Registering as a tour guide | Western Cape Government

Registering as a tour guide


An image of Table Mountain and the Waterfront harbour
Tourism is one of our province’s key economic sectors and makes it especially important to our citizens. Many opportunities exist in the tourism sector, however, there are a number of regulations and principles that guide the sector and tour guides must meet certain criteria before receiving certification.

Registered tourist guides ensure that visitors to our province have a positive experience while they’re on holiday in the Western Cape. Our visitors’ safety is very important to us, and travelling with a registered tourist guide will not only ensure their well-being, but also give them the best experience possible. 

According to the Tourism Act (Act 3 of 2014), all tourist guides need to register as a tourist guide.  Once you’re a registered tourist guide, you’re bound by the Tourism Act, which requires you to be suitably qualified and to act professionally in the best interest of your clients. 

As a registered tourist guide, you’ll need to have the right qualifications and training, abide by the code of conduct, and be trained in first aid.  

For a tourist guide to work legally in the Western Cape or in South Africa, you‘ll need to be trained through an accredited training provider. Once you’re qualified you’ll need to register with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.   You’ll receive a tourist guide ID card and badge. Your certification will be valid for 3 years.

The tourist guide registration office provides registration and renewal service for tourist guide licences in terms of the Tourism Act. The unit is also mandated to provide development services to registered tourist guides.

The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism maintains a provincial database of tourist guides, and promotes and circulates information to the tourist guiding sector. This database is available publically through the website and enables visitors and tour operators to verify the details of a tourist guide or to find a tourist guide who will suit their needs.

Registration and operation as a tourist guide in the Western Cape is a 3-step process:

1.  Training:

The first step is to complete an accredited tourist guide training course.

A male tour guide standing next to his vehicle in Cape Town

You can get more information and a full list of trainers and assessors through the Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA). You may also contact the tourist guide registration office for more information.

2.   Registration:

Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll need to register with the tourist guide registration office at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Here you’ll receive: 

  • a unique tourist guide number (WC number), 
  • a tour guide badge, and 
  • an identification card.

To register with the tourist guide registration office, you’ll need to supply the following information:

  • A completed and signed application form specifying the type of registration.
  • A signed original of the Code of Conduct and Ethics, which you’ll find on the application form.
  • A certified copy of Proof of Assessment from the Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education, and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) accredited assessor/training provider.
  • A certified copy of a training certificate from the CATHSSETA accredited training provider/assessor.
  • A certified copy of a CATHSSETA certificate (provided by CATHSSETA).
  • A certified copy of your:
    • South African ID, 
    • passport,
    • permanent residence, or 
    • valid work permit allowing you to work as a tourist guide.
  • Certified copies of all tourist guide and related qualifications.
  • A valid first aid level one certificate (minimum) (trainers should be registered with the Department of Labour and the South African Qualifications Authority).
  • A certified copy of proof of language proficiency for each foreign language in which tours will be conducted. For example:
    • a letter from an authority stating that you can speak a language, or
    • that you’re able to guide in a particular language, 
  • 4 ID size colour photos (print your name at the back of the photos), and
  • A registration fee of R240 per person (all cheques payable to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism).

3.  Marketing

Once you’ve been trained, assessed and registered, you’ll need to market yourself as a registered tourist guide by contacting local tour operators for work.  As a registered tour guide, you’ll have to go to Cape Town Tourism and other tour companies to get the contact details of tour operators who operate tours in and around the Western Cape (or your particular area of competence). happy-tourists-in-cape-town

Two happy tourists doing sightseeing in Cape Town

Paying a registration fee

If you’re registering or renewing your registration as a tourist guide, you’ll have to pay a registration/renewal fee of R240. This can all be done at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism cashier’s office: 

NBS Waldorf Building 
80 St Georges Mall
Cape Town

The cashier’s office is open from Monday to Fridays from 8am to 3pm and is closed for lunch from 12:30pm to 1:30pm every day.

You can also phone the cashier’s office at 021 483 9222.

The tourist guide registration office can be found at:

Ground Floor   
NBS Waldorf Arcade
80 St George's Mall
Cape Town

The offices are open to the public from 8am to 3:30pm on Mondays to Fridays if you want to register as a tourist guide, or if you’ve any general enquiries regarding the industry.

General enquiries:

If you’re interested in registering as a tourist guide and have any questions, you can phone 021 483 2960 or email

ID cards and badge queries: 

If you’ve got any queries regarding ID cards or badges, you can contact:

Vorena Rudolph
Ground Floor 
80 Waldorf Building
St. George's Mall
Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3012
Fax: 021 483 2957 

Re-registration and changing your details:

If you have any questions about the process of renewal or if you need to update your contact details, you can contact:

Gareth Baaitjies
Ground Floor
80 Waldorf Building 
St. George's Mall
Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 9096
Fax: 021 483 2957

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The content on this page was last updated on 13 May 2019