Brewer's Droop #274
I was at the “Whisky and Gin” Festival recently, as a guest of my mate Ken Varejes. At some stage I promised to write more blogs (he’s been a supporter since the very first edition). It was a truly great evening – extremely well organised and loads of different flavours you’ve always wanted to try. The next two events are in Pretoria (Menlyn Park) on 30 May and 01 June, then Durban on 13, 14 and 15 June. Not to be missed!
ANC DESPERATE TO STICK THE KNIFE IN
It’s a well established opinion that the Western Cape (WC) is the best run province in the country – with no thanks to the National Government.
We’re the big thorn in the side of the ANC because we can stop them changing the constitution. Other areas are not so resistant. That’s why the WC has stepped up to the plate and challenging the the latest government stupidity. Because it can.
Government agencies have tried everything. They stopped SAA from flying direct between Cape Town and London for a start – giving the other airlines (BA especially) a “gift” of Billions. What kind of lunatic makes a decision like that? Then, of course Gigaba introduced visa reform to “stop” supposed child trafficking. Pah! They’re just trying to make things difficult for for everyone but especially Capetonians. A bit like shooting off your foot really or cutting off your nose to spite your face.
They encourage impoverished people to move from other areas to the WC (they’re incapable of improving people’s lives themselves). I guess they were hoping to get more ANC votes in the Western Cape. Well, that didn’t work very well did it? (Mind you, the DA suffered too – and rightly so).
Now the National Government (i.e. ANC) via the various tourist authorities, plan to “regulate” (read “strangle”) the Airbnb platform which is prolific in the WC of course. In simple terms they want to stop tourists enjoying cheaper and abundant accommodation and get them into Hotels.
According to Western Cape economic opportunities MEC Beverley Shafer, as reported by Bakezela Phakathi in Business Day, “Over 2 million people have made use of Airbnb alone in this country, and if regulations make it more difficult for travellers to access this kind of accommodation, they will simply vote with their wallets and go elsewhere. We cannot allow this to happen.”
The authorities say they want to “level the playing fields so everyone gets a fair share.” Typical political hype and absolute tripe.
What they want is to herd visitors into hotels. How on earth can you have a “fair share” of virtually two different markets? When one Airbnb charges, say, R500 a night (probably for two people) how can you compare it to, say, a (lower cost) hotel that charges R1,500 (per person)? You can’t. They appeal to different people.
But they seem to have a plan. Perhaps they’ll limit the number of nights a guest can stay at an Airbnb and put a ceiling on what they can charge. They sound determined – which is scary.
It seems to me that the end result will be less Airbnb places (less jobs) because of these bully boy tactics.
Schafer says one set of data shows Airbnb contributed R8.7 billion (yes, billion) in 2017/2018 creating jobs and opportunities for 22,000 people.
Did anyone calculate the REAL total revenue that cheaper accommodation brings? According to government data, tourism’s contribution to SA’s GDP is R136.1 billion. I would suggest that that could be far, far higher if the authorities let free enterprise get on with it.
We want people to come here with their Pounds, Euros and Dollars and spend them at one of the world’s most fabulous destination countries.
We have a capitalist economy – let’s encourage that and not regulate it into extinction with red tape.
A good start would be to sell SAA and dump the thing. I’ll bet the first move the new owners would make is open more direct flights from Cape Town to London and give BA some competition (because they’re milking that cash cow for all it’s worth).
These guys have to stop thinking like bureaucrats and start thinking like businessmen. Honest businessmen.
Enjoy the Whisky and Gin events! HERE