OGATO

Are you an overlanding tour operator or specialise in other guided trips.
Also add your accommodation if it is geared for the 4x4 and outdoor enthusiast.
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iandvl
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OGATO

Post by iandvl »

Bernie Williams from Mega XPlore made a post on FB over the weekend dealing with a defunct organisation called OGATO which was affiliated with the NOW/NORS organisations / controversies dating back about 10 years.

In his post, he was mentioning upcoming regulations and specifically made mention of a "National Body for ALL ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES" to be formed. He also mentioned "Our first task is to re-establish working relationships with all affected parties in the off-road sector through a strengthened communication network".

I'm a little concerned by this. By definition, "ALL ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES" as well as "all affected parties in the off-road sector" would include anybody who likes touring off-road. Also, as we all know, gov.za would love to regulate pretty much everything on the planet. I can also see them lusting after additional revenue streams.

The post in terms of context is presumably more directed at the "Offroad Guides and Tour Operators". But it is sad that there is not even a web-site, or OGATO mail address. So I'm not sure to what extent this has the potential to be an impact on people going forard. Also, although making statements about "strengthened communication network", I've not seen anything anywhere apart from the specific random post on FaceBook. That bothers me a little.

I'm going to be contacting him for further details on the matter. But should people actually know what is going on, please feel free to post here. The statements made in the documentation shown in the video have the potential to affect anybody who likes touring off-road.
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Re: OGATO

Post by Alex Roux »

Ian

Given your valid concerns, unless there is reason to believe gov.za is taking some sort of initiative that needs a concerted and coordinated response, I do not see the need for this.
..."proposals for regulation" sounds vague. What has actually been done recently?
Perhaps it is then tactically smarter to see if this does not first die a natural stillborn death?
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Re: OGATO

Post by mvcoller »

This does not affect the run of the mill 4x4 driver.

It is an umbrella organisation to look after the interests of essentially Professional 4x4 Guides and 4x4 track owners. We are trying to get them all together so we can speak with one voice.

It is a legal requirement for all 4x4 Tourist Guides to be qualified and registered. Countrywide this will soon be policed properly (so the Dept of Tourism says), it is currently policed in the Western Cape. Heavy fines will be issued to unregistered (Illegal) guides, and repeat offenders could have their vehicles confiscated. A Guide taking organised tours or tours for remuneration, HAS TO BE fully qualified, have a SAQA Qualification and be registered with the National or Provincial Tourism Board depending if they are taking tours as National or Site/Provincial guides.

They must wear their name badge and carry their valid Tourist Guide Card at all times on any tour they are guiding.

One particular unscrupulous operator has in the recent past taken deposits and full payments for 4x4 Safaris and then "disappeared" with the money. This has caused untold harm to the 4x4 Tourism industry, and this organisation is to try and stamp this out. Basically, if you want to join a 4x4 safari, find out if that person is a member of OGATO. OGATO is trying to SET UP AN ORGANISATION OF HONEST PROFESSIONAL 4X4 ADVENTURE Tourist Guides that the organisation will vouch for.

I am a past Chairman of OGATO
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Re: OGATO

Post by Mad Manny »

mvcoller wrote: 25 Jul 2022 13:04 One particular unscrupulous operator has in the recent past taken deposits and full payments for 4x4 Safaris and then "disappeared" with the money. This has caused untold harm to the 4x4 Tourism industry, and this organisation is to try and stamp this out.
I assume the was the infamous 'Wood Fetcher' Taun Bewster...
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Re: OGATO

Post by mvcoller »

No, not him, yet another one of his ilk.
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Re: OGATO

Post by mvcoller »

Ian said: "But it is sad that there is not even a web-site, or OGATO mail address. So I'm not sure to what extent this has the potential to be an impact on people going forward. Also, although making statements about "strengthened communication network", I've not seen anything anywhere apart from the specific random post on FaceBook."

These pages have gone defunct as payment was not made for the upkeep and hosting of pages for this non-functional organisation.

Hopefully this will be corrected soon.
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Re: OGATO

Post by mvcoller »

Ian and Manny,

As neither of you are qualified or registered Tourist Guides you have nothing to worry or to do with Bernie's communication. It does not concern people who are not quides or operators.

Don't break your pretty heads about this.
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Re: OGATO

Post by iandvl »

mvcoller wrote: 28 Jul 2022 21:58 Ian and Manny,

As neither of you are qualified or registered Tourist Guides you have nothing to worry or to do with Bernie's communication. It does not concern people who are not quides or operators.

Don't break your pretty heads about this.
Malcolm - I'm going to ignore the condescension in your "pretty heads" comment.

I understand that OGATO is an association for tour operators - I actually totally grok that. My point is that the statements originally made speak about anybody in the "offroad community", "Proposed legislation", etc. OGATO being resurrected from the dead means that there are presumably legislative changes coming up and I would like to know what this is. Even if it is (currently) only for registered tour operators - at least it would give some idea about how gov.za is leaning in terms of other offroad / adventure activities. I am sure there are regulations lined up for this too somewhere. I am sure regulations regarding this are ultimately inevitable in any case. And if it keeps the Kurt Darren and Toyotaholics groups in order, I'm all for it. Similarly if it keeps the Taun Bewshers out of the touring industry.

The thing is that if proposed legislation has anything that directly affects me, as a non-guide private individual, in terms of "offroad/adventure activities", the last thing I want is an organisation with vested interests in "offroad/adventure activities" supposedly arguing this case. And hence the reason I want clarification on these matters. The NOW/NORS saga sits a little fresh in my memory regarding that.

Finally, I find it "uiters swak" that, considering the fact that one of the reasons for this apparently deals with strengthening communications, exposure regarding this matter has been limited to two posts on FaceBook. I've seen nothing else anywhere apart from this thread, and a similar one on 4x4AG. I would have expected somebody to make a post here, and 4x4AG, and 4x4Community, for example. Even an advert in a magazine. I think this is part of the reason that people are upset - they sort of see it as "ambush tactics".

That said, Bernie sent me a copy of the constitution yesterday which I will read during the course of the day and I will give him a call.
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Re: OGATO

Post by iandvl »

I am going to lock this thread. And I am locking it because you and I are going to bump heads. Badly. Hou jy by jou skoenmaak stories, Malcolm...
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