Cape Town, 12.05.2005: The Bo Kaap, with its colourful houses that decorate the streets and kids playing cricket in the street. Picture: Sophia Stander Reporter: Bianca Coleman

Cape Town - The government will be gazetting the appointment of a provincial registrar to clamp down on illegal tour guides operating in the Western Cape.

During a recent inspection where 1 123 people were screened, the department discovered that there were 187 illegal tour guides.

Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde said there were several gaps in legislation that makes provision for the registration of tourist guides, lodging complaints and disciplinary measures.

“The Tourism Second Amendment Act 70 of 2000 currently does not empower provincial registrars to issue penalties to illegal tourist guides.

“The act states the provincial registrar must report the guide to SAPS if found to be in contravention of the act.

“The national Department of Tourism is currently working on a draft strategy to deal with compliance.”

Winde said a national task team including officials from different departments and police will focus on monitoring illegal guiding activities.

“These changes are expected to give provincial registrars increased enforcement powers.

“The appointment will be gazetted in the next two months. Reports of illegal tour guides will be given to the registrar, who will report the matter to police.

“This will give us increased powers to deal with illegal guides,” he said.

Tour guides must apply for badges, granting them the right to lead groups up mountains and through parks or culturally significant areas such as the Bo-Kaap.

To earn the badges, guides must complete first-aid training and prove they are qualified to lead tours. Illegal operators skip this part of the process, and are as a result liable to spread false information.

These included taxi operaters who guided as well as driving, guest houses whose staff showed tourists around and guides who had not renewed their training.

Winde said they conducted regular checks on the 3 192 guides registered on the provincial database.

“During these inspections we aim to clamp down on illegal guiding.

“Unregistered guides are advised to stop guiding or become registered tour guides,” Winde said. - Cape Times