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Blue Flag Programme

Blue Flag is an international annual award given to beaches that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management. In South Africa, the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA and participating local 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). South Africa was the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches. A remarkable 24 beaches have been on the programme for more than five consecutive years, and two of these have participated for all fifteen years that the programme has been running in the country.

According to the World Tourism Organization, the international Blue Flag, operational since 1987, is the most well-known eco-label of its kind. Currently, more than 40 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Asia, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean are participating in the programme and interest in the programme continues to grow with almost 4,000 Blue Flag beaches and marinas around the world.

The Blue Flag programme offers many benefits: improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities.

For the 2015/16 South African Blue Flag season, 39 beaches, 9 boats and 6 marinas have achieved Full Status, and a further 30 beaches have been awarded Pilot Status, which is an important developmental state for potential Blue Flag sites. Forty nine Blue Flag sites are in the Western Cape, 19 sites in KwaZulu-Natal and 16 sites in the Eastern Cape. 

The success of the Blue Flag programme in South Africa can be attributed to the commitment of participating municipalities to provide beach-goers and holiday-makers with world class beaches offering safe, clean and well-managed facilities.

For more information visit:

Download the full list of 2015/16 season Blue Flag sites for South Africa.


Project contact details

Vince Shacks
Tel 082 337 1273


Latest News

2015/16 Blue Flag season launch marks 15 years of successful implementation of the programme in South Africa