Kouga Municipality proudly raised the prestigious Blue Flag at Dolphin Beach on 1 November 2023, designating three stunning beaches as world-class destinations.
Dolphin Beach in Jeffreys Bay and Cape St Francis Beach have been granted the coveted Blue Flag status, while the privately managed Marina Martinique Beach received Blue Flag pilot status – recognising environmental excellence and international standards.
The Blue Flag Programme, overseen by the international non-profit organisation, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), has been an instrumental force in promoting sustainable development in coastal areas worldwide. Its criteria, covering water quality, environmental management, environmental education, and safety, are diligently upheld by participating beaches and marinas.
The Blue Flag season is marked by the flag’s presence, symbolising a commitment to these lofty standards and compliance with the stringent criteria set forth by the FEE and the National organisation WESSA (Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa).
Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman, expressed his pride in this achievement, stating, “Our unspoiled shorelines stand as a major attraction for tourism and holiday seekers. We strive to offer exceptional coastal experiences to both tourists and our community, allowing everyone to bask in the splendour of our natural treasures.
“The municipality is proud to be part of this global initiative, forming part of 48 Blue Flag beaches in South Africa, exhibiting the region’s dedication to pristine coastal environments and top-notch tourist experiences. The Blue Flag status not only signifies the international acclaim of our beaches, but also reinforces their status as a major drawcard for tourism and the holiday season.”
Dolphin Beach in Jeffreys Bay, a favourite among surfers and sunbathers alike, will be operational from 1 November 2023 to 30 April 2024, with dedicated lifeguards on duty from 08:00 to 17:00 daily.
Similarly, Cape St Francis Beach will offer a safe and enjoyable environment for beachgoers from 1 December 2023 to 31 January 2024, with lifeguard services available from 08:00 to 17:00 daily.
Both Dolphin Beach and Cape St Francis Beach prioritise accessibility and visitor comfort by providing well-maintained walkways, disability ramps, and pedestrian crossings. They offer drinking water within ablution facilities, with additional provisions for physically disabled individuals.
Amphibian wheelchairs are available for those with mobility challenges, and facility maps aid in locating amenities. Stringent water quality standards are upheld, and daily litter pickers, along with well-maintained waste disposal facilities, ensure a clean environment. Please note that these beaches do not permit domestic animals during the season for the safety and cleanliness of all beachgoers.
Each beach will provide at least five environmental education activities to the public during its Blue Flag season.
“We invite both locals and visitors to experience the natural beauty and conservation efforts at these Blue Flag beaches, proudly demonstrating South Africa’s dedication to preserving its 3 200km-long coastlines,” said Bornman.
“With the Blue Flags flying high, our beaches are conserved and protected, upholding strict ethical standards that honour our precious environment.”