right direction to ensure that the environment is adequately managed. Also to encourage and attract domestic and international tourism to the City’s biggest tourist attraction – the shores. Safer and clean beaches are a draw card for tourists. It is for this reason the City is committed in the conservation of the environment particularly the ocean.
MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay said: “It is no secret that South Africa is home to some of the best beaches in the world, with KwaZulu-Natal arguably enjoying many of the very best. The Blue Flag attribute goes hand-in-glove with our idyllic sub-tropical climate and year-round sunny weather, making KZN the ideal beach holiday destination, nationally and, of course, globally.”
Pillay said the province’s economic recovery plan places tourism as one of the top three priorities, therefore golden beaches are essential for enhancing tourism which also activates the recovery plan.
EThekwini Mayor Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda said: “EThekwini has over 100km of coastline with tourism attractions and the busiest port in the continent. Therefore, the City’s coastal line has a huge economic benefit not only for the City but for the entire continent.”
He added that the City will also continue to undertake water quality tests in all its beaches, over and above the Blue Flag sites. He said the City has a duty to continue to preserve this important resource by keeping it clean. “This is particularly important as the world is facing challenges of climate change,” Kaunda said
Wildlife and Environment Society South Africa (WESSA) Blue Flag Programme Manager Cindy-Lee Cloete said the most effective way to protect the environment especially our beaches are embarking on awareness campaigns.
“The goal is to achieve 100 Blue Flag Status by 2030, currently the country has 58 full status blue flag beaches out of 77 sites in total.”
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For media enquiries contact the Municipality’s Spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela on 060 966 4220
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