Daily Archives: December 11, 2018

Update: NPTR Operating license

Following an article published by Southern and East African Tourism Update on 15 November – Progress made in tourism vehicle licensing backlog – SATSA remains aware of the continued concerns with applications, specifically with regards to slow processing (some more than two years), changing and unannounced requirements and issues around route authority.

In an effort to assist industry, SATSA created a tracking sheet consisting of applications verified through SATSA (as a value-add service – please note that we do not issue invoices on behalf of NPTR and don’t submit applications on behalf of members) and those submitted directly to NPTR. SATSA currently has 77 application in process with 19 having been concluded successfully.

One of the changes recently implemented is that only the owner of the vehicle can apply for the Operating Licence. Previously a lease document was accepted, but due to specific regulations in the Act this is no longer acceptable. The impact of this on operators would be to ensure that rented vehicles have valid Operating Licences. SATSA is currently seeking clarification from the NPTR on whether the driver of the vehicle needs to be employed by the owner of the vehicle. The amendment bill in process might affect some changes to the ownership regulation, but this is expected to be a long process.

A number of concerns were raised with SATSA regarding route authority specifying the pick-up point at the operators depot/office. The NTPR clarified that the pick-up point should be read as the point from where the vehicle departs – in other words where the vehicle is parked overnight.

Continuing with route authority issues, it became clear very early on that the initially promised national route authority was not going to transpire. Authority is now based on the strength of the application, specifically the reference letters. Members are encouraged to obtain reference letters from each province they wish to conduct tours in and these letters should reference the routes requested in the application. For those members whose route authority has changed, you have the option to apply for amendment of the route now providing greater motivation or you can make an appeal through the Transport Appeal Tribunal. The cost for an amendment to routes will be R300 per vehicle and an application through the Transport Appeal Tribunal will cost R1000.

The NPTR clarified that they often request additional supporting documents to assist the board in identifying authentic tourism applicants. Due to certain public-service taxi routes being oversubscribed, the NPTR have received applications from taxis operators who are now applying under the guise of  tourist providers. SATSA strongly advises that all the documentation is completed as thoroughly and in as much detail as possible.

It has been a frustrating process and has had a huge economic impact on the industry, hence SATSA has not stopped lobbying. The latest movement is that David Frost again raised the issue with the Minister of Tourism during the Ministerial Leadership Forum where the Minister promised to take the issue up with the Minister of Transport. SATSA will continue to keep members updated on this.

The time of year has rolled around again to start the SATSA 2019 Annual Review

A BIG thank you to all our fabulous SATSA members for the continued support in 2018!

A quick heads-up on the review requirements…

The annual review process comprises two simple steps 1) membership fee payment, 2) online review including supporting documents. Once both steps are completed you will receive your SATSA 2019 certificate and will be publicised as a member in good standing on the SATSA website. Please remember that only members in good standing will be eligible for SATSA value-adds.

To make payment easier for you we have created an online payment gateway, through our partnership with Bidvest Bank, which allows for credit card payments.

When you receive the online review link, your form would already be populated with the information received from you last year. All you need to do is update any changes to the business, add staff members who would like to receive communication from SATSA, upload the required supporting documents and sign electronically that the information provided is correct.

As ratified at our AGM in August 2018, we have added a whole new list of categories to the system. Please, can we ask that you specifically look at the categories that have been autoloaded by the system. You are welcome to make changes to this to correctly reflect your type of business.

You are also reminded to add any divisions and/or subsidiaries that you might have – free of charge. These should include those in neighbouring countries. Subsidiaries and divisions will receive their own SATSA certificate and only those listed will be covered for SATSA Bonding.

All reviews are due no later than 31 March 2019. Non-renewal will result in membership suspension.

As an association, we have gone from strength to strength in the past couple of years and will do our very best to continue bringing value to you in 2019.

Love Limpopo even more...

Love Limpopo is the story of a province..,.. an epic love story of wild open spaces, unique experiences and responsible accommodation, ranging from Rural Home Stays and campsites to five-star Safari Lodges.  This innovative new online platform, conceived of by the Traveling Circus team, is inspiring new ways of connection to the most incredible province in South Africa. Acting as an online hub to access Limpopo, we celebrate travel experiences found only in Limpopo.

“A long time ago, Limpopo wrote us a love letter and called us to the wild, unexplored spaces… to the starry nights… to the warm-hearted faces.  We have explored the hidden places of Limpopo… we have experienced her wild spirit.

From a birds-eye view on mountain peaks to the most secret centre of deep gorges… at a fireside where drums beat a true African rhythm telling tales of a thousand years in one moment….

We fell in love with the pulse… the rhythm.  We listened to the storytellers and connected to the tales told through African art.  We are in love with the people, the way life unfolds and the path comes up to meet you, creating connections and rediscovering your own rhythm and song in the beauty of Limpopo.”

Lisa Martus, Deon Pienaar and Neil Shaw, the directors of The Traveling Circus started Love Limpopo in 2017, because they felt that Limpopo wasn’t getting the kind of attention it deserves.  Since then, the followers on Facebook have rocketed and there is significant reach with the right people, because of the evocative content and inspiring stories about the province.

Love Limpopo is a platform connecting visitors to the inspiring people, immersive experiences and amazing spaces of Limpopo… inviting responsible, youthful and impact travelers to come to Limpopo and meet the music-makers, guides, conservationists, the wanderers, crafters, traditional healers, the artists, Do-ers and dreamers… to explore, discover and connect to the most beautiful province in South Africa.

Lisa says, “Love Limpopo is an online community, a collective of people who share a passion for the culture, wildlife, traditions, flavours, wild spaces and friendly faces of Limpopo.  It is a celebration of the rhythm, the true spirit of the Limpopo Province.’

Deon elaborates…’We want to create a space for all to thrive, a travel ecosystem bringing together the most incredible people within the province.  Taking a holistic approach allows the industry in Limpopo to grow; enables our communities to flourish and entices our travelers to fall in love with our beautiful province.’

Love Limpopo offers its members evocative content; significant reach to the right domestic markets via a dynamic online platform; access to the country’s top Tourism Trade Shows; support with responsible practices and training with a difference, as well as access to our network of responsible tour operators looking for lodges with heart and authentic, immersive experiences to create unique itineraries for their clients.

Love Limpopo comes from the passionate heart of The Traveling Circus, an organisation which is finding innovative solutions for the tourism  industry throughout Southern Africa.  ‘Tourism is evolving daily as trends adapt to global concerns. Travellers and businesses are more socially conscious and looking for connection; ways to participate in global sustainability. We saw a demand for impact-tourism and an opportunity to bring communities into that thriving ecosystem.  We believe in connections, community and collaboration,’ says Neil

We live in a modern paradox where we are more connected than ever before, but have never felt more isolated. The Traveling Circus operates as a connector within the tourism industry to create ecosystems that thrive, finding links and synergies in real time.

We are passionate about innovation with social impact – creating opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs, artists, guides and communities around tourism hubs and conservation areas to tap into the tourism value chain, leading to a long-term transformation of the social landscape within communities.

Neil believes that ‘with our diverse skills and experience in tourism, community-development and marketing, we are working towards a better world by actively connecting all role-players and by emphasising empowerment, inclusivity and sustainability.’  The  founders of the Traveling Circus have been active in the Limpopo tourism landscape for more than twenty years and have built relationships with a large network of tourism product owners across the province as well as numerous local communities, artists, crafters, local guides, and also the various entities and organisations involved in the public sector.

‘We want to actively connect ‘powerhouse’ organisations like SATSA and SAYTC with NGOs, micro-enterprises, domestic and international travellers, permaculture projects, recycling / up-cycling projects and training centres into a holistic social hive, a place for change. We believe that by working to grow resilient communities, that are healthy, educated, and have access to opportunities, we can break the poverty cycle, mitigate against the feeling of disconnect that is occurring within our rural communities, and build a more sustainable local economy  to create a better future,’ says Deon.

Lisa is passionate about the potential for the dynamic people within the tourism industry in Limpopo to collaborate to tell their incredible stories so that visitors can make the best travel decisions enabling them to make meaningful connections, have authentic, immersive experiences and life-changing adventures.  She says, ’we know you love this province as much as we do. Let’s work together.  Let’s love Limpopo.’

 

www.lovelimpopo.com  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram or Connect with Lisa on 082 200 4596 / 011 083 8280 or connect@lovelimpopo.com

 

If you want to become part of the Traveling Circus ecosystem, contact Deon, Lisa or Neil

+27 11 083  8280

connect@travelingcircus.co.za