The Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom in partnership with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), will launch the National Blue Flag Project on 7 October 2016 which will create youth employment opportunities, while improving the quality of local Blue Flag beaches.
The three year project which started on 1 October 2016, will train 200 unemployed youths from low-income households to improve tourism facilities and services offered at 50 mostly Blue Flag beaches in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
South Africa was the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches. The local Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA in partnership with participating coastal municipalities. The strict criteria of the programme – in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management – are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education).
During the Blue Flag Project, the 2016/17 season Blue Flag sites for South Africa will also be announced.