WESSA recently revealed all the Blue Flag beaches in SA for 2022/23, but eThekwini Municipality sadly didn’t make the list.
“We will definitely get our Blue Flag status back”, says eThekwini Municipality
The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) recently listed all of SA’s cleanest and safest Blue Flag beaches for 2022/23. eThekwini Municipality beaches, however, did not feature for the first time in a long time.
The reason behind this comes as no surprise, given the unmitigated damage caused by the floods earlier this year which saw raw sewage flow into rivers and the ocean. A number of beaches had been closed due to these high E.coli levels.
The Blue Flag status is a huge deal for beaches, as it is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators.
In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained, something that Durban beaches have not done of late.
Msawakhe Mayisela, a Spokesperson for eThekwini Municipality, said that as the levels of E.Coli bacteria had dropped to “acceptable standards”, the city would open all beaches by 1 December.
“The comparison of our city with others in this regard is very unfair taking into account that we were hit by two consecutive floods. Our sanitation infrastructure is being fixed and we will definitely get our Blue Flag status back,” Mayisela said.
Beaches that made the cut
In total, 51 beaches in South Africa made the cut for Blue Flag status, with the Western Cape taking 33 spots, followed by the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, with nine beaches each.
Check out the full list of beaches here.