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Kelly Beach Blue Flag status

Kelly's Beach - Port Alfred

Kelly's Beach - Port Alfred

Kenton-on-Sea- Kelly’s Beach in Port Alfred has been awarded international Blue Flag status by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa for the seventh year running.

Ndlambe Local Municipality environmental conservation manager Fanie Fouche said the beach’s seventh accreditation since 2005 was testimony to the hard work and dedication by municipal staff and the local community.

“We have a dedicated environmental conservation unit that works under our directorate for community protection services that protects our environment, including our beautiful beaches,” said Fouche on Wednesday.

He said the community’s assistance in ensuring the beach retains its status was invaluable, because they understood what the status meant for the town and the local economy.

“Our community takes pride in its environment and they understand the importance of maintaining our beaches. They understand that retaining our status means a lot of tourism for the town,” he added.

Launched in November 2001 as part of government’s new coastal legislation, the programme has seen the number of beaches being awarded Blue Flag status grow from three in its first year to 27 this year.

Speaking at the national launch of the 2011/2012 Blue Flag season in Kenton-on-Sea, Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said the programme’s success in the country could be attributed to the commitment of participating municipalities to provide beachgoers and holiday makers with world-class beaches.

“We must offer a well-managed natural environment, safe, clean and well-managed facilities and environmental education initiatives, while creating employment and tourism opportunities for our communities,” she said.

She also praised efforts by different municipalities in developing their beaches and maintaining their statuses, adding that the country should aim for a Blue Flag coastline.

National Blue Flag programme co-ordinator Ted Knott said Blue Flag status should be the benchmark and not an exception for South Africa’s coastline.

“The programme should have a radiating effect. Those beaches or marinas adjacent to Blue Flag beaches, boats and marinas should also maintain an equally high standard. Those municipalities managing Blue Flag beaches are showing that high levels of excellence and delivery of services can benefit both local and international visitors,” said Knott.

Other Eastern Cape beaches awarded Blue Flag status include Kenton-on-Sea’s Kariega beach, Jeffrey’s Bay’s Dolphin beach, Port Elizabeth’s Humewood beach, and Plettenberg Bay’s Robberg Fifth and The Waves beaches. – BuaNews


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