Dear Board Members and Exco Members
It is with a very indecisive mind that I write this email, but I have to put it out there as we have to come to a very important decision.
After extended communications with NDT we eventually got the response for the national registrar, Mrs M Ramphele on the NDT stance to professionalisation (letter attached). Based on this information IPTGSA approached SAQA for clarification as it seemed that this stance of the NDT was in conflict with the NQF Act which regulates professional bodies. This issue was escalated to the SAQA CEO with which IPTGSA had a meeting on the 5 November 2018 at SAQA house.
The meeting was approached with high expectations by Lesiba Fothane and myself and was really disappointed that no real decision or clarification was given.
We completely understood the reason why our first application was closed as the IPTGSA was not a fully sustainable entity with a wide member base and a few smaller outstanding items . The understanding was that we first clarify the stance of NDT and SAQA before going through the whole process of application again.
- On the question if what NDT is possibly doing being legal , the reply was they can do what they want to if NDT puts it into the ACT ( when, nobody knows)
- It was resolved that SAQA will try and find out what strategy /pathway the NDT is going to use and report back to IPTGSA.
- The other issue was that IPTGSA does not have a sustainable membership and how can SAQA take up our cause if there is not a fixed base. IPTGSA was encouraged to submit an application .
- IPTGSA was also informed that PB's from now on would have to pay an annual fee of 0.27% of income (min R10000 max R200000) to SAQA if registered , This is also a factor in membership fees depending on membership base.
- Minutes of the meeting will be posted once it is received ( will be a while)
We as committee members have to make the following important decision
- Do we abandon what we have been doing and wait for whatever is going to be proposed by NDT
- Float around in the middle until some direction is given.
- Do we go flat out and get a 1000+ plus members signed up and dictate what the tourist guiding sector requires.
There is a few ways that option 3 can be tackled , but would have to be done very wide , very quick and with decisiveness.
Meetings have been held with TBCSA which is willing to partner with IPTGSA in mentoring programs that run concurrent with our CPD , but for this we need to get fully recognised.
I would like some feedback on the above and we would need a full committee meeting in the following weeks to discuss our way forward
Thank you, Johan for all your effort. Maybe one day we will get some recognition from a Higher Source for the honest effort based on a desire to improve our industry. Know that there are people who admire and thank you for what you have put into this issue.
I am not surprised by the unmotivating meeting outcome. As things are going in the industry, I am despondent beyond description. The CATHSSETA saga carries on unabated, illegal guiding goes unchecked, learners wait for years to get their C number, C numbers disappear and there is no go-to person/place for either guides or service providers. The minister does not respond to letters, incompetent people run the industry, destinations and accommodation establishments give poor service, SANParks are sub standard, rates go up and up, and, and, and...
Why do we even bother? Will we ever be able to change things?
Let's forgive, cut our losses, enjoy the guiding and support each other.
I'm sorry that I cannot be positive, but I find little to be positive about. And I am exhausted from fighting a battle that seems unwinable.
Option 3 and 2.
And so the saga drags on.
At our Committee meeting on 5 November, I told yourself & Lesiba not to expect fireworks. If a government department is handling something, it is a long, slow procedure to accomplish anything.
Based on your explanation above, the only option that makes sense, is option 3. Get sufficient members in the IPTGSA, so that we can have a meaningful voice.
As treasurer, I have been saying the small membership is not sustainable. If we are now to pay SAQA an annual fee, we are only going to survive with a huge membership drive. We need to get the word out there that we are not just tourist guides, we are professional tourist guide, the same as you get an accountant, and a professional accountant (known as a chartered accountant in South Africa).
To become a professional tourist guide, besides meaning that you make a living from the work, represents prestige and pride in your work. This needs to be conveyed to the tourist guides out there.
Many will not take the opportunity to become recognised as professionals, but we need to create this recognition within the tourism fraternity, to identify ourselves.
So, definitely option 3!