The Western Cape transport department has publicly pledged to defy the rules governing transport in the tourism sector, if necessary.

At the heart of the conflict is a backlog in issuing transport operating licenses.

Which is a legal requirement for a company to offer road transport services to tourists.

The National Public Transport Regulator – which issues them – said it would clear the backlog by the end of this month.

But the provincial transport department appears skeptical that this will be done.

In fact, for now, it’s instructing its enforcement officers to ignore this particular law – as long a transport operator can prove that they applied to renew their license in time.

The DA-led provincial government is calling for an immediate update on the issuing of licenses.

The party’s spokesperson on Tourism, Cayla Murray, says the backlog is a bottleneck to the Western Cape tourism sector’s recovery.