George Municipality is proud to be hoisting two Blue Flags and one Pilot Blue Flag Boards at our beaches for the 2022 festive season. Wilderness Beach has retained full Blue Flag status, Herold’s Bay has gained full blue Flag status and Victoria Bay has Pilot status following application by the George Municipality. Executive Mayor Leon Van Wyk and Municipal Manager Dr Michele Gratz took receipt of the flags and certifications at an event held in Plettenberg Bay together with George Municipal Superintendent Parks, Tyrone April and Wessa National Coastal Coordinator, Tevya Lotriet.
Blue Flag is an international coastal management programme that accredits beaches that meet standards of excellence in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and information as well as safety and services. In South Africa the programme is implemented by the Wildlife Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA).
Dr Gratz said Blue Flag status offered many benefits including improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities. “Blue Flag status has significant international merit and the achievement of such accolades is important to stimulate and confirm international and high-end interest in the city and district as a desirable, quality tourism and lifestyle destination. We thank SANParks Garden Route National Park who shares jurisdiction of Wilderness beach with the George Municipality.”
The Blue Flag season runs from 1 December 2022 to 31 January 2023. Compliance includes high standards of water quality monitoring, public safety and lifeguard services, and well-maintained coastal amenities. South Africa has participated in the Blue Flag programme since 2001.