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ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
FINALISATION OF THE TOURISM AMENDMENT BILL, B50-99
Documents handed out:
Tourism Amendment Bill [B50-99]
The major stumbling blocks that had been impeding the finalisation of this bill have now been addressed:
The committee had been concerned that, according to Clause 21B, the qualifications needed to register as a tour guide were to be governed by the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 (SAQA). However, SAQA does not explicitly concern itself with facilitating access, a goal which the Committee is determined to achieve.
To address this, an explanatory note has been inserted into the Bill that explicitly states the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework defined by SAQA. These include the facilitation of access and the redress of past unfair discrimination. In addition, the word "training" has been replaced by "competence", in recognition of the indigenous knowledge and prior experience of many of the guides. Such guides would have to demonstrate their competence but not necessarily go for formal training in an academic setting.
The Committee has now officially been invited to nominate a member to the Standards Generating Body (SGB), so that they can remain part of the process.
There would also be an opportunity to address further concerns in the context of the Regulations, when they are drawn up.
Other changes include the time-frame for unregistered guides to register with the Provincial Registrar. Such guides would have to register within six months (up from 90 days) of the commencement of the Act. They would then receive provisional registration and would have to prove competence within two years from the commencement of the Act (up from one year) in order for their registration to be validated. The Minister would have the power to further extend this period if it was felt that the communicative process had not been sufficient. The Committee would be able to monitor this process and the work of the Provincial Registrars.
The Bill was voted on and passed with amendments.
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