FAQ

+ What's the difference between Scheduled and Private Tours?

Private Tours are for one party only and more costly than Scheduled Tours. Tickets onto Scheduled Tours are cheaper because you don't determine when the tour takes place (they run in regular intervals) nor who you'll share the bus with. SidebySide currently only offers Private Tours, but aims to offer Scheduled Tours before long, once we get a steady enough stream of tour enquiries.

+ What are SidebySide’s safety & security protocols?

For a more detailed resource, click here.

The link between your personal conduct and your safety & security is integral when navigating the townships. Demonstrating you know where you are through the utterance of few words like 'thanks' ("enkosi") and 'hello' ("molo"/"molweni") or slang like 'hey yo!'("eita" or "ola") and an appropriate handshake is highly important across the board, whether it be to an esteemed elder or unemployed youth hanging out on the streets.

Conduct

  • Greeting people is a common form of respect! You can simply say “Molweni” to groups of people and “Molo” to a single person. SbS staff will teach some other isiXhosa basics during the tour.
  • SbS staff will show you different forms of hand shakes.
  • If offered something (e.g. tea), accept it even if you don’t actually want it—it’s a form of respect.
  • Greet (shake hands) and hand out things in order of age, from oldest to youngest.

Safety & Security

  • SidebySide regards and treats your safety and security as its top priority at all times.
  • Exercise vigilance and caution at all times, just as you would with any other urban area in Cape Town, which experiences high levels of crime. However:
    • Self-confidence and self-assuredness should also be exercised to demonstrate an understanding that the townships are, by and large, safe spaces to visit or operate in as non-residents.
    • There is no reason to be fearful when in the hands of SidebySide and our entrepreneurs.
  • Avoid overly ostentatious attire, however, please do wear clothes that you feel proud of and confident in.
  • Please leave behind any unnecessary valuables like laptops, jewellery, excessive amounts of money.

+ What sets a SidebySide Immersion Tour apart?

Entrepreneurial guides, HD photos/videos of YOU in action, roundtrip transport, & slow-paced interactions are our hallmarks. This in addition to the financial and in-kind benefits the entrepreneurs derive.

Totally unlike many conventional sightseeing tours where the tourist guide is virtually the only human you get to meaningfully interact with, a SidebySide Immersion Tour is centered around interaction and exchange with township entrepreneurs whom we make site visits to. The SbS guide merely serves as your friend in the townships, leading/introducing you to these inspiring individuals, lightly facilitating/contextualizing interaction to maximize enjoyment/impact, and ensuring your wellbeing/safety at all times.

When in the care of SidebySide, you can expect nothing but the highest level of professionalism and quality available in engaging with township entrepreneurs. Further, you can feel 100% assured that your wellbeing and safety will at no point in time be threatened—this even in spite of the high-level of immersiveness of your experience.

+ How does SidebySide foster development? Who develops and how?

SidebySide earmarks a certain amount of Tour proceeds as contributions to the entrepreneurs to assist the starting up their enterprises. At this stage where we ourselves are still starting up, the tip per entrepreneur coming from SidebySide is usually between R400-1200, depending on the size of the travelling group and the nature of the interaction. We highly encourage additional tips by our guests. Additional tips can be given directly to the entrepreneurs while you're with them, or given to your SidebySide guide at any stage and we'll pass along 100% of the money.

If you have never entered the townships before, there is, however, no doubt that it will be you, not the entrepreneur, who intellectually and spiritually grows the most.

+ What are SidebySide’s Terms and Conditions?

Terms and Conditions last updated 2019/06/03 and remain valid indefinitely into the future:

  1. 2019 Validity Dates. 
The 2019 prices listed in the above tables are valid through 2019/12/31. 

  2. 2020 Validity Dates. 
Early 2020 prices are valid between 2020/01/01 – 2020/04/30. 

  3. 2020 Prices. 
Viewable in Pricing Tables. Early 2020 prices are simply the 2019 prices increased by 4.7%, the annual inflation rate.

  4. Tour Availability Days. 
Daily (7 days a week) 

  5. 50% Downpayment Schedule. 
50% of the amount payable is due 30 days prior to departure. Downpayment secures the booking through to the Balance Due Date. 

  6. 50% Balance Payment Schedule. 
Balance of remaining 50% is due strictly 5 weekdays prior to departure date. Failure to pay the balance on time, as per Due Date on invoice received, renders the tour subject to cancellation or postponement. 

  7. Late Requests. 
We welcome booking requests made under 36 hours before the requested pick-up time. However, please do not promise the tour to your co-travelers until SidebySide has sent confirmation, as tours depend on the availability of partner entrepreneurs. The more notice we receive, the more precisely we are able to accommodate your specific itinerary requests. Hence the aforementioned Payment Schedule. 

  8. Cancellation Policy & Fee Schedule. 
SidebySide is a small company and unfortunately cannot offer full refunds. Please be advised of the following fee schedule:
    1. 10% of the full tariff - beyond two weeks prior to departure date 

    2. 20% of the full tariff - within two weeks prior to departure date 

    3. 50% of the full tariff - within one week prior to departure date 

    4. 75% of the full tariff - within 48 hours prior to departure date 

    5. 100% of the full tariff - within 24 hours prior to departure date 

      Cancellations must be made in writing; Verbal cancellations will not be accepted.
      
Weather-related cancellations are no exception to the above fee schedule. 

  9. VAT (South African Tax) 
All prices account for VAT. SidebySide Township Development Group (PTY) LTD is not a VAT-registered company, and therefore is not required to charge VAT. 100% of US Dollars received are transferred to SidebySide’s South African bank within 30 days of receipt, as per PayPal regulations, compliance with which renders SidebySide with no tax obligations to the IRS.

  10. In-Person Payments.
The Payment Schedule set out in points 5 and 6 herein standardly applies. However, same-day payments of the invoice balance may potentially be made in-person with ZAR cash or Foreign cash (N.B. see sub-point below), provided SidebySide has confirmed this in writing. The guide always possesses a mobile WiFi router and assists guests make payment from the pick-up point in the event of last-minute bookings. The guide will only depart the pick-up point once proof of payment has been received.
    1. Foreign Cash Conversion Fees. (+8.9% built into price tag)
Guests are welcome to pay for their tour with cash from their home country. The 8.9% fee remains, such that the price remains the same as paying via PayPal, and so to cover the costs associated with exchanging the currency into ZAR.

  11. Fixed US Dollar Pricing. (R11 to $1 USD)
(Only applicable if paying in a foreign currency via PayPal) Given exchange rate fluctuations, R11 to $1 USD is set as SidebySide's fixed exchange rate through 2020/04/30. Quotes, invoices and payments made in currencies other than ZAR are calculated as: {ZAR price (as per ZAR pricing tables)} ÷ {11} × {the current exchange rate of the applicable currency to the USD$}. 

  12. Wire Transfer Fees. (Rand list price + R750 flat fee)
Guests are welcome to pay for their tour in Rands (at the prices set out in the Rand pricing tables) by international wire transfer if they prefer. The amount payable is calculated as:
{ZAR price (as per ZAR pricing tables)} + {R750 ZAR}.