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SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
8 March 2000
TOURISM AMENDMENT BILL [B50-99]: BRIEFING; TOURISM AMENDMENT BILL [B3-20]: VOTING
Documents handed out:
Tourism Amendment Bill [B50-99]
Tourism Amendment Bill [B3-00]
1.Tourism Amendment Bill [B50-99]
The Department presented the objectives of the Bill (see the memorandum of objects). In essence, the Bill seeks to devolve the function of registering tour guides to the Provinces. Previously, this role was carried out by the South African Tourist Board (SATOUR). However, SATOUR is to have a purely marketing function, and so the Provinces have an opportunity to play a role here.
The Provinces were given three options for the transition period: to fully take over the role of Registrar, to phase in this role with temporary assistance from the National Registrar, or to defer this role. Six of the Provinces opted to fully assume the role, two opted for a phased transition, and one deferred. This choice was based on current capacity and resources, and the extent to which tourism played a role in the economy of the Province.
In the discussion, the Committee wanted assurance that previously unregistered guides would not now be excluded due to lack of appropriate qualifications. The Department explained that the Bill in fact enables such guides to become certified. The criteria for certification will be knowledge-based. However, the assessment of the level of knowledge may be either through testing (academic criteria) or through on-site assessment (practical demonstration). In this way, guides who have specific skills (e.g. knowledge of local plant life) but who do not have an academic background (e.g. matric) would still be able to register. It is true that the National Qualifying Framework (NQF) set by the Department of Education did not allow for such circumstances in the past, and this was of concern to the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism. However, the Department of Education has been persuaded to recognize prior learning as equivalent to a certification course. In fact, the National Registrar of Tourist Guides argued that on-site assessment could be seen as a more objective measure of knowledge.
The Chair then suggested that since this Bill would come before the Committee again, they proceed to the next Bill.
2. Tourism Amendment Bill [B3-20]
The Bill had already received mandates from all of the Provinces and was due to be finalised today so that it could be debated in the House tomorrow.
There was considerable concern from the KwaZulu Natal Members that the Province be represented on the Board, or at least consulted on this issue. They had felt excluded from the process in the past. However, the Department's position was that the Minister had to have the flexibility to appoint the most effective Board possible. Rev. Moatshe also pointed out that some Provinces do not wish to be represented. Instead he suggested that he raise the issue with the Minister, so that he has it in mind.
In any case, since all the provinces had returned a mandate for the Bill, the Committee was bound to approve it. At this point there was no opportunity for further amendment.
The Bill was then formally passed.
It was decided that the debate in the House would be from a provincial perspective as there already had been a political debate in the National Assembly.
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