Each year, the Rotary Club of Parys can apply for money from their Rotary District for a small project of their own choosing in the community. Working with the Vredefort Dome Tourist Guide Association, (VDTGA), the last grant helped in the training of 2 river guides.
This is part of wider VDTGA training programme to address the issue of the large number of unqualified and unregistered guides working in tourism. They have received a CATHSSETA grant for the training of 30 illegal guides. Their training will be complete by the end of September.
It is now a requirement that they are registered as legal guides. This requires them to have formal qualifications from attending training courses. As many of them are only freelance guides and need to support themselves and families they are often unable to fund their full training and registration requirements.
Two river guides Mr X.I. Mabala and Mr M.E. Sehuma were selected through a formal selection process administered by the VDTGA. The training programme includes courses, an assessment and registration with the relevant qualifications authority. Hugh Du Preez of Whitewater Training and Graeme Addison of Adventure Standards Africa undertook the training of each guide.
The picture shows Ishmael Mabala on a recent trip down the Palmiet River to gain experience required as part of his qualification.