How To Establish A Bed & Breakfast of Guesthouse

How To Establish A Bed & Breakfast of Guesthouse








A Bed & Breakfast establishment (B&B) is an informal, periodic accommodation operation undertaken from a private dwelling. The maximum number of guest bedrooms in a B&B is 3. Any application received by the authorities for a B&B establishment with more than 3 bedrooms is automatically treated as a guest house.

A guest house is a commercial accommodation establishment offering between 4-16 bedrooms (an establishment with more than 16 bedrooms is called a hotel), which has, as its primary source of business, the supply of tourist accommodation. Breakfast and dinner are made available to guests, particularly where the latter is not readily available in the vicinity of the establishment.


A Draft Policy prepared by the Provincial Planning and Development Commission (PPDC) states that the following standards should be adhered to regarding B&Bs:

•  A minimum of 50% of lettable rooms is to be maintained for private home use;

•  Breakfast is the only meal which needs to be served to guests;

•  The predominant land usage, i.e.: a residential dwelling and the residential character of the home are to bemaintained;

•  The size of the house and size of the land are to be taken into consideration and negative impacts controlled.

   This is at the discretion of the Local Council;

•  The minimum facilities to be provided to all guests are as follows:

•  A bedroom;

•  Access to a bathroom and toilet, separate to that of the hosts;

•  A dining room area where breakfast is served;

•  All facilities and breakfast are for the sole use of overnight registered guests only;

•  No kitchen facility will be provided to guests in the lettable room; only one kitchen facility per dwelling unit is

    permissible. One off-road parking space, per lettable room, is to be provided, or at the discretion of the Local

    Council. It is compulsory to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, which is to be tested regularly, to ensure

    the safety of guests at all times.


On making application to establish a B&B, the draft PPDC policy states that the following steps should be taken:

•  Neighbours are to be advised about the proposed business;

•  Any objections received from neighbours must be motivated by the person objecting (complainant). A special

   consent application can then be made in terms of the Development and Planning Act, by the owner, to the Local Council. For:

•  Group Housing/Cluster Area Applications - the owner is to obtain consent from the Body Corporate or the Home

Owner’s Association, prior to submitting an application to the Local Council;

•  Title deed conditions/restrictions become applicable only when the predominant use of the land is other than

that of the current usage;

•  Road and directional signage is to be in line with the existing character of the locality and to adopt the signage

policy of the Local Council, or any other regulations that exist. Signage erected on state roads in rural areas

will be subject to the policy of the Provincial Department of Transport;

•  Neon lighting shall be in line with the existing character of the locality and to adopt the policy of the Local


By-laws of the Local Council regarding noise shall be adhered to and the environment and general area must be preserved and kept in good condition. The rates base on the property concerned will not change for typical B&B establishments. However, should the establishment require re-zoning, the rates base will change. This will be at the discretion of the Local Municipality. If you propose to open your B&B in a rural/farm area, the same regulations as those applicable in urban areas will apply. Accommodation facilities on farmland will become rateable and the District Municipality will collect these rates where applicable. Any application outside of the Ingonyama Trust Land will be bound by the same regulations as those in all other areas.


Your Local Municipality or the PPDC can assist you with planning controls and TKZN and the Department of Economic

Development and Tourism should be consulted for updates on policy.



Available Space

Discuss with TKZN whether you have enough space to cope with the number of people you wish to accommodate.

Amenity Value

The following questions should be asked:

•    Is the site you have chosen quiet enough for people to sleep undisturbed?

•   Are the street surrounds well-kept and maintained?

•    Is the site free from unpleasant odours?


Accessibility / Roads

Is the site easy to find for people using their own transport or using public transport?

The Local Municipality has controls for the erection of any signs. If new access onto streets is needed, the Local Municipality will usually construct them, at the cost of the developer. Permission must be obtained from the Provincial Department of Transport to construct new access points onto main roads outside of Local Municipality areas.



•  Land Use Zoning –  Approach the Local Municipality to establish whether the Town Planning Scheme permits the activity on the site            you have chosen;

• The establishment of a new enterprise in which the present use is substantially changed may require a scoping report to be prepared in      terms of the National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998). The Provincial Departments of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs          and Rural Development should be consulted in this regard;

•  In the case of the establishment of a new enterprise, special consent in terms of the Planning and Development

   Act (5 of 1998) must be obtained from the Local Council prior to establishment;

  Licensing and Registration – Approach the Town Planning Department of the Local Council for permission to go ahead

   with your plans. Once permission has been obtained, register with the District Municipality;

•  A trading licence must be purchased from the Business Licensing Department of the Local Council at a cost of

   R200 for the sale of perishable food;

•  Your application for a trading licence will be circulated by the Local Council to the Health, Fire and Building

   inspectors, the Town Planning Department, and, in some cases, the Development Services Board (DSB). These

   bodies will ensure that your plans comply with their regulations before the application can be approved;

•  You must register your establishment with your provincial tourism authority, in this case, TKZN.


You may be registered as a sole proprietor, or your business may be registered as a Private Limited Company (Pty) Ltd or close corporation (CC). Chambers of Commerce are a good contact through which to obtain details of organisations that can give advice on the structuring of your business. Advice may also be obtained from business advice centres.



 •  Business Advice Centres:

Durban: (031) 308 9920

Pietermaritzburg: (033) 264 3100

Tongaat: (032) 944 3814


 •  Business Partners Limited:

Durban: (031) 240 7700

Richards Bay: (035) 789 7301


•  Department of Economic Development,

   Tourism and Environmental Affairs(EDTEA):

(033) 264 2500


•  Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs

and Rural Development (DAERD):

(033) 355 9690


•  Department of Trade and Industry (DTI):

(012) 394 9500

KZN Regional Office

(031) 305 3389


•  Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

(031) 335 1000



(031) 312 3609 or 086 133 3628


•  Guest House Accommodation of South Africa (GHASA):

(021) 762 0880


•  Ithala Development Finance Corporation:

(031) 907 8911


•  KwaZulu-Natal Bed & Breakfast Association

(Kwababa): (031) 561 3795


•  Provincial Planning and Development Commission:

(033) 395 3066


•  South African Tourism (SA Tourism):

(011) 895 3000


•  Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA):

086 127 2872/(011) 866 9996


•  Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA)

(011) 895 3000 or (011) 895 3186


•  Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN):

(031) 366 7500