Who is allowed to guide in the Berg?

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Who is allowed to guide in the Berg?

Post by pillick » Wed May 09, 2007 2:21 pm

Do you need to be certified as a mountain guide to take people out in the Berg?

Who has the \"rights\" to guide in the Berg or anywhere else in SA for that matter?

If you take a bunch of your buddies to the Sentinel, does that count as guiding?

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Post by Drifter » Wed May 09, 2007 3:12 pm

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Post by Justin » Wed May 09, 2007 3:44 pm

Hey Pillick,

I'm not 100%, but here goes...
No.1 'yes'
No.2 Any SA accredited guide may guide anywhere in SA
No.3 'Yes' (even if you are not charging money)

This PDF document on the MDT website should give you some more info.
See also the MDT Website

Should you have any questions I recommend directing them to directly to the MDT as the whole thing is quite complex (last time I looked into it)

Please let us know what you what find out - I'd be interested to know
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It is against the law to guide unqualified

Post by trad » Wed May 09, 2007 7:57 pm

You need to be registered with the Department of Environment Affairs and Tourism to be a Legal guide in the South African mountain Areas.
There is a lengthy process involved but anybody recieving remuneration of anykind for their guiding services has to be legal.The SAMDT is a body that upholds the standards of Mountain training but does not offer the courses/ assesments themselves. If you cant come right please drop me a line. It is essential for the industry that our mountain guides are properly qualified and legal.

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Post by mokganjetsi » Wed May 09, 2007 8:42 pm

justin, you sure about 3? i've taken buddies to the Berg heaps of times and nobody has ever checked my experience - simply fill in the mountain register and there you go. so anybody can be a guide then.

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Post by Drifter » Thu May 10, 2007 7:50 am

You either A or B, but you can't be both. :wink:

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Post by Russell Warren » Thu May 10, 2007 7:51 am

How does the MCSA guiding work then? I am sure that most of the leaders of MCSA meets are not registered.

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Guiding in SA mountains

Post by RobT » Thu May 10, 2007 2:30 pm

Hi everyone

Herewith my reply. I'm wearing a few hats when typing this - as Chairman of the MDT's National Committee, as a DEAT registered guide and as a trainer / assessor of guides. Read into that that I have a reasonably clear understanding but I'm no lawyer.

Ok, SA law is failrly clear in some respects and rather vague in others. Basically and as has been stated, anyone who accompanies another and imparts information, where there is reward, is guiding. Any person who guides must be registered (through their provincial tourism registrar) with DEAT (Dept Environmental Affairs and tourism) as a guide. In order to register as a guide you need:

A valid first aid certificate
A core guiding qualification (what all guides need, irrespective of what they do)
A speciality qualification
And... guiding registration is renewable every 2 years.

The speciality qualification is what differentiates the cultural guides (tour bus, for lack of a better term) from the field guides (game, etc) from the adventure guides (climbing, hiking, abseiling, diving, etc) from the Professional Hunters, and so on.

If you want to guide in the mountains you must hold an appropriate qualification - the only quals accepted for registration as a guide are NQF. Not only that, but you need to hold the right qualification for what you do. There are individual unit standards for abseiling, climbing, hiking and kloofing (see my links page on my website - www.sml.co.za - for examples). Most of the lower level quals have a site limitation attached to them as well. Higher level ones do not.

What happens if you're not guiding legally?

When someone splits on you (and it happens) the tourism registrars are the ones who will probably lay the legal complaints with SAPS if you are guiding illegally, which will result in a criminal prosecution. If you're legally registered but guiding outside your scope of registration (eg: rock climbing guide doing bus tours to kruger park) there's no criminal prosecution but the tourism registrar is able to issue hefty fines (like R10,000 for the guide and R10,000 for the operator and you get both fines if you're both operator and guide)!

The critical issue here is reward. So, if you're leading a private trip where everyone is paying their own way (you included) then you're not guiding.

What about if there is reward?

Not totally cut and dried.

The tourism registrars (some of them) have acknowledged that there's a grey area. The key factor is what the PRIMARY purpose of the trip is.

If the group is out for enjoyment it's guiding. There might even be elements of instruction and experiential learning, character building, etc, but it's still guiding.

If the PRIMARY objective is to teach skills, then it's instruction. Even instructors will cover a bit of going to new places and a bit of experiential learning.

If adventure is being used as a mechanism to teach life skills, coping skills, character development, etc then it's ABEL (Adventure-Based Experiential Learning), even though some skills will be taught and new places will be visited.

Of course, all this is theory - there has yet to be (as far as I know) a criminal prosecution of a person guiding illegally (and I'm not volunteering to be the index case, so I qualified and registered) but I do know of several R10,000 fines that have been handed out (Gold Reef City guides caught running tour busses into Kruger Park).

Feel free to shout if you need further info.

And yes, I am one of the people who trains / assesses NQF standards for people who want to guide. Read into that statement whatever you like.


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Post by Marshall » Fri May 11, 2007 7:05 am

What if inflated accomodation was charged & adventure activities were included free & unofficially?

Hypothetical question not what I am doing at all.

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Post by JonoJ » Fri May 11, 2007 9:06 am

Marshall wrote:What if inflated accomodation was charged & adventure activities were included free & unofficially?

Hypothetical question not what I am doing at all.
Then I assume you'd be a host, and not a guide. Vive la loophole!!

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Post by DeanVDM » Fri May 11, 2007 10:10 am

Thanks Rob for the detailed reply!

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