Tourism Programme: briefing by Department


23 August 2001
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


23 August 2001

Chairperson: Ms G Mahlangu

Documents handed out
Tourist Guide Manual – July 2001
Tourism Second Amendment Act, No 70 of 2000 (.pdf file)
Power point presentation on Tourism Second Amendment Act (see Appendix 1)
New Regulations in respect of Tourist Guides (see Appendix 2)
THETA: Categories of guides
Tourist Guide Registration Form
THETA: Reinventing Learning: Transformation of Education, Training & Development in the Tourism Sector (4MB)

Both THETA (the Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Education & Training Authority) and other officials in the Department said that the tourism sector was white dominated with few people from the previously disadvantaged groups. There needed to be a national coherent strategy for transforming guiding and to encourage the involvement of the previously disadvantaged in tourism.

THETA briefed the Committee on its efforts to transform training. Analysis shows that skills and competence across the board were patchy and that financial discrimination against previously disadvantaged persons was the norm.

The Department said that the Tourism Second Amendment Act of 2000 which comes into operation in October 2001 should be viewed "as a corrective catalyst". Its objective is ensure that the playing field in tourism is being leveled in many ways including fees paid for studying tour guiding. The Department is also pursuing other corrective measures.

The Committee was also briefed on Tourism Awareness month this September and South Africa’s involvement in various international initiatives in tourism.

Mr Gunthorp, a THETA consultant, said that while international standards and quality in tourism had to be maintained in South Africa, on the other hand there was the issue of transformation and access to tourism guiding for previously disadvantaged individuals.

According to research analysis that THETA (Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Education & Training Authority) had conducted, findings indicate that discrimination created under the old order was still disturbingly prevalent in post-1994 South Africa.

The analysis shows that skills and competence across the board were patchy and that financial discrimination against previously disadvantaged persons was the order of the day especially when it comes to people who want to start their own tourism guide businesses.

He said through creative innovation, tourism can put South Africa at the cutting edge. One way of doing that is to ensure that previously disadvantaged persons are involved in this business. As such Theta has put forward recommendations for transforming qualifications. One such recommendation is that qualifications should be portable. Previously when one was qualified in a certain field in tourism, one could not enter another field within tourism. Theta wants to change this. Theta also wants to promote life-skills under its training and education and to be able to map out a learning pathway when it comes to tourism.

Mr Gunthorp said Theta’s transformation of unit standards are based on benchmarking, meaning that the country should learn from international lessons and three years of South African research and conceptualisation. Theta wants to focus on education and to provide put many examples for practitioners and learners to use as guides.

Guiding in the National Qualification Framework
Although there are eight levels to Guiding in the National Qualification Framework (NQF), Mr Gunthorp said that tourism guiding in actuality stops at Level 4. People who have passed Grade 9 at school, should have access to Level 2, which requires no particular skills, but skills for guidance stressing that "you don’t need to be educated to be a tourist guide."

In the Level 2 skills programme, guiding practice will be taught which should enable tour guides to conduct tours in areas such as the Robben Island, national parks, and community reserves. The certificate that would be issued would be called National Certificate in Tourism: Guiding and people who qualify under this level would be qualified as site guides.

Level 4 of the NQF would contain what is taught at Level 2 as well as Life Skills and Specialization which would include National Guiding, Cultural Guiding, and Adventure Guiding. The latter is focused on mountains, rivers and the sea.

The curriculum of the SAQA/NQF Level 4 should contain Fundamental Learning, Core Learning and Elective Learning. Skills to be taught under Fundamental Learning are computer literacy, research skills, the understanding of social skills and so on. Core Learning involves an overview of South Africa, weaving South African Heritage into tourism, overseeing the arrival and departure of customers, maintaining Occupational Health and Safety, imparting information regarding HIV/AIDS, and so on. Elective Learning contains cultural, adventure, and natural guiding.

Learners are expected to be well equipped after qualifying from this programme. They should be able to combine a range of life-long learning skills with knowledge of South African tourism issues to produce multi-skilled guiding practices.

Outcomes expected from this exercise are that learners should be able to educate and entertain tourists; they should be able to conduct research on their own, they should be able to present facts about South Africa, and should be able to monitor and improve their own performances.

Unresolved Issues
Mr Gunthorp commented that there was no national coherent strategy for transforming guiding and felt that to turn this around some form of strategy should be used involving publicity and communication.

The other issue was that there were no incentives to encourage people to be legal. He said some tour guides were operating illegally. He felt that deliberate policies should be pursued to encourage the involvement of the previously disadvantaged in tourism as well as supporting SMMEs and incubators in tourism.

Presentation by the Department
Dr J Raputsoe reiterated what the THETA representative had said that the tourism sector was white dominated. He added that resistance to transformation in the Western Cape was even greater. He pointed out that there were few previously disadvantaged groups in the guiding sector and that the country lacked black training institutions in the field.

As the result of this, overseas tourists continue to prefer and rely on white tour guides because they are well established and have the necessary infrastructure to run their businesses profitably. They are able to operate at low costs and to charge low fees, which become problematic for new entrants to the market who find it difficult to break even.

To ensure that there was representivity in the sector, Government has taken certain intervening steps such as to discourage ‘fronting’. Dr Raputsoe said there was a tendency by white companies to use black companies as fronts to enter the market thereby "perpetuating window dressing effects". The Department was tightening the screws on that to ensure that such practices do not continue.

Another intervention has been to send twenty previously disadvantaged individuals to Germany to study tour guiding under the Amathulo Project. The project is structured in such a manner that the twenty graduates should be well integrated into the sector when they return from Germany and the project will assist them after studies with problems that graduates face such as finance.

Tourism Second Amendment Act
Dr Raputsoe said that the Tourism Second Amendment Act of 2000 which comes into operation in October 2001 should be viewed "as a corrective catalyst". Its objective is to look at the health of tour guiding and to ensure that the playing field in tourism is being leveled in many ways including fees paid for studying the tourism guiding. The Act provides for training and registration of guides and makes provisions for a Code of Conduct for tourist guides (see Appendix 1 for details).

It was necessary to communicate this Act to rural and township areas. The Department wanted to send this Act to all the stakeholders in order to encourage tourist guides to register under the new procedures. The aim of the Department was to make available to tourists a list of tourist guides. Dr Raputsoe emphasized that, "Transformation was not stealing from white people but empowerment of all South Africans."

It was important to challenge the imbalances imposed on the tourism guide sector to make sure that transformation takes place. Everyone who qualifies as a tour guide would be certified by THETA. The registration of guides commences in the provinces in October 2001.-Those not registered would be given a six month grace period to do so. Continuous assessment would be carried out to ensure that those that are registered are competent and comply with the standards. The registration fee would be R240 for two years.

Tourism Month Challenge
Dr Raputsoe said the aim of the Tourism Awareness month this September was to motivate South Africans to become tourists in the own country. The aim of this event was to reach out to every community in the country to become aware and to participate in this event.

It is expected that all stakeholders would be involved in this event. Key messages would be to inform people what is tour guiding and how can it be of benefit to people, to encourage travel and to extend travel activities. Road shows would be carried out to educate on the benefits of tourism to the public. There would be a bus tour, which would carry Portfolio Committee members, MECs on Tourism and NCOP members around the country to visit Poverty Relief Projects. In the Eastern Cape there will be a Tourism Month Umchimbi to be celebrated on 27 September 2001.

Articles on tourism will be encouraged in the form of a competition and winners will be given awards. Another event will be the ‘Share South Africa Challenge’ which encourages South Africans to share their stories about their experiences in tourism. This category would also include a tourism artwork competition.

Schedule of International Events in Tourism
Dr Matlou gave a briefing on international tourism events. MPs can join the Department especially in the area of the New African Initiatives and the African Programme of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which has put out a six-point programme to resuscitate tourism on the African continent.

An International Conference on EcoTourism will be held in Canada from 19 to 22 May 2002 focusing on mountains. South Africa is looking forward to this as it plans, together with Lesotho, to promote tourism of the Drakensberg Mountain.

On 13 September 2001 the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Trade and Industry, South African Airways, and South African Tourism, would be holding a meeting with Ambassadors and High Commissioners to strategise with them on tourism issues.

A Joint Ministerial meeting led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs will be held in Egypt on 21-23 October 2001 to discuss the New Africa Initiative. The Department will take part and past century dreams of a Cape-to-Cairo Road and other issues will be discussed.

During Tourism Month, a Conference on Sex Tourism will be held to discuss issues such HIV/AIDS, the smuggling of women and children from other countries into South Africa, and paedophiles, which the WTO regards as very important topics for countries to discuss.

During the month of November there will be a World Travel Market Conference were a number of SMMEs and the previously disadvantaged would be sent.

The Department was looking forward to signing a memorandum of understanding between South Africa and Spain. South Africa has been invited by Spain as a guest country to the International Tourism Fair next year. Being a guest country meant being given bigger exhibition space and bring as many people as it could. This will enable South Africa to showcase its tourism portfolio to attract Spanish tourists to the country.

Joint bilateral meetings between Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, and Croatia would be signed to promote tourism between South Africa and these countries. South Africa is also expected to host an international golf tournament which would help to promote tourism.

The International City Tourism Conference is expected to be held in this country next year which would help UniCities to be "effective marketers in Tourism."

The Chair was happy to note that domestic tourism was taking place in the country stating, "until we travel we won’t understand what tourism is all about." She said it was important to improve service in the tourism industry. She noted the good service she had received at a Bed and Breakfast in Tembisa. The proprietor had gone to the effort of explaining the history of Tembisa and how the word ‘Tembisa’ came about. This B & B offered an Internet facility where she was able to check her e-mails. Such services were essential for tourists. Added to that, it was essential that people should provide service with a smile.

She noted that for international tourists it was cheap to go to Robben Island while for local people it was out of reach due to the costs involved. She suggested that one way of getting around this would be to lower the prices during winter when international tourism was down. She said that in Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls was mostly frequented by Zimbabweans. That was not the case in South Africa. At the Waterfront, for example, most of the people seen there were from Gauteng rather than Cape Town. The Chair said there was a need to change this situation fast. One way would be to target the youth by conducting tourism competitions at schools and to hold road shows involving celebrities as youths relate to celebrities. She gave the example of Thabo Ngomeni of Orlando Pirates who was born in Cape Town.

Mr R September (ANC) asked for clarification on the fees charged for training tour guides.

Dr Raputsoe replied that it was R240 for two years.

Mr Kgware (ANC, NCOP) asked if the registration of tour guides under the new system was certain.

Mr Gunthorp replied that once the SAQA was formalised, the rest would follow. However, he conceded that the real work of disseminating the information and this new process lay with provinces, local governments, NGOs and pressure groups.

Ms Ramotsamai (ANC) observed that most previously disadvantaged indivduals could not enter the training course because of costs. She asked how was this fee was going to be implemented. She expressed concern about privately owned training institutions that charged exorbitant fees and wondered how can they be controlled.

Mr Gunthorp pointed out that resistance to change was more noticeable in the Western Cape than elsewhere in the country. He expressed uncertainty as to how these institutions can be controlled. He pointed out that the reality on the ground was unlikely to change unless there was some serious intervention. This problem was not about standards but about governance around tourism and guiding.

The Chair wondered why there was not a list of institutions training guides in order to ascertain the courses they were providing.

Dr Matlou replied that Dr Raputsoe, who was the new incoming National Registrar, was going to take care of this matter.

Ms Ramotsamai (ANC) asked how SMMEs could be empowered to be more effective in tourism and also whether the Department had a list of Poverty Relief Projects. She queried what were the criteria for communities to qualify for such relief?

Dr Matlou replied that the Department would give the Committee the details of the poverty relief projects. Some of the criteria was to state how many jobs were going to be created, what type of training was going to be provided, and in equity terms, how many women were going to participate in these projects. He said these projects have to be related to tourism and that implementing agencies for these projects were in place in all the provinces.

For the empowerment of the SMMEs, there was the Tourism Enterprise Project funded by Business Trust at the value of R66 million. Its target is to create 1 000 jobs within a four-year period. He said Tourism Business Council of South Africa had also signed an empowerment charter committing itself to certain targets in terms of empowerment. There was also the International Tourism Marketing Assistance Fund, which helps people who want to attend international conferences, and that the DTI has forty different funding programmes which cover areas like arts and craft exports. He referred to the Visit and Explore South Africa (VEZA) project - a CD project - done in conjunction with the CSIR, which gives some of these details.

An ANC member pointed out that while empowerment should be a priority, comfort should not be compromised.

Dr Matlou replied that the Department was aware that standards are low and need to encourage people to raise them. He equated this situation to a chicken and an egg situation and said the only way was to lead by example whereby government officials and MPs have to begin to use these facilities. A database for SMME facilities would be created detailing available facilities.

Mr M Moss (ANC) observed that as a disabled person, many tourist sites he has visited have no facilities for disabled persons and wondered what was the Department doing to encourage the provision of such facilites. His experience of the West Coast was that the tourism industry was still dominated by whites. To counter this, one person from that area was encouraging previosly disadvantaged individuals to make crafts and encouraging hotels and other tourists places to buy such crafts in order to sell them to tourists. He wondered what could be done to commit hotels and restaurants to buying these crafts?

Mr Ansara replied that in the Grading Council Criteria, a specific section has been set aside for accommodation to be disabled friendly and people needing star grading will have to comply with that criteria. This grading system will start to work as of September. He also mentioned an important THETA initiative that the committee ought to know about. For the Tourism Awareness Month, THETA was accessing the International Host Programme, which operates successfully in Europe and America and closer to home in Botswana and Zimbabwe. THETA has adopted the Zimbabwe programme. In October THETA will pitch the programme in a number of provinces especially in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal to see that it works. It hopes to launch it formally in all the provinces next year.

Mr G Geduldt (Star Travel Bureau) commented that to start a travel agency one requires something likes R225 000 and faced with this dilemma, travel agencies in the country were still white dominated. He said out of 400 or so travel agencies in the Western Cape, there are only ten that are truly black owned.

The meeting was adjourned.

Tourism Second Amendment Act presentation
· Amend the Tourism Act, 1993
· Insert certain definitions
· Provide for training and registration of guides Make provisions for a Code of Conduct and ethics for tourist guides
· Regulate the procedure for lodging complaints
· Make provisions for the endorsement of certain registers in appropriate cases
· Provide for disciplinary measures, appeals and reviews
· To criminalise certain conduct
· To provide for transitional matters

Few previously disadvantaged groups participate in guiding due to lack of information relevant, education and training.
· Lack of black training institutions.
· Tour operating companies prefer to utilise white guides.
· Where possible, tour operating companies prefer to utilise unregistered and untrained previously disadvantaged individuals as guides at low fees.
· International companies still utilise white companies.

· The tourism learnership programme (TLP) managed by THETA will provide training to the previously disadvantaged individuals in the hospitality sector and guiding.
· Development of SMME database of PDI's in the hospitality sector including guiding is in process.
· DEAT will recognise 'only' guiding and tour operating associations with clear and meaningful representativity plans.
· PDI Associations will be represented in provincial associations of guides, tour operating including the hospitality sector i.e Bed and Breakfast and guest houses.
· Membership fees too high for PDI entrants.(SATSA)
· Lack of financial resources for PDI to market their servicesi purchasing vehicles.
· Lack of meaningful representation on South African Tourism Service Association (SATSA)
· Non participation of DEAT on the SATSA steering committee.
· DEAT now participates on the SATSA steering committee
· PDI Associations of tour operators should be represented in other tour operators associations including the steering committee.

· To ensure unified message both from the DEAT and provincial tourism authorities to the stakeholders
· To popularise the Act and its legal implications externally
· To create a supportive environment for implementation of the Act
· To encourage tourists guides to register under the new procedure
· To encourage tourist guides to train to be assessed under the NQF
· To create awareness to tourists in terms of selecting tour guides

[PMG Ed note: Details not included]


The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has under section 26 of the Tourism Act, 1993 (Act No 72 of 1993) made the regulations in the Schedule.

1. In these regulations a word or express on defined in the Act has that meaning, and, unless the context indicates otherwise –
"registrar" means the Provincial Registrar; and
"the Act means the Tourism Act, 1993(Act No 72 of 1993), and
"THETA" means the Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Education and Training Authority established in terms of section 9 of the Skills Development Act, 1988 (Act no 97 of 1988).

The National register of tourist guides
2. The register of tourist guides referred to in section 21(2)(a) of the Act must contain the following:
(a) Province of residence; (b) tourist guide number; (c) title; (d) surname; (e) first names; (f) gender; (g) date of birth; (h) identity number (where applicable); (i) particulars of permanent residence permit or work permit (where applicable); (j) nationality; (k) postal address (both business and residential); (l) telephone number (both business and residential) (m) fax number (both business and residential); (n) e-mail address (if applicable); (o) website (if applicable); (p) first language; (q) other languages conversant with (also sign language); (r) national qualifications and competencies; (s) special skills or knowledge; (t) practical experience (u) any field of specialization referred to in regulation 3(4); (v) code of driver's license; and (w) any endorsement referred to in section 21E(8) and 21F(8) of the Act and regulation 7.
(2) The Data form in respect of the above must, in all material respects, be substantially similar to the form in Annexure F, and must be forwarded to the National Registrar of Tourist Guides together with the THETA qualification and a copy of the first aid certificate for entry into the national database.

Registration of tourist guides
3.(1) (a) Any person who wishes to be registered as a munst guide must apply on an application form that must, in all material respects, be substantially similar to the form in Annexure A.
(b) The application must be accompanied by - (i) proof of the competence contemplated in section 21B of the Act (inclusive of a valid first aid certificate); (ii) proof of having passed the quality assurance process (where applicable) as set out in Annexure G; (iii) the registration fee of R.240,00; (iv) four recent, clear, unmounted and identical full face colour photographs of the applicant (showing only the head and shoulders), measuring 30 x 25 mm; and (v) a declaration to comply with laws and regulations applicable of tourist guides, including the tourist guide code of conduct end ethics.
(2) (a) The registration certificate referred to in section 21A(5) of the Act must in all material respects be substantially similar to the form in Annexure B. (b) The badge referred to in section 21A(5) of the Act must in all material respects be substantially similar to the illustration in Annexure C. (c) Any certificate of registration or badge issued b a tourist guide remains the property of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
(3) (a) The application form for the renewal of registration referred b in section 21A(6)(b) of the Act must in all material respects, be substantially similar to the form in Annexure D. (b) The fee payable upon registration is R 240,00 and may be increased biannually after notification and consultation with all nine provinces.
(4) (a) The fields of specialisation contemplated in section 21A(7) of the Act are as set out in Annexure G. (b) Any tourist guide who wishes to obtain a new registration certificate and badge, reflecting the acquisition of a competence in a field of specialisation or an additional competence within such a field, must apply on an application form that, in all material respects, is substantially similar to the form in Annexure E. (c) The application must be accompanied by - (i) proof of the competence or additional competence acquired; (ii) the fee of R60; and (iii) additional photographs H required (d) The new registration certificate must in all material respects be substantially similar to the form in Annexure B. (e) The new badge must in all material respects be substantially similar to the illustration in Annexure C. (f) Upon receipt of the new certificate and badge the tourist guide must return the certificate of registration previously issued and any copy or duplicate thereof, as well as the old badge, to the registrar.

Damaged destroyed or lost certificate of registration or badge
4. (1) If a badge or certificate of registration issued in terms of section 21A of the Act is damaged, destroyed or lost, the tourist guide to whom it was issued must apply in writing to the registrar for the replacement thereof, which application must be accompanied by the fee of R30,00 whereupon the registrar must issue a new badge or certificate of registration as the case may be.
(2) If a damaged badge or certificate of registration is replaced, the tourist guide concerned must, on receipt of the new badge or certificate of registration return the damaged badge or certificate, as the case may be, to the registrar. Alternatively a letter of explanation in this regard will also be accepted.

Code of conduct and ethics
5. (1) A draft code of conduct and ethics must be drafted by the National Registrar, after consultation as required by section 21C of the Act and ether consultations with the registrars, tourist guide trainers and THETA.
(2) The draft code of conduct and ethics referred to in sub-regulation (1) must then be forwarded to the following parties for their recommendations and input: (a) National Tourism Bodies and Authorities; (b) South African Tourism; (c) Provincial Tourism Authorities; (d) National and Provincial Tourist Guides Associations; (e) The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA); (f) Tourist Guide Trainers; and (g) Tourist Guides.
(3) Consultations with the parties must also take place through a workshop that must be convened once a draft code has been drawn up through inputs received.
(4) Comments in respect of the draft code of conduct and ethics must be submitted in writing to the National Registrar, who must duly consider the comments before preparing a text for public comment
(5) The code of conduct and ethics must then be published for pubic comment. A period of one month must be allowed for comments, which must be duly considered by the National Registrar.
(6) The final code of conduct and ethics must then be published in the Gazette. Copies of the final code of conduct and ethics must then be forwarded to the provincial registrars, to be signed by all registered guides in South Africa as confirmation of their commitment to abide by the code.

Return of badge when registration is suspended
6. When the registration of a tourist guide is suspended in terms of section 21E(8) or section 21F(8) of the Act the guide must return the badge issued to him or her to the registrar.

Endorsement in register regarding suspension of registration -of tourist guide
7. An endorsement in the register against the name of a tourist guide whose registration is suspended in terms of section 21E(8)or section 21F(8) must indicate - (a) the provision in the Act in terms of which the suspension was done; (b) a brief summary of the allegation giving rive b the suspension; (c) the date of commencement of the suspension; (d) the period of suspension; and (e) the date on which the suspension will expire.

8. The fine referred b in section 21F(5)(b) is R 500,00.

Appeals to National Registrar
9. Appeals
A person who appeals in term. of section 21G of the Act against a decision of a registrar must, within 30 days from the date on which he or she is notified of the decision against which he or she wishes to appeal, submit b the National Registrar a written notification of appeal in which the grounds for appeal are stipulated. (2) In his or her notification of appeal the appellant must inform the National Registrar whether or not he or she wishes to argue the appeal personally before the National Registrar. (3) The notification of appeal must be accompanied by an appeal fee of R 200,00. (4) The appellant must provide the registrar concerned with a copy of the notification of appeal (5) The registrar must, within 10 days from receipt of the copy of the notification of the appeal, submit to the National Registrar the reasons for the registrar s decision. (6) The National Registrar must, within 30 days from receipt of the registrar's reasons, notify the appellant of his or her decision.

Date of commencement
10. These regulations commence on the same date as the date of commencement of the Tourism Second Amendment Act 2000 (Act No. 70 of 2000)


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