Strandfontein Pavillion and Mnandi Beach have retained its Blue Flag status heading into the summer season.The beaches join nine others including Muizenberg, Clifton Fourth Beach, Llandudno and Camps Bay.Blue Flag status is an international accreditation awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education and is a certification that a beach meets its stringent standards.There are 33 judging criteria which include standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management.These criteria and others are judged over four categories.“The City is honoured to once again be part of the Blue Flag programme, with 10 of our beaches making the cut. The Blue Flag beaches are geographically well-positioned around the metropole,” said Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien in a statement. “These beaches are visited by thousands of residents and tourists every year and the City is making sure that they are of a high standard.”Renecia Hendricks, a Strandfontein resident says she grew up visiting the beach.“We were not lucky enough to have access to other beaches growing up and I remember December holidays we would pack a cooler box and our towels and blankets and head to the beach,” says Hendricks.“Some may not want to come to this beach because it is too local for them but I enjoy coming here and bringing my grandchildren now. There are some things they can improve here but the beach is clean and it serves the same as other beaches.”Grassy Park resident Mark Petersen says many may pull their noses up at this stretch of coast and opt to visit Strand or Muizenberg beaches.“For me, it is a privilege to have a beach so close to home. I am 15 minutes away from a beach. Why would I want to drive between 30 minutes and an hour to visit a beach just because of its name? The beaches are all the same and Strandfontein has a lot to offer, including parking which is a problem at other beaches,” says Petersen.Peter Paulsen from Tafelsig says Mnandi Beach and the resort are in walking distance from them and that makes it convenient. “Many think it is not safe, but there is lots of security and law enforcement at the beaches when it is busy,” says Paulsen.Fellow bather, Rushni Hayes from Rocklands says it is a short walk from where they live.“I remember coming to the resort on surf walks and when it is hot we still take a walk to the resort,” says Hayes.