Tourism on the KZN South Coast has received another boost with the announcement last week that the region has retained its position as having the highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in the province.
“We are delighted that the KZN South Coast has, once again, shown it’s a premier seaside destination that takes environmental conservation and bather safety seriously. With tourism the lifeblood of our local economy, this will continue to position the KZN South Coast as a top coastal destination, supporting local job creation and ensuring the region’s economic viability. We welcome this announcement, particularly ahead of our busiest time, the festive season,” said Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise.
In addition to retaining its title, two KZN South Coast beaches have been noted for the longevity in the programme which started in 2001. Marina Beach has retained Blue Flag status since the programme’s inception – 22 consecutive years – and Trafalgar Beach for 12 consecutive years. The KZN South Coast also has seven beaches in the Blue Flag Pilot programme, indicating continued commitment to conservation, health, and safety.
The KZN South Coast Blue Flag Beaches for 2023/2024 are:
- Marina Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
- Trafalgar Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
- Southport Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
- Umzumbe Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
- Hibberdene Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
The KZN South Coast Blue Flag Pilot Beaches for 2023/2024 are:
- Pennington Beach – Umdoni Municipality
- Rocky Bay Beach – Umdoni Municipality
- Preston Beach – Umdoni Municipality
- Umthwalume Beach – Umdoni Municipality
- Scottburgh Beach – Umdoni Municipality
- St Michael’s Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
- Ramsgate Beach – Ray Nkonyeni Municipality
Beaches that have achieved the international certification of Blue Flag have adhered to the Foundation for Environmental Education’s (FEE) standards of environmental management. These standards relate to water quality, safety, and public environmental education. All properties and companies that apply for the Blue Flag award are assessed by a South African National Jury as well as by the Blue Flag International Jury in Europe.
In South Africa, Wessa (The Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa), has been locally managing this globally recognised eco-label in partnership with the FEE since 2001. According to Wessa, the Blue Flag is a voluntary programme that shows a very strong commitment to environmental sustainability from municipalities that are awarded.
WESSA CEO, Helena Atkinson, acknowledged the “exceptional efforts” made by local authorities, communities and volunteers in achieving excellent world-class standards this season:
“It takes great dedication and effort to manage a beach or marina to meet the rigorous standards set out for this prestigious award, and we extend our warmest congratulations to all the deserving sites that have achieved the eco-labels.”
In addition to boasting the highest number of Blue Flag beaches, the KZN South Coast has two world-class dive sites at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks to explore. With 11 quality golf courses found throughout the KZN South Coast, the ‘Golf Coast’ remains a favourite destination for both leisure and MICE destinations.