It’s obvious that the Knysna-Plett Herald’s and Knysna Municipality’s attempts to diminish the loss of the Blue Flags from Knysna’s beaches is seriously questionable. It would be fairer to say that the Knysna Municipality was attempting to break every rule.
These are the reasons for the removal of the Blue Flags:
- The safety of bathers was compromised by boats.
- The signage with the correct FEE-eco labels which is required to display Blue Flag information is out-dated and faded.
- Water samples were not submitted timeously.
- Water quality results were not displayed on signed boards.
- No recycling bins were available.
- Too many informal access pathways through sensitive dune areas.
A 7th should’ve been the public not swimming in the bathing area designated at Brenton-on-Sea.
The rules state that when Blue Flags are lowered, the Municipality has to display why on the information boards. They did not do this and thus it becomes the 8th fault.
The Knysna Municipality has failed to explain how so much went wrong. As they usually do, they refuse to embrace responsibility. They have brushed the incident aside, saying that the flags will be back up at Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay by Monday, January 16 2017.
What is far more disturbing is WESSA’s role in this. As the local authoritative body, they are responsible for keeping checks in place. Here, they failed totally, seemingly awarding the coveted Blue Flag status like it was a marketing tool rather than a genuine attempt to better the environment. Will they accept responsibility? Or are the Blue Flags a lie? I’ve emailed a letter of complaint to find out.
Please read the newspaper’s role in this mess: