Two major bodies in South Africa, both of which do accommodation grading systems and have different ways of representing their members and assisting the public, are NAA and SATGC.
There are many others who also do have quality assurance elements, but with the NAA and SATGC every single establishment bearing their symbol has been assessed and deemed to meet the required standard.
Understanding these grading systems and how they work can help you not to be taken in by false claims and misrepresentations. Even more important, they help you to understand what to expect.
NAA(National Accommodation Association)
The NAA is a national self-regulating body, broken down into regional branches or chapters, each of which is once again broken down into smaller, local branches. The national logo and regional KwaZulu Natal (KZN) logos are shown below. The logo for the Umhlanga Coastline local branch is shown at the top of each page on this website. Wherever you see the national and/or regional logos, you are however assured of getting what you expect. Valid and current membership can be verified through the NAA.
The NAA has its own in-house quality assurance aspect, called a classification system rather than an accommodation grading system. It differs from the star grading system in that it does not just guarantee standards, but specific facilities. Each classification level indicates specific services and facilities on the premises. Although an extablishment may offer more than what their classification indicates (and most times do), they may never offer less.
This means that different classification levels may not neccessarily mean that one accommodation establishment is better than the next, but mainly that it is different in its specific offering. All classified members of the NAA do however have to maintain high basic standards, in addition to their specific additional services and/or facilities. Premises are well maintained, clean and pleasant to stay in.
For specific information on what each classification level includes, please read our NAA classification details
SATGC (South African Tourism Grading Council)
Star grading is done through the South African Tourism Grading Council, the official national grading council. The system it uses is the internationally known star system and it is the only body in South Africa that is authorised to use the star symbol shown within the Council's official logo below.
All types of accommodation can apply to be graded, which must be done annually to remain valid. The number of stars depicts the level of service to be expected. The standards are high. Even a two star establishment will provide premises that are maintained, clean and pleasant to stay in.
Star gradings can be verified through the South African Grading Council, using the establishment's grading number that should be obtainable on request if it is not displayed on their website or brochure.