Fake shanty town for rich tourists in Bloemfontein

By Drum Digital
20 November 2013

A five star hotel outside Bloemfontein has been criticised for creating a fake shanty town for rich tourists.

Guests pay more than R800 per night to stay in the corrugated iron shacks which boast under-floor heating and wi-fi.

The Emoya spa and game reserve outside Bloemfontein promises "an authentic shanty town experience".

The development mimics the lean-to shacks that are home to millions of impoverished black South Africans.

Shanty Town has provoked uproar among those who see it as grossly inappropriate for the very wealthy to pretend to be living like a pauper.

US political satirist Stephen Colbert descrobed it as "at best, insensitive; and at worst, poverty porn".

But owner Buks Westraad said: "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.

"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."

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