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ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS & TOURISM PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
15 February 2000
THE TOURISM AMENDMENT BILL [B 50-99]: HEARINGS
The committee decided to deal with the second Tourism Amendment Bill, B3- 2000, before they completed their deliberations on the first Tourism Amendment Bill, B50-99. They felt that since B3-2000, dealing with SATOUR, is straight forward, they should be able to deal with it quickly. The current Bill under discussion, B50-99, required more work. More attention could be given to it once B3-2000 is passed. However, as promised in their last meeting, they agreed to hear from individuals in the tourism industry on B50-99.
Southern Africa Institute of Tourist Guides
Mr De Waal made four main points in his presentation. First of all, he felt that the registration of a tourist guide should be valid for two years instead of one. Secondly, the wording in Section 21 (8) (b) should be changed from "re-registered" to "renewal". Thirdly, the fine in Section 21F should be changed from a maximum of R500 to a minimum of R500. Finally, the Bill made it easier for tourist guides not to register since there was no penalty for not doing so.
The committee asked Mr De Waal if he knew the racial composition of registered tourist guides. Mr De Waal did not know off hand, but a Departmental representative said that their statistics showed 5% of registered guides were Black. This was one of the main issues of concern during the meeting. The committee wanted to make sure that the Bill will make it easier for Black people to enter the industry.
Field Guide Associations of Southern Africa
Mr Fourie stressed the problem in Section 21 (b) of the Bill. He is concerned that this provision will exclude guides with indigenous and traditional knowledge. He used the example of a guide from the Eastern Cape who is a 65 year old pensioner. This man is able to give detailed and informative natural tours from his indigenous knowledge. He has even been consulted by students completing their Masters degree. However, this guide is illiterate and can only write his name. If the Bill were to be passed in its present form, he would no longer be able to guide legally as he would be required to obtain a level four qualification.
The committee agreed with Mr Fourie and assured him that they will look at this problem seriously during their discussions.
Mr Meiring, from Stellenbosch
The main points from his presentation included:
· there is no control on the content of the training courses
· there is no fee structure therefore it is open to exploitation
· operators should be held responsible for using non-registered guides
· there needs to be a shift towards the needs of the tourists.
The committee decided to look at B 3-2000, tomorrow in order to finish it quickly and concentrate fully on B50-99. Since caucuses did not meet until Thursday, they will not be able to formally pass B 3-2000 until after then.
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