STATEMENT BY MAYOR JAMES NXUMALO
 
Since 2008 Durban has not participated in the Blue Flag Programme. Since then there have been a number of calls by the public, hospitality and business entities as well as Provincial and National Governments for the eThekwini Municipality to re-enter the Blue Flag Programme. In January 2013 Council resolved to re-enter the Blue Flag Programme this calendar year and our officials have been working to achieve this resolution.
 
For eThekwini to re-enter the Blue Flag Programme our proposed beaches must start in the pilot phase of a minimum of a year. To achieve full Blue Flag status the beaches must demonstrate that the pilot beaches have complied with all 33 Blue Flag criteria. Our biggest challenge is undoubtedly the state of our water quality at our beaches. A critical review of the City’s water quality results has narrowed the potential pilot Blue Flag beaches to six candidates. The six candidates which will be put forward over the next two years are as follows:
 
1St Year (2013/14 season) - Umdloti Tidal area, Umdloti Main, Ushaka and Umgagaba
 
2nd Year (2014/15 season) – Westbrook and Umhlanga Main
 
3rd year and onwards – other beaches where we can demonstrate improved water quality conditions to the point where the beaches become eligible.
 
The Council will be setting up a Beach Management Committee (in terms of Criterion 12 of the Blue Flag Programme) which will be convened by eThekwini and it will comprise of local and provincial authority representatives as well as relevant stakeholder groups, for example, hotel managers, beach managers, lifeguards, educational representatives, local NGO’s, and other stakeholders such as community representatives, special user groups, etc.
 
For more information please contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit.
Contact Vuyo Gwala on 031 311 4838/073 250 5307 or email: vuyo.gwala@durban.gov.za.