A business lobby group says it is considering legal steps to challenge a new bill meant to regulate short-term home rentals, including those on online platforms such as Airbnb. Last week the government published the Tourism Amendment Bill for public comment. Should it be signed into law, short-term home rentals will be regulated under the Tourism Act. The minister of tourism could then specify various “thresholds” in terms of Airbnb rentals in SA. This could include limiting the number of nights that guests can stay or how much money an Airbnb host can earn. According to the department of tourism, this would level the playing field by ensuring that “everyone gets their fair share”. Echoing calls to regulate ride-share platform Uber, which has disrupted the taxi industry worldwide, local tourism industry players have long called for Airbnb to be regulated. The Federated Hospitality Association of SA argues that unregistered accommodation establishments marketed via Airbnb should be u...

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