Two of Mossel Bay’s four Blue Flag beaches, namely Santos and Little Brak River, were each awarded five stars by the International Blue Flag organisation following an unannounced inspection by the organisation in December.
The organisation carries out two inspections at beaches which are operated as Blue Flag beaches during December and January annually. One inspection is done by appointment and the other is an unannounced inspection. The star rating is based on the points scored at the unannounced inspection.
The other two Blue Flag beaches, De Bakke and Hartenbos, each received four stars. To get five stars a minimum of 21 points out of 25 have to be achieved. Both these beaches missed five stars by one point.
Because of cost and logistical considerations the Mossel Bay beaches, in line with 35 out of the 41 Blue Flag beaches in South Africa, are operated as such in December and January only. All six Blue Flag beaches in KwaZulu-Natal, however, function as Blue Flag beaches throughout the year.
Blue Flag status is a coveted international quality standard and participating beaches have to meet 32 criteria, which are set by the International Blue Flag organisation. Blue Flag status was awarded to 3 849 beaches and marinas in 44 countries.