It’s important to adhere to the regulations of your selected industry, should you open a business.
An establishment which does not hold the required documentation like a business license, a certificate of acceptability or liquor license, is committing an offence under the applicable law in South Africa. The offence may be punishable by way of a fine and/or imprisonment.
We look at what requirements you will need to meet if you want to open a restaurant, lodge, bed and breakfast or operating any other tourism-related business in South Africa.
If you aim to produce, store, distribute, prepare, transport or sell any kind of foods intended for public consumption then you must apply for a business trading licence. It is advised that you contact your local municipality because the requirements for a business license may differ from one local municipality to the next.
You’ll need the following for the business license application:
The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) has an international accepted Star Grading system to indicate levels of quality, comfort and service at the establishments they assess. You apply for star grading after your business is in operation.
According to Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at TGCSA, the star grading system allows us to position South Africa on a global platform as a quality destination.
You may apply online to get an international accepted Star Grading from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGSA) and have your establishment assessed. You apply online at www.tourismgrading.co.za, settle your account and an assessor will contact you. Once approved, you’ll receive a Grading Certificate and a Grading plague.
On the website, when applying, choose one of 11 categories to identify your establishment, namely:
An establishment is assessed on the following:
The fee is calculated using the chosen category, the number of rooms the establishment has and the average daily rate of the property has.
If you cannot afford the grading fee
The TGCSA in association with the National Department of Tourism offers grading support incentives which allow properties to get up to 90% off their annual grading fee. Visit the website www.tourismgrading.co.za to find out more.
Applying for grading support initiatives
You need the following if you want to utilize the incentive discounts:
Star grading levels
Each star grading level has a set of minimum criteria that are required to be met and found in place at the property.
To erect a road sign in the road reserve area to advertise your business, you need approval from:
To operate a transport business in the tourism sector:
To trade as a:
A tour operator: this is someone who makes all the arrangements for the tourists. You should enroll with an institution that offers a tour operator course and affiliate with the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association.
A tour guide: this is someone who travels with the tourists from their place of arrival to all places they would like to visit in South Africa. A tour guide will apply at his or her provincial tourism office. Documents a tour guide needs to operate legally are: