Millions of people are living in informal settlements all across South Africa called shanty towns, these shanty settlements consist of thousands of houses referred to as shacks or shantys. At first glance, these photos below seem to offer a glimpse into the harsh lives of the millions of people living in extreme poverty in South Africa. But that’s not the case.
The shacks pictured below are all part of a highly controversial resort that offers tourists the experience of sleeping inside a metal hut for a mere $82 a night.
Located near Bloemfontein in South Africa, the shanty town themed luxury resort operated by Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa looks like a slum.
The resort consist of a dozen shacks made from scrap wood and corrugated metal.
All the shacks are however equipped with conveniences such as running water, electricity, under-floor heating and wireless Internet access.
One night in the shanty town costs about $82.
That is more than most South Africans living in shanty towns see in an entire month.
To make the stay a bit more authentic, the operators have installed paraffin lamps, candles and battery-operated radios, as well as a communal long-drop toilet.
The operators state on their website that “The Shanty Town is ideal for team building, braais (barbecues), fancy theme parties and an experience of a lifetime.”
Each shack comes with a full kitchen and will sleep about 4. A real shanty town hut will often have two full families living together in one. The sleeping arrangements don’t exactly scream “luxury” but they are a hundred times better than inside a real shanty town hut.
The operator says that the idea was born after “regular overseas visitors suggested that they would like to sleep in a real shanty rather than just seeing them from a tour bus, as you would in Soweto and Cape Town”.
In their own words: “We believe we’ve taken something with a negative connotation and turned it into something positive, which reflects the ingenuity of our South African people”
What do you think? Comedian and political satirist, Stephen Colbert, came up with a good name for this exotic hybrid of opulent luxury and extreme deprivation. He called it “poverty porn”.
I don’t think this visitor quite understands what’s going on.
The insensitivity of turning millions of peoples’ suffering, misfortune and disgraceful quality of life into a novelty attraction is somewhat shocking. Here’s the video from their YouTube channel:
Source: Emoya Estate’s Web Site
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