Water quality threatens SA beaches

2010-10-28 20:37
Cape Town - The quality of bathing water at South African beaches was slowly deteriorating due to poor sewerage management, the Wildlife Society of SA (Wessa) said on Thursday.

"We are noticing slow deterioration in bathing water quality along most of the coast and this appears to be related to poor sewerage and storm water management within the broader catchment that leads to the beaches," said Wessa Blue Flag programme manager Alison Kelly.

She said water quality in rivers and estuaries was deteriorating markedly.

"The release of the Green Drop report earlier this year highlights the very real challenges this country faces in managing waste water management systems and the need for us to ensure that the necessary skills and technical ability is in place at local government level," said Kelly.

She was speaking at an event in Mossel Bay where Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk launched the Blue Flag beaches for 2010/2011.

A total of 27 beaches countrywide received Blue Flag status, an international annual award given to beaches that meet excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.

The beaches are:

- MacDougall's Bay, Port Nolloth
- Yzerfontein Main beach, Yzerfontein
- Clifton 4th beach, Cape Town
- Camps Bay, Cape Town
- Muizenberg, Cape Town
- Strandfontein beach, Cape Town
- Mnandi beach, Cape Town
- Bikini beach, Gordons Bay
- Kleinmond beach, near Hermanus
- Hawston beach, near Hermanus
- Grotto beach, Hermanus
- Lappiesbaai, Stilbaai, southern Cape
- Witsand, at the mouth of the Breede River
- Santos beach, Mossel Bay
- Hartenbosch beach, Mossel Bay
- Robberg 5 beach, Plettenberg Bay
- Dolphin beach, Jeffrey's Bay
- Humewood beach, Port Elizabeth
- Wells Estate, north of Port Elizabeth
- Kelly's beach, Port Alfred
- Kariega Main beach, Kenton-on-Sea
- Umzumbe (Pumula) on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast
- Lucien beach near Margate
- Trafalgar beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast
- Marina beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast
- Ramsgate beach, near Margate
- Margate beach

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