Late last week the South African government published the Tourism Amendment Bill (PDF) which states that short-term home rentals will now be legislated under the Tourism Act.
This comes after growing concerns that Airbnb and other home sharing apps are damaging to the tourism sector.
According to Business Tech, Airbnb and similar services will be regulated with this Bill, and that it will empower the Minister of Tourism to determine the threshold regarding these short-term home rentals.
“There is currently no other piece of legislation that specifies who is responsible for this regulation, we don’t want a situation like with Uber where there is confusion as to who has the power to regulate,” said an unnamed Department of Tourism spokesperson.
Business Tech adds that these changes made to the Bill were specifically being introduced to regulate platforms such as Airbnb and also aims to make it clear that the regulation will fall under the scope of the Minister of Tourism.
The Bill will allow the minister to include limits on the number of nights that guests can stay or how much income Airbnb earns, and also give more oversight to local government when it comes to zoning and where an Airbnb can operate.
“These thresholds are not being hard on Airbnb owners but making sure that everyone gets their fair share. It is more about a shared economy rather than trying to regulate a private service,” added the spokesperson.