South Africa: New National Registrar appointed for Tourist Guides

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The Department of Tourism in South Africa has announced the appointment of Ms. Mmaditonki Setwaba as the National Registrar of Tourist Guides. Ms Setwaba is currently the Deputy Director-General: Tourism Sector Support Services within the Department.

As the National Registrar, Ms Setwaba will work in conjunction with the Provincial Registrars to ensure the growth and development of the guiding sector. Her responsibilities, among others, will include:

Maintenance of a central database of tourist guides registered by the Provincial Registrars;
Development of a code of conduct and ethics for tourist guides;
Facilitate Hearing and determining appeals;
Monitoring of trends in the sector; and
Promotion and development of the guiding sector nationally.
Her appointment occurs aptly as the tourism sector acknowledges International Tourism Guide Day on 21 February 2022. This annual commemorative day aims to raise awareness about the profession and the critical role tourist guides play as brand ambassadors at destinations.

“On International Tourist Guide Day, I would like to thank all guides for their commitment towards this profession. We have some of the best tourist guides in the industry and they are one of the reasons why tourists keep returning to our country and tourism sites. I urge you to keep learning and growing as we position South Africa as a world-class destination,” says the National Registrar.

Ms. Setwaba will host a virtual event to honour South African guides in March 2022. This celebration will offer guides a platform to share best practices and discuss challenges. This year’s theme is: “Re-igniting the Tourist Guiding Sector” which will focus on restoring, re-activating and re-thinking tourism, particularly in the tourist guiding space.

“Building a more resilient tourism economy post-Covid-19 is key to the future of tourism and the sustainability of the tourism sector and the tourist guiding profession,” says Ms Setwaba.

In South Africa, tourist guiding is a regulated profession governed by national legislation and policies. Individuals who wish to become tourist guides must undergo training as part of a formal qualification registered by SAQA. Upon being certified as competent, such person will receive a certificate issued by the Culture, Arts, Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA). They must thereafter apply to the relevant Provincial Registrar to be registered in order to operate legally. This process unfolds as prescribed in the Tourism Act, 2014 and the Regulations in respect of Tourist Guides, 1994 and 2001 respectively.​

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