Curators of Black Media

Airbnb pushes for new rental laws and rules in South Africa

Online home rental company Airbnb has written to government policymakers to set out its support for a short-term rental registration system in South Africa.

Progressive rules will help rebuild South Africa following the pandemic and promote an inclusive and sustainable future for tourism, the company said.

“The support for a registration system, and a clear, legal and industry-wide definition of short-term rentals, formed part of a five-point plan to re-boost tourism in the wake of the pandemic.

“With a clear definition of short-term rentals, and the role they play in South Africa’s tourism industry in place, Airbnb is committed to supporting a simple, online national registration system, giving governments data to enforce proportionate regulation, offering transparency to communities, and empowering local tourism entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.”

The group said that the policy focus on five key points:

  • Breaking down barriers to becoming a tourism entrepreneur
  • Growing tourism outside of traditional hotspots
  • National regulation, with clear and sensible rules that encourage and enable entrepreneurship
  • Working in partnership with Government
  • Prioritising safe travel

Change needed

Airbnb said it has long backed the need for clear and sensible rules in South Africa, and has signed more than 1,000 regulatory and tax agreements globally, many of which are built around simple registration systems as an effective way to regulate short-term rentals.

“With people increasingly embracing local, affordable travel to connect with family, Airbnb has already partnered with tourism organisations including Wesgro, Western Cape Government, Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal and South African Tourism to promote new ways for South Africans to explore their country, including remote working holidays,” it said.

“These partnerships follow Airbnb’s commitment to inclusive tourism, and the introduction of the Airbnb Academy, which works with organisations, including Africa Ignite and Tourism KwaZulu Natal, to encourage local people in townships and rural communities to become tourism entrepreneurs.”

Airbnb said it is also working alongside the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and has built a Responsible Hosting page and dedicated tax guide for hosts in partnership with local firm, Tax Tim.

“We need to drive a genuinely inclusive tourism recovery by breaking down the barriers to becoming a tourism entrepreneur,” said Velma Corcoran, Airbnb’s regional lead for the Middle East and Africa.

“We know from the hundreds of agreements Airbnb has signed with authorities around the world and the wide ranging system of rules that have been introduced, that good rules not only benefit hosts who list their properties on Airbnb, but also their communities.

“That’s why we have always led calls for fair rules and today, are setting out our support for the introduction of a nationwide registration system that will enable entrepreneurship and support a diverse tourism economy.”


Read: South Africa’s housing market seems to have peaked

J.D. Smith is a Tech Investor, Author, and Economist. He is the Founder of Visionary Creative International, a Tech-Based Consumer Solutions Company. He is also the Publisher for Black Media Daily, a 24/7 media outlet providing a voice for black content creators and a place to control their image throughout the Diaspora. J.D. is also the co-author of the book 100 Questions Black People Should Ask themselves, and a best-selling author of the book Made By Hustle. As a digital nomad, he promotes the importance of black travel and working from anywhere.


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