Main Beach, or Dolphin Beach as it is known to some, has been accorded Blue Flag status for the 2013/14 year.
A Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches that meet excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.
While this announcement is good news from a tourism perspective, there are many local residents who feel uneasy about Main Beach having Blue Flag status.
The primary concern is the quality of the water at Main Beach in light of the many sewage spills that occur on the beach every year.
There have been countless spills, many of which have seen raw sewage enter the ocean at the Kitchen Window surf break.
Independent tests conducted by the Democratic Alliance in 2012 revealed that there was a 100 % e coli count at the La Mer storm water drain.
Local surfers have been complaining for years about ear infections and cuts becoming infected after surfing at Kitchen Windows.
Similar infections have been noted at Nahoon Reef in East London, a surf break that is situated close to a sewage pipeline.
During 2013, WESSA, the organisation that monitors Blue Flag beaches in South Africa, temporarily withdrew the Blue Flag status from Main Beach due to the change rooms not meeting the required standards.
However locals are way more concerned that they could get sick when swimming or surfing on the beach.
” I have been surfing at Kitchen Window for many years now and every year there are more and more sewage spills and I have witnessed raw sewage enter the ocean”, said Andy Thysman, a well respected resident of Jeffreys Bay.
Jeffreys Bay needs more tourists and a Blue Flag is certainly an asset to the town, but we have to be certain that we are indeed meeting all the requirements and while the sewage spills continue unabated, there will remain the element of doubt.