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Are your guests travelling in a legal vehicle?

Although the traditional forms of contracted transport such as commercial coaches, minibuses and taxis are constantly under the spotlight for Operating Licence Board compliance, more and more transport providers are entering the market offering outings and transfers on unconventional vehicles, writes Tim Clarke.

During the holiday season, all sorts of wonderful and exotic vehicles such as Harley Davidson motorbikes, Tuk Tuk three wheelers, Vintage World War II Sidecars, Classic motor vehicles, stretch limousines and the rest, make their way onto our highways and byways and provide a fun and necessary service for the industry.

However, there seems to be a misconception in the market that these particular vehicles are exempt in some or other way from the regulations as prescribed by the National Land Transport Transition Act, 2000 (Act 22 of 2000). In terms of Section 57(5) of this act, which governs tourism vehicles, any vehicle, conventional or unconventional, that is used to convey fare-paying passengers must comply fully with the prescribed regulations.

Full compliance with this regulation means, amongst other things, the following:

  • The vehicle is fully licensed, carries a valid RWC, and is owned by an accredited operator;
  • The vehicle is adequately covered for passenger liability insurance;
  • The vehicle carries a valid OLB permit and operates within the prescribed conditions of the permit;
  • The driver of the vehicle carries a valid driver’s license with a PDP (Professional Driver Permit) endorsement.

Whether you’re a tour operator booking an outing on behalf of a principal, or a hotel booking-desk arranging a day tour for a guest or simply a parent arranging a fun transfer for your family, it’s in your best interests to ensure you’re getting all the protection to which you’re entitled.

For complete peace of mind, you’re encouraged to request a copy of the OLB permit as well as a copy of the vehicle’s insurance certificate from the owner or operator of the vehicle when making a booking.

So, next time you’re out having fun on an exotic chariot from yesteryear, make sure you’re not being taken for a ride!


About the author: Tim Clarke owns and operates Cape Sidecar Adventures providing chauffeured tours and transfers.

For more information visit www.sidecars.co.za


  1. Stewart Woodcock PDP

    In addition to my posting above, how many PDP drivers know that they are fully responsible to ensure the vehicle they drive, is fully compliant, and checked out before starting off – in ALL RESPECTS. A PDP Driver is very responsible with his pre-checks and thus, the safety and well being of passengers. The Driver is also very responsible for driver / road / conditions / safety decisions when carrying fee paying passengers – even with signed Indemnity forms. Safe driving all PDP’s.

  2. Stewart Woodcock PDP

    Yes, Tim is very correct and very compliant with the Cape Side Car Adventures Fleet. For all persons using various forms of transport, let it also be known, that OLB permits and such MUST be carried on each and every vehicle. As a passenger, you have to ensure your own peace of mind.

  3. The issue of tour vehicle legal compliance is rife amongst tourist guides as well.

    The problem with being non-compliant is when an accident occurs and passengers are injured. Not only do such incidents impact negatively on the entire travel trade through bad publicity but the tourist guide / tour operator’s liability insurance would most likely repudiate an claims as it is a condition of all insurance policies are that the insured must comply with local law.

  4. Tour operators / brokers / DMC’s who rent cars from rental car companies and have a tourist guide drive their guests in this vehicle on a tour, should take particular note of this article!

    I know of one instance recently where a tour operator booked a tourist guide with his own personal vehicle to do an overland tour with two guests. The guide’s vehicle does not have a transport permit and both the guide and the operator thought that purchasing passenger liability cover would be enough to make this legal. No, it does not!

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