The good news is that although the original Wessa announcement that the Ramsgate and Lucien beaches had lost their Blue Flag status, the Blue Flags can still fly. RNM Manager of Aquatic Safety Anton Botha has made it quite clear that the municipality “did not lose the Blue Flag at Ramsgate as it voluntary applied for it to be returned to pilot status for the 2019/ 2020 season along with Lucien beach to allow the RNM time to address certain issues with regards to water quality.” He expressed his dissatisfaction with the way the announcement was handled.
Cllr George Henderson posted the following on eHowzit’s Facebook site: “What this article doesn’t mention is that Lucien and Ramsgate Beaches lost their Blue Flag status, but were immediately reinstated as Pilot Blue Flag Beaches. This means that all is not lost and the Blue Flags can still fly. Congratulations to the RNM beach officials for taking this route, why I won’t discuss now.”
Cllr Dave Watson: “I did a full update on this last week and it was an item in Council on Tuesday. No Blue Flag was dropped at Ramsgate or Lucien. The flag still flies high at these two beaches. Full explanation was given in my updates to the Ward and Communities last week after Getaway misinterpreted as well.”
THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT BY WESSA:
The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) has announced that 64 Blue Flags will be flown at 45 beaches, nine marinas and by 10 sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2018/19 Blue Flag season.
The latest list shows that the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality now has five Blue Flag Beaches, namely Umzumbe, Trafalgar, Southport, Marina and Hibberdene. Ramsgate and Lucien beaches have lost their Blue Flag Status. The only other beach in KZN with Blue Flag Status is Ushaka. Westbrook Beach also lost its Blue Flag status.
Approached for comment on the announcement of Lucien and Ramsgate, USCT CEO Phelisa Mangcu said she was obviously disappointed, but pointed out the South Coast was still blessed with five Blue Flag Beaches, the most in the whole of KZN. Ms. Mangcu stressed all the beaches on the South Coast, whether they had Blue Flag status or not, had many across-the-board attractions and beach activities visitors could access and enjoy, which still guaranteed an enjoyable holiday experience comparable to, and even better than other South African beaches. “USCT hopes that the local municipality will engage and co-operate with WESSA and do everything possible to have the Blue Flag status of both Ramsgate and Lucien reinstated”.
In its announcement, WESSA pointed out the Blue Flag programme, now in it’s 32nd year, was focused on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats, designed to raise environmental education and awareness, and increase sound environmental practices among tourists, local populations and beach management.
To achieve Blue Flag status, as many as 33 different criteria spanning four aspects of coastal management must be met and maintained: water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services.
Each Blue Flag site is compelled to conduct several environmental education activities during the year, and practise effective and efficient conservation management.
In 2018/19, the Western Cape achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites, with 33 beaches, 10 boats and seven of the nine Blue Flag marinas.
The Eastern Cape was awarded two Blue Flag Marina sites, as well as six beaches, while Kwa-Zulu Natal was awarded six Blue Flag beaches.
The Blue Flag season officially opens on 1 November 2019.
Full list of Blue Flag Beaches in South Africa:
|Kings||Eastern Cape||Nelson Mandela Bay Metro|
|Humewood||Eastern Cape||Nelson Mandela Bay Metro|
|Hobie||Eastern Cape||Nelson Mandela Bay Metro|
|Silwerstroomstrand||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Clifton 4th||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Camps Bay||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Llandudno||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Muizenberg||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Strandfontein||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Mnandi||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Bikini||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Melkbosstrand||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|FishHoek||Western Cape||City of Cape Town|
|Castle Beach||Western Cape||Overstrand|
|Struisbaai||Western Cape||Cape Agulhas|
|Stilbaai Wes||Western Cape||Hessequa|
|De Bakke||Western Cape||Mossel Bay|
|Hartenbos||Western Cape||Mossel Bay|
|Klein Brak||Western Cape||Mossel Bay|
|Santos||Western Cape||Mossel Bay|
|Glentana||Western Cape||Mossel Bay|
|Robberg 5||Western Cape||Bitou|
|Nature’s Valley||Western Cape||Bitou|
|The Dunes||Western Cape||Bitou|
|Singing Kettle||Western Cape||Bitou|