South Africa flags beach attractions

19th Jun 2013

South Africa's third-largest metropolis of Durban is already a magical magnet for sun-seeking holidaymakers on group tours.

Now the sandy destination, a great favourite of tourists on city breaks, looks set to become even more alluring to visitors.

Durban mayor James Nxumalo has announced that the city will be rejoining the international Blue Flag beach excellence scheme.

This international standard, developed by the Foundation for Environmental Education, ensures several safeguards.

These include environmental checks, safe and clean water, a free-to-access beach, available public transport, disabled access, and recycling bins.

The decision is expected to enhance confidence still further among local bathers and tourists about the cleanliness of sea water on the Golden Mile.

Durban civic leaders hope to initially win blue flags at four local beaches (uShaka, eMdloti tidal area, eMdloti main and Umgababa), then the main coast at uMhlanga Rocks and Westbrook on the north coast.

But the first four beaches will have Blue Flag "pilot status" for a year before the flags can be hoisted.

This is until Durban can show it complies with all 33 quality criteria needed by Blue Flag International, which recognises 3,850 beaches and marinas across 48 countries.

Durban Chamber of Commerce chief executive Andrew Layman said: "As an international symbol, Blue Flag status indicates to tourists the quality of both the water and the amenities at our beaches."

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