Perspective on Ramsgate and Lucien beaches: Blue Flag can still fly but beaches returned to pilot status for 2019/2020 season

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eHowzit reporter

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:

KZN

Beach Region Municipality
Marina KwaZulu-Natal Ray Nkonyeni
Trafalgar KwaZulu-Natal Ray Nkonyeni
Southport KwaZulu-Natal Ray Nkonyeni
Umzumbe KwaZulu-Natal Ray Nkonyeni
Hibberdene KwaZulu-Natal Ray Nkonyeni
Ushaka KwaZulu-Natal Ethekwini

Eastern Cape

Beach Region Municipality
Dolphin Eastern Cape Kouga
Kings Eastern Cape Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
Humewood Eastern Cape Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
Hobie Eastern Cape Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
Kariega Eastern Cape Ndlambe
Kelly’s Eastern Cape Ndlambe

Western Cape

Beach Region Municipality
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
Kleinmond Western Cape Overstrand
Hawston Western Cape Overstrand
Grotto Western Cape Overstrand
Castle Beach Western Cape Overstrand
Struisbaai Western Cape Cape Agulhas
Witsand Western Cape Hessequa
Preekstoel Western Cape Hessequa
Lappiesbaai Western Cape Hessequa
Jongensfontein Western Cape Hessequa
Gouritzmond Western Cape Hessequa
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
Brenton-on-sea Western Cape Knysna
Robberg 5 Western Cape Bitou
Keurboomstrand Western Cape Bitou
Nature’s Valley Western Cape Bitou
Lookout Western Cape Bitou
The Dunes Western Cape Bitou
Singing Kettle Western Cape Bitou

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