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Legislative Matters


In South Africa tourist guiding is a regulated sector governed by national legislation and policies. Any person who wishes to become a tourist guide must undergo training as part of a formal qualification registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

When they are deemed competent, they are awarded a certificate issued by the Culture, Arts, Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) or through an Institution of Higher Learning that offers tourist guiding programmes recognized by SAQA. Then they apply to the relevant Provincial Registrar to be registered as a tourist guide.

There are three main prescripts that govern the Tourist Guiding sector and they are:

Tourism Act no 3 of 2014

The Act defines the scope of tourist guiding and provides a framework for the conduct and governance of the tourist guiding profession. The Act therefore makes provision for: 

  • the establishment of the office of the National Registrar and Provincial Registrars of Tourist Guides with clearly defined roles and responsibilities; 
  • the development of a Code of Conduct​ and Ethics for tourist guides;
  • and a framework and procedures for complaints, discipline, appeals and reviews, prohibitions and disputes. 
Individuals considering pursuing a career in tourist guiding must first complete the training and assessment process with a Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education Training Authority (CATHSSETA)-accredited training provider, and then register with the relevant Provincial Registrar. 


This Act came into effect on the 7 April 2014. Chapter 6 of the Act deals with the following matters relating to tourist guiding.

  • The roles and responsibilities of the National Registrar and Provincial Registrars.
  • The procedure relating to registration of tourist guides (click on how to register for more information).
  • The procedure relating to complaints, disciplinary measures, prohibitions, disputes appeals and reviews.

Regulations in respect of tourist guiding 2001

The Regulations explains and elaborates on matters prescribed by the Act by setting out: a procedure to be followed when registering tourist guides and drafting the Code of Conduct and Ethics. The Regulations also includes endorsements and suspension procedures and provides details of the fines to be levied for non-compliance and the procedures for appeals to be lodged.

The code of conduct and ethics

This code outlines the way in which qualified, legally registered guides must conduct themselves.

It requires tourist guides to:

  • take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of a tourist whom they are accompanying; and
  • render services which comply with any norms and standards.