The government is taking the first steps towards regulating online hospitality service Airbnb. The cabinet has agreed to the publication of the draft Tourism Amendment Bill for public comment, one of the provisions of which will deal with short term home rentals. According to an Airbnb report released at 2018's Airbnb Africa Travel Summit — based on an independent analysis by local consultancy Genesis Analytics — Airbnb hosts in SA have earned $260m since the founding of the accommodation platform in 2008. The report said that between June 2017 and May 2018, “host and guest activity … generated an estimated R8.7bn in economic impact” in SA. Not much information about the contents of the bill as it relates to Airbnb is available at this stage except a sentence in a cabinet statement released on Thursday. It states that the amendment, among other things, "empowers the minister of tourism to determine the thresholds regarding short term home rental". Tourism minister Derek Hanekom conf...

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