ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
18 June 2019
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
CITY TO APPLY FOR SIX BEACHES TO GET PILOT BLUE FLAG STATUS
 
EThekwini Municipality will be applying to include six beaches under the Pilot Blue Flag Programme. This follows the tabling of the Community Services Committee report at an Executive Committee meeting held today, 18 June.
 
The beaches to be included under the Pilot Blue Flag Programme include Vetchies Beach, Anstey’s Beach, North Beach, South Beach, uMhlanga Main Beach and Umdloti Main Beach.
 
The City prides itself for running two Blue Flag status beaches namely uShaka and Westbrook beaches with the Umgababa and Amanzimtoti beaches still under pilot for the Blue Flag Project.
 
The Blue Flag programme strives to promote sustainable development in the coastal areas through high water quality standards, safety standards, environmental management standards and environmental education. The programme further works to bring together the tourism and environmental sector at the local, regional and national levels, the report notes.
 
To gain Blue Flag status, a local authority has to apply to register and be nominated to be granted Blue Flag status or to be registered as a Pilot Blue Flag Beach. In order to apply to be nominated, each beach must comply with 33 criteria around this programme. The criteria for Blue Flag status covers four main areas namely water quality, environmental information and education campaigns, environmental management and safety and services. The Blue Flag status is valid for one year and needs to be applied for and granted annually at a cost of R25 440. A Pilot Blue Flag programme costs R21 200.
 
The report notes that the local authority has a five year timeframe to uplift its pilot status once approved by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa to achieve full Blue Flag status.
 
Therefore, given the benefits of achieving Blue Flag status, the report states that authority be granted to the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department to make applications to include a further six beaches under the pilot Blue Flag Programme. Authority was also being sought to renew the existing Blue Flag beach status for two beaches.
 
The report noted that an education campaign is being simultaneously run alongside the Blue Flag programme by the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, targeting schools to emphasise education on environmental issues and the preservation of natural heritage.
 
The Executive Committee approved the report.
 
EXPANSION OF THE SIHLANZIMVELO PROGRAMME TO CREATE JOBS
 
The Executive Committee approved the expansion of the Sihlanzimvelo Stream Cleaning Programme to include an additional 40 cooperatives at a meeting held today, 18 June.
 
The report was initially tabled at a Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee meeting on 4 June. According to the report, the cooperatives will be selected and contracted from the existing supply chain management database to maintain 200 kilometres of stream on a month to month basis for six months. Each cooperative will maintain five kilometres of stream and be paid based on performance per month at a set rate as well as per kilometres maintained.
 
The areas to be included in the project are Mount Moriah, Adams, Clare Estate, Ottawa, Waterloo, KwaMakhutha, Cato Manor, Folweni, Illovu and Chesterville/Umkhumbane.
 
The report noted that the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee requested that stringent monitoring measures be put in place to ensure that the stream cleaning under the Sihlanzimvelo Stream Cleaning Programme was effectively undertaken by cooperatives.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.