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Thursday, 5th November 2015

The Ndlambe Local Municipality has the most number - five, of the Eastern Cape’s top beaches and the finest Marina in the province. In addition, two of its beaches - Kelly's Beach, in Port Alfred, and Kariega Main beach, in Kenton-On-Sea, are among South Africa’s top ten and top twenty beaches respectively.

This was revealed when the beaches and Marina were awarded the coveted full Blue flag status by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) for the Blue Flag 2015/16 season at a ceremony hosted by Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, in Hermanus.

A total of 84 South African beaches, marinas, boats as well as pilot status sites, were awarded the status at the event. 16 of these are in the Eastern Cape.

In addition to the above, the Ndlambe Local Municipality’s Boknes, Middle Kenton on Sea and Kleinemonde beaches were awarded pilot site status.

Still in the Sarah Baartman District, Cape St Francis beach, in St Francis Bay, and Dolphin beach in Jeffreys Bay - both in the Kouga Local Municipality, were also awarded pilot and full Blue Flag status respectively.

The Blue Flag Beach is an international award given to beaches, boats and marina’s that meet excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). In South Africa, the programme is managed by WESSA, along with participating local authorities.

The news comes as thousands of visitors and locals prepare to visit the local beaches for the 2015 summer and festive seasons.

According to the World Tourism Organization, the international Blue Flag, which is now in its 25th year of operation, is the most well-known and oldest eco-label of its kind.

Currently, more than 40 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean are participating in the programme and interest in the programme continues to grow, with almost 4 000 Blue Flag beaches and marinas around the world.

The Blue Flag programme offers many benefits: improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities.

Photo caption: TOP BEACHES… The Ndlambe Local Municipality has the most number - five, of the Eastern Cape’s top beaches and the finest Marina in the province. In addition, two of its beaches - Kelly's Beach (pictured above), in Port Alfred, and Kariega Main beach, in Kenton-On-Sea, are among South Africa’s top ten and top twenty beaches respectively. Picture courtesy of Flickr.

Article courtesy of Sarah Baartman District Municipality - http://www.cacadu.co.za/article/136

 

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