Tourism bodies – lobbying, on behalf of the industry, against the “massive delays” in obtaining tour operating licences from National Public Transport Regulator (NPTR) – hope that a new NPTR board will redress the current crisis.
SATSA and the Tourism Business Council South Africa (TBCSA) have highlighted the importance of ensuring tourism knowledge by appointing individuals with actual in-depth tourism transport experience, especially on the NPTR Board.
“The current NPTR Board term ends at the end of next month and a call for nominations was published. SATSA and TBCSA submitted 13 nominations,” said SATSA COO, Hannelie du Toit.
MD of Premier Coaches and Transfers, Fanie van Zyl, said the whole NPTR system was “flawed”. He believes the operating licence and charter permit should be a breeze with “the right structure and competent staff” and of course, senior staff who understand the business of tourism.
“If you compare how smoothly the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) is working, then you will believe there is no one at NPTR to handle a very simple process,” said Van Zyl, noting that both agencies utilised the South African Revenue Service, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and NaTIS for all document verification.
He added that CBRTA also had a three-month waiting period for its 12-month and 60-month Tourist Cross Border application process. “However their communication is effective and we can even submit applications online.”
According to Van Zyl, NPTR and CBRTA should work together to create a dedicated department for the tourism and charter applications for all transport operators so that they can submit one online application for operating licences and avoid duplication.
Tourism Update has undertaken to share the human side of this crisis by encouraging operators and guides to share how NPTR delays have affected them personally.