1.1 Safety and Security
All reasonable precaution must be taken to secure the personal safety
of guests and prevent damage to or theft of their possessions. A high
degree of general safety and security should be maintained. Safe keeping
facilities must be made available for guest use. These safe keeping
facilities can be administered by management. Guests should be informed
about these safe keeping facilities. Information on procedures in the
event of an emergency should be clearly displayed. This information
should be in English and if possible multilingual (depending on the
establishment's market). Procedures for summoning assistance, in particular
after hours, should also be available. Insofar as possible proprietors
or their representatives should be available during guests' arrival
and departure periods and all other reasonable times. Alternatively
adequate provision should be made for these periods should the proprietors
or their representatives not be able to be present in person. There
should be a responsible person on call 24-hours a day. Where applicable
there should be adequate levels of lighting (electrical or other) for
guest safety and comfort in all public areas, including stairwells and
car parks where appropriate. All single and double guest room entry
doors to a common area or the exterior should be equipped with a locking
device that permits a guest to lock the door when leaving the room as
well as a device to lock the door from the inside when the guest is
occupying the room. Surface mounted slide-bolts may be considered to
be appropriate locking devices in certain properties. This does not
necessarily apply to dormitories. Once registered, guests should have
access to the establishment at all times - unless restrictions are previously
notified. It is acceptable for a key or security code to be issued.
1.2 Cleanliness and Comfort
Cleanliness should be maintained throughout the Backpacker or Hostel.
The Backpacker/Hostel should be comfortable and fit for the purpose
1.3 Statutory Obligations
All premises are expected to comply with all relevant statutory and
local government regulations. The onus is on the proprietor to ensure
that the Backpacker or Hostel complies with all relevant regulations
and laws and has the relevant documentation to prove as such. Assessors
may request that relevant documentation, certificates, etc be presented
at the time of the assessment. This could include, inter alia:
" Proof of provincial registration (if applicable);
" Business registration which entitles the establishment to legally
operate (if applicable);
" Public liability insurance;
" Compliance with local authority regulations including;
o Fire safety certificate;
o Compliance with building regulations - in particular with regard to
o Hygiene regulations.
There should be no discrimination to accepting guests based on their
race, citizenship or nationality, gender, ethnicity, physical or mental
condition, etc. However, notwithstanding the above, management has the
right to refuse access in the interest of other users of the hostel
or backpackers. Establishments should be open every day of the year,
unless closed for refurbishment or offers only seasonal accommodation.
Appropriate service and facilities should be available on all days that
the establishment is open (unless advertised otherwise).
Courtesy should be shown to guests at all times. Staff should be clean,
appropriately dressed, helpful and attending to guests as their highest
priority. Guest complaints should be dealt with courteously and promptly.
There should be reasonable levels of local tourist information available,
particularly with regard to local places of interest and activities
1.6 Marketing, Reservations and Pricing
There should be friendly and efficient service appropriate to the style
of the establishment. All enquiries, requests, reservations, correspondence
and complaints should be handled promptly and courteously. It should
be made clear to all visitors what is included in the prices quoted
for accommodation, meals and refreshments, including service charge,
surcharges, levies, etc. The property's pricing structure should be
available on request. All prices must include VAT. Guests must be notified
if the price agreed at the time of booking has changed. Full details
of the establishment's cancellation policy should be made clear to guests
at the time of booking. Details of any unique in-house policies e.g.
no children under 12-years of age should be communicated at the time
of booking. The amenities, facilities and services provided by the establishment
should be described fairly to all visitors and prospective visitors,
whether by advertisement, brochure, website, verbal communication or
1.7 Information for Hirers
Full details of the accommodation including the maximum number of beds
in each dormitory, as well as the type of beds available i.e. singles,
bunk beds etc should be provided on request.
All grounds and gardens under the control of the operator should be
neat and appropriate. The exterior of the property must be well maintained
in a sound and clean condition.
The interior and exterior of the building/s including all fittings,
fixtures and furnishings must be maintained in a sound and clean condition
and must be fit for the purpose intended.
All bedrooms should be kept clean. All linen provided to guests, including
duvet covers, should be changed for each new guest. All bed linen, including
duvet covers, should be changed at least every 7 days. This period may
be extended for environmental purposes AND with the guest's consent.
Soiled linen should be changed as soon as possible.
3.2 Bedroom / Dormitory Size
All bedrooms and dormitories should have sufficient space to allow freedom
of movement for guests and access to all furniture in the room. It should
be possible to open all used relevant doors and drawers fully.
All beds are to be of sound condition. All mattresses are to be comfortable,
of sprung interior, foam or similar. Single beds should comfortably
accommodate an average sized adult and double beds 2 average sized adults.
All bedding should be clean. At a minimum all occupied beds should be
fitted with a bottom sheet, pillow and pillowcase. The fee for this
linen should be included in the bed tariff.
3.5 Bedside Tables
There should be at least one bedside table in each single and double
room. No bedside tables are necessary in dormitories. A dressing/writing
table may double as a bedside table.
3.6 Windows and Lighting
In each guest room, including dormitories, there should be at least
one window to allow natural light and adequate ventilation. If the window
cannot be opened, a ventilation system must be provided. All bedrooms
should have adequate and appropriate lighting (fit for purpose). There
should be at least one bedside or bedhead light in each single or double
room. A double bed may have one shared bedhead or bedside light. Bedside
lights are not necessary in dormitories. All bulbs should have a shade
or cover (unless decorative). Emergency lighting should be provided
(i.e. torch, candle, candlestick and matches).
Curtains, blinds or shutters should be provided on all windows including
glass panels and doors where required to afford both privacy and/or
the exclusion of light.
Typical climatic conditions experienced in the region of the establishment
will be considered when determining the minimum requirements for heating
Flooring may vary considerably and any fit-for-purpose flooring may
be appropriate. Ease of cleaning and hygiene should be considered when
Each bedroom and dormitory should have a waste bin. If not provided
in an en-suite bathroom all single and double rooms must have a mirror.
Smoking should not be permitted in dormitories. The smoking policies
of the Backpacker/Hostel should be at minimum governed by the applicable
South African laws.
4. Bath/Shower Rooms
4.1 Shared bathrooms
There should be at least one bath or shower to every 12 resident guests
and 1 toilet with washbasin to every 10 resident guests. Where appropriate
there should be privacy between the sexes for washing / showers and
toilet facilities and as far as possible between members of the same
sex. All toilet, bath and shower rooms or cubicles should be lockable
from the inside. All toilets, sinks, showers and other plumbing must
be in good working order and free from trapping surfaces e.g. cracks,
chips, broken toilet seats.
All bathrooms should be cleaned daily. If provided all guest bathroom
linen should be changed at least every 7 days. This period may be extended
for environmental purposes AND with the guest's consent. Soiled linen
should be changed as soon as possible.
4.3 Bathroom size
All bathrooms should have sufficient space to allow freedom of movement
for guests and access to all fittings.
4.4 Fixtures and fittings
Each shower/bath unit should provide privacy for the user and should
" Bath OR shower " Clean, running water (available at reasonable times)
" At least one clothes hook Each toilet unit should have:
" Toilet " Toilet roll holder and toilet paper
" Waste bin (covered) " Adequate ventilation (e.g. an extractor fan
or opening window)
All bathrooms should have mirrors for guest use. These mirrors should
preferably be positioned above a washbasin.
4.5 Lighting and Windows
All bathrooms should be well lit with a light switch near the entrance
to the bathroom (if electrical light). If deemed necessary for guest
privacy purposes all windows in the bathroom (if present) should either
be tinted, opaque or of other glass that ensures guest privacy or alternatively
should be covered with an opaque curtain, blind or shutter.
5. Public Areas / General
5.1 Living/Dining Room Areas
If self-catering facilities are provided in the Backpacker or Hostel
a guest eating area (dining room) should be available for guest use.
The size of this area should be adequate, taking into consideration
the total number of guests that can be accommodated at the Backpacker
or Hostel. All Backpackers or Hostels should provide a lounge and/or
relaxing area for guest use. If an eating/dining area is provided this
may suffice as a lounge/relaxing area. In an appropriate climate the
living and/or dining area may be substituted with an appropriately furnished
outdoor area, however, if it is the only area available for guest relaxation
this outdoor area should be covered to protect guests from rain, sunshine,
5.2 Food and Beverage - General
If a food and/or beverage service is provided, staff should demonstrate
adequate levels of product knowledge and provide efficient service.
All food should be hygienically stored, prepared and presented.
5.3 Communal Kitchen/s
A self-catering communal kitchen/s may be provided for guest use. If
no restaurant is available at the backpacker or hostel or within the
vicinity of the property, it is recommended that a self-catering communal
kitchen be provided for guest use. All guest kitchens should be cleaned
daily. If a communal kitchen/s is provided all fixtures, furniture,
furnishings, crockery and cutlery must be in acceptable condition and
be adequate to provide for approximately ¼ of the maximum number of
occupants at any one time. In each communal kitchen: " There must be
adequate storage/shelving space for crockery, cutlery, kitchen and cleaning
equipment. " There should be a hot plate on which to cook meals (overall
in the Backpacker or Hostel there should be sufficient hot plates for
guest use). An oven/microwave could also be appropriate but not essential
(in some circumstances a braai may be an appropriate substitute for
an oven). Hot plates/ovens must be clean, in sound condition and functioning
properly. " There should be a refrigerator (electric or gas). " There
should be a sink equipped with a draining board and (running) water
supply. " There should be a facility available for boiling water (kettle,
geyser, etc). " There should be at least one hygienic working surface
and storage space suitable for food. " There should be an open window
or appropriate ventilation system. " A covered waste disposal bin should
be provided. " There should be a suitable fire extinguisher readily
available. " Minimum kitchen inventory provided in Annexure A.
All public rooms/areas, passages and staircases must be adequately ventilated.
All living rooms/areas must have at least one window opening directly
into the open air. If the window cannot be opened, a ventilation system
must be provided.
5.5 Power Supply
If appropriate electricity should be provided (not necessarily mains
supply). Where electricity it is not available, this must be stated.
Where electricity is available, sufficient conveniently located power
sockets for the safe use of electrical equipment should be provided.
5.6 Clothes Drying/Hanging Facilities
Facilities for drying/ hanging wet clothing should be provided (this
need not be in the dormitories/bedrooms).
Guests should have access to a public or private telephone (if applicable).
Where telephones are provided guests should be informed of charges on
6. Additional Requirements for 4- and 5-Star Backpackers/Hostels
For 5-star Backpackers or Hostels a higher level of general ambience,
spaciousness and guest comfort will be required in all areas of the
facility. Backpackers and Hostels without electricity may achieve a
4- or 5-star grading - the additional requirements listed below will
be reconsidered in areas where there is no electricity or where a specific
ambience is preferred. In addition, assessors may be flexible on the
additional requirements in special circumstances. All 5-star Backpackers
and Hostels should provide guests with hot water for showering purposes.
It is possible that hot water is only available only at certain times
of the day.
All communal bathrooms should be equipped with hand soap and hand drying
facilities. Hygiene should be considered when determining appropriate
soap and drying facilities. There should be at least one bath or shower
to every 8 resident guests and 1 toilet with washbasin to every 8 resident
guests. All guests occupying private rooms should be provided with individual
towel and soap upon arrival at the Backpacker or Hostel. Bedrooms Bunk
beds are to be a maximum of 2 sleeping positions high. Dormitories in
5-star backpackers or hostels should be more spacious and have fewer
beds/bunks than a typical 4-star dormitory. A ladder or equivalent should
be provided for guests to climb to the top bunk. In a 5-star Backpacker
or Hostel a full range of linen should be provided for each bed (including
dormitory beds) - this would include a duvet and duvet cover or good
quality blanket and top sheet. All private rooms in a 4- and 5-star
Backpacker or Hostel should have a full range of linen (bottom sheet,
pillow, pillowcase, duvet and duvet cover or blanket and top sheet).
Private rooms in 5-star Backpackers or Hostels are expected to have
2 pillows per sleeping position.
The following additional appliances should be provided in communal kitchens:
" Freezer or large freezer section in fridges
" Microwave oven
" Lockable food storage facilities
" Hand soap
" Range of herbs and spices
An iron and ironing board should be provided in the communal kitchen
or the laundry/drying area.
Washing machines (these may be coin operated) should be available for
guest use. Ideally, tumble drying facilities should be available at
a 5-star Backpacker/Hostel.
Alternatively guests should have relatively easy access to laundry facilities
or service (provided in-house or outsourced).