'You can't compare big hotels to a two-roomed house in Khayelitsha'

The Western Cape economic opportunities MEC Beverley Schäfer says she intends to oppose any regulations that could impact revenue and private property rights.

This follows an announcement that the draft Tourism Amendment Bill, which deals with short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, is currently out for public comments.

Airbnb and similar ventures are seen as unfair competition for bigger players in the hospitality sector and there's a call for what has been termed disruptors to be regulated.

Read: AirBnB on the rise in Khayelitsha

We really should not be having national government sticking its little paws into something that I believe should be done at local government level.

Beverley Schäfer, MEC for Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government

We in the Western Cape are busy with the tourism master plan which really wants to put tourism on steroids and this means we have to look at sufficient mix of hotels, B&B's as well as home rentals in order to meet the demands.

Beverley Schäfer, MEC for Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government

We can't say some players must be in and others must be out, it doesn't work like that. Knysna municipality has decided that it doesn't want any regulations and that should be the right of each municipality according to what they believe is right.

Beverley Schäfer, MEC for Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government

Schäfer says she would like to see a tourism job in every household and believes the vision is easily attainable because of its low barriers to entry.

I am not against the developers of the big hotels but what I'm saying is that there is enough business for all and we need to make sure that we protect the smaller guys and give them opportunities.

Beverley Schafer, MEC for Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government

You can't compare big hotels to a two-roomed house in Khayelitsha. These are two different demands and tourists want to have a choice.

Beverley Schafer, MEC for Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government

Airbnb has done a good job in producing job opportunities to 22 000 South Africans and we need to be mindful that the product works.

Beverley Schafer, MEC for Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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