It's no secret that we in South Africa have some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Well, the rest of the world also knows it now as recently 18 South African beaches were awarded international Blue Flag status for 2007!The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas in 36 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean. There are 29 criteria that Blue Flag candidates are required to meet regarding water quality, safety, services and environmental education, information and management.South Africa's 2007 Blue Flag beaches are:
EASTERN CAPE Dolphin Beach, Jeffrey's Bay; Humewood Beach, Port Elizabeth; Kelly's Beach, Port Alfred; Kings Beach, Port Elizabeth; Wells Estate, north of Port Elizabeth.
KWAZULU-NATAL Addington Beach, Durban; Hibberdene Beach, South Coast; Margate Main Beach, South Coast; Marina/San Lameer Beach, South Coast; North Beach, Durban; Ramsgate Main Beach, South Coast.
WESTERN CAPE Bikini Beach, Gordon's Bay; Clifton 4th Beach, Cape Town; Grotto Beach, Hermanus; Hawston Beach, near Hermanus; Kleinmond Beach, near Hermanus; Lappiesbaai Beach, Stilbaai; Mnandi Beach, Strandfontein.
Ahead of 2010, it's fantastic to hear that, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, a further 21 SA beaches are piloting the Blue Flag Programme, with the aim of achieving full accreditation in 2008 or 2009. Congratulations to all of the 2007 SA Blue Flag beaches.