Londiwe Xulu
journalist
1 minute read
2 Aug 2022
07:27

Bid to resolve backlog in processing operating licences for tour operators

Londiwe Xulu

Since July, the regulator has been printing licences and contacting operators to submit correctly completed documentation.

It is a race against time to process all operating licences for tour operators in South Africa. PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES

The Department of Transport has assured tour operators in the tourism industry that it is racing against time to process all operating licences for tour operators.

It said in a press statement that this follows delays caused mainly by the pandemic, which led to capacity challenges within the National Public Transport Regulator (NPTR), which resulted in a backlog in processing operating licences.

The department said it has increased the capacity of the NPTR support staff with 17 additional positions to deal urgently with public transport issues relating to the issuing of operating licences for the transportation of tourists.

The department is also redesigning and implementing the National Land Transport Information System (NLTIS) to enable online applications and electronic communication to access the real-time status and progress of applications.

It said the designs and proposals that are in the NPTR module on the redesigned NLTIS are aligned to some of the proposed solutions presented by the National Red Tape Reduction Task Team and the tourism industry.

“This is meant to improve efficiency and the turnaround times to finalise applications. The prolonged absence of an NPTR committee and the ambiguities of interpretation as well as the implementation of the National Land Transport Act, Act 05 of 2009 (NLTA) will now be a thing of the past for many operators …” the department said.

Since July, the regulator has been printing licences and contacting operators to submit correctly completed and any outstanding documentation to enable the smooth flow of application processing.