Economic opportunities and tourism MEC for the Western Cape Beverley Schafer has spoken out against the national government's efforts to regulate online accommodation platform Airbnb.
Government has published the Tourism Amendment Bill, which stipulates that “short-term home rentals” will fall under the Tourism Act.
The amendments limit the number of houses that offer the Airbnb experience, the amount of money hosts can make in a year and the demarcation of certain areas where Airbnb can operate.
Schafer says the Western Cape government's focus is to put tourism 'on steroids' and that the service should be considered a viable partner.
We believe tourism is a fantastic job opportunity and economic growth sector. We know that 22 000 people had job opportunities through Airbnb and that Airbnb contributes R8.7bn to the national economy.— Beverley Schafer, MEC - Economic opportunities and tourism in the Western Cape
Airbnb across municipalities are subjected to the local bylaws of a municipality so already the zoning scheme talks to where Airbnb can and cannot operate, why on earth do we still have to put another layer on and further regulate Airbnb?— Beverley Schafer, MEC - Economic opportunities and tourism in the Western Cape
We cannot decentralise regulation at this level. It seems from this legislation there are regulations. For example: how many days you are allowed to Airbnb for accommodation? Who on earth runs a business like that? Why do we want to restrict people's opportunities for creating accommodation products that can exist all over South Africa?— Beverley Schafer, MEC - Economic opportunities and tourism in the Western Cape
Click on the link below to hear more from Schafer....