SA Tourism Minister: Why Are You Red Taping A Tourism Revolution? | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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SA Tourism Minister: Why Are You Red Taping A Tourism Revolution?

By in Home Owners with 2 Comments

Dear Minister of Tourism

The other day Minister Hanekom said self catering rentals must not harm formal tourism ( more..) and he is considering more red tape to limit them. More red tape? This confuses me. I thought the Tourism Minister heard Pres. Ramaphosa  when he said, 
"Tourism is the new gold in Africa."

Given Ramaphosa's vision I question the Tourism Minister's motivation and insight regarding the Tourism Amendment Bill.  

First ordinary people, like me, need to ask you a few questions to try and understand you better. Then I need to consider your logic and compare it to mine. And hopefully we can focus on the gold for all of South Africa and not only the select few "formal" establishments "pleading" for your protection.

Tourism Minister Please Explain:

  • What do you define under formal tourism?
  • Do you imply self catering establishments are excluded from formal tourism?
  • What do you mean with harming formal tourism? Harming in what way? Are they doing less business? Making less money? Why? 
  • Are there any less tourists visiting and spending less money in South Africa because self catering harms your formal buddies?
  • Or is your concern not really focused on South Africa's wellbeing but rather on protecting formal establishments? 
  • Are formal tourism establishments making less money because they are not providing value? In other words are they too expensive and inflexible?
  • Are you saying self catering is harming the formal group because self catering hosts are giving tourist what they want? And you will make it more difficult (red tape) so that guests rather change their mind and choose your formal establishments?
  • Why do you have to limit a guest's choice with red tape? Why can you not rather consider reducing the formal establishments red tape? Is this a wise choice? Do you really think you can red tape tourists choice?
  • Are you aware of any revolution where red tape stopped the harm caused by the revolution? 
"Let Them Eat Cake"

I am sure you are familiar with Marie-Antionette when she said the "let them eat cake", showing her disregard for the peasants, or her poor understanding of their situation and ended on the guillotine. Minister I am not suggesting this is the way you'll end up. But when your intentions are focused on protecting the privileged few instead of South Africa's Gold your legacy will end-up on the guillotine.  

 Is one Gigaba not enough?

marie antionette

The Flawed Model You Want To Protect…

Just the other day I spoke to a friend; an owner of a large guest house in tourist-dominated Simonstown. He did very well with his pension investment.

And today this guest house owner is begging you for protection.

At his guests house he can do one night stays, have ten or more guests regularly, he gives guests a breakfast even if they did not really want breakfast, a clean room everyday, 24 hour manned door. He runs around buying food he believes guests like, getting linen cleaned and checking on his guests. He even employed a manager. His overheads grew and grew. 

Then things changed. Minister your formal guy had competition. As he became less competitive he needed to spend lots of money advertising on Google. Self catering became the preferred choice by tourist. (Remember the word choice!

Now you arrive on the scene with a jovial smile announcing.....

Red Taping Self Catering Establishments To Protect My Formal Buddies!

Let's consider the self catering model in simple terms…

  • With self catering you may know, there is no linen change every day. No. If guests ask for extra linen they pay as they use. If guests stay long they get free change every seven days. Or every time when guests move out.
  • Many self catering establishments have a 4 day minimum stay to reduce change over costs. This should benefit your buddies as they do one nights. 
  • There's no breakfast as guest can prep a meal when and how they want.
  • Many even have 24 hour arrival but through a keyless entry system controlled via a mobile app.
  • And overheads to accommodate many guests are a fraction when compared to my guest house friend's formal establishment.
  • It's very cost effective to run and guests therefore choose it.
  • Self Catering hosts don't need to spend any money on Google Ads. Because their places are in high demand.

Why Are Your Formal Guys Doing Poorly?

I asked my friend how's the guest house business going and he said poorly. I suggested he should increase his occupancy with better rates.

He said, 

I cannot, my overheads do not allow me. I'll rather keep my rates high, take fewer bookings and bank less money“.

Minister, do you see what's going on here? Do you see what you want to protect? Inefficiencies! And choice!

Choice! Minister! Choice!

Tourists vote with their money. They are not stupid. They Choose!  

They may not know the guest house (B&B) model is flawed, that his costs are too high, that his offer is inflexible, but they DO know there is a more valuable self catering offer. An alternative that's an experience, easy to compare and find the best hosts, easy find local value, and with lots more flexibility; like making his own South African braai. When he wants! And not pay for breakfast and cleaning as he never wanted it..  

Minister You Intent To Regulate Tourists Choice!!! Good Luck! 

If you get this or not, I will not know, but red taping self catering is your intention but you are only limiting tourist choice.  Let's look at some of the many consequences of your red tape:

  • may delay the death of inefficient formal establishments.
  • will not stop tourists from choosing self catering but they may have to choose other countries. It will harm South Africa.
  • ..limiting guest choices will harm South Africa when we can least afford it. I read about 27% unemployment, 15000 domestic workers lost their jobs, while Pres. Ramaphosa said tourism is the new Africa gold. Something is amiss. 
  • As you know by now one self catering website generated an estimated $678 million in economic impact in South Africa, supporting over 22,000 jobs across the broader South African economy. But 30% or more said that if there is limited self catering they will not stay in a hotel.

I am sure you may be offended. Forgive me! But I hope you don't share all the Marie-Antionette stupidity.

Let's see; you may say, "I don't want to kill self catering; no, I just want to limit them to 90 days a year and maybe tell them to increase the rates they charge! And I'll establish a police force to get it done! Because as I told you my formal mates need my protection......" 

Well, then Minister; killing one famous self catering site by only 30% will send R2.9 billion down the SA Drain (more). And can we afford it?  Where is the Africa Gold now? 

Your red tape is easy to become law. It does not take a genius. I suppose Marie-Antionette saw herself as a genius. But then again someone said, "the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it's limits". It is my hope that you can balance the scale towards genius. South Africa needs progress.  

Minister today I want you rather consider leveling the playing field by making it easier for your so-called formal establishments.

Don't add more red tape! Listen to Pres. Ramaphosa. Help us all to mine for more gold. And ask yourself if you are really looking out for South Africa's Gold or are you trying to do your unadaptables a favour? 


Johan Horak where we bring remarkable self catering accommodation to 1000's of guest who love the experience. And through guest self regulation we are in the top 2% of all accommodations in the world; we are superhots and scoring 4.9 out of 5 through self regulation for hundreds of independent guest reviews.  Proudly making tourist return and return. Mining Gold!

OBJECTIONS: If you are a short term rental host, or guest or in a third party that will be negatively affected by the South African Tourism Amendment Bill please........... 


  1. […] Today guests are looking for a  local experience  and no law will limit this wish. You may force them to stay in hotels and guest house but that’s not in SA’s best interest. More here. […]

  2. […] Regulations: The government can any day change the regulations affecting short term rentals in general and Airbnb specifically. Read more here. […]

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