For the 10th anniversary year of Blue Flag in South Africa, twenty-seven South African beaches have been awarded international Blue Flag status for 2010/11.
Blue Flag gives local and foreign visitors the knowledge that their beaches are clean, environmentally sound and adhere to international safety and other tourist standards. In the last 10 years, the Blue Flag programme has helped raise the standards on South African Blue Flag beaches in a significant way.
The Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk attended the Blue Flag celebration
When South Africa joined the campaign in 2001 as the first country outside Europe to participate, Blue Flag began to grow into a truly international campaign, and the "Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe" changed its statutes and name to become the "Foundation for Environmental Education".
By joining FEE, South Africa opened the door for numerous countries outside Europe to join FEE in the last 10 years. This is also why the international Blue Flag coordination was pleased to join the South African Minister of Tourism, Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwk to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Blue Flag in South Africa. The International Blue Flag Coordinator also visited some beaches whilst in South Africa, all showing compliance with the Blue Flag criteria.
Local authorities report a number of spin-offs from being awarded Blue Flag status, including an increase in visitors, improved behaviour on the part of beach-goers, property prices rising for homes near Blue Flag beaches – and visitors enjoying a well cared-for and managed beach.