South Africa’s Langa Township Deals with “Poverty Tourists” – The Jim Jefferies Show


Right. So a kitchen, a bedroom-
[crosstalk 00:00:03] Sorry, crikey.
So why am I taking a guided tour through one of the poorest
neighborhoods in South Africa? It started out
like a lot of things: questionable ideas
by rich people. In recent years, a growing
number of travel agencies around the world
are offering poverty tours. And as more tourists from
wealthy countries visit slums, the practice has sparked
a great deal of controversy. It’s true. Well off tourists
pay about a hundred dollars for a guided tour
of the poor part of town. I’m expecting to see
extreme poverty, but I think
there’s beauty in everything. I’m glad I don’t have
to live there. Unsurprisingly, not all
the locals are cool with it. I think it’s degrading.
It’s kind of inhuman. So you think they are
seeing you as animals? Yeah. So why do people
take these tours? Is it just
the social media likes? Does anyone actually benefit? To find out,
I spoke with Tony Elvin, who does social enterprise
development here in Cape Town. People have called them
poverty tours. Human safari. Poverty tours. Human safaris? Yeah, yeah. Part of the problem is this world’s relationship
with Africa. Yeah. We get lots of people coming
over, be you’re a visitor, and you’re coming to do your
‘Africa’ years and save some Black people with flies
all over them. Red Nose Day. It’s always big. Always got a comedian
surrounded like this. I think township tourism
is othering. You’re sort of saying, “Oh, I
went in there and had a look. But (bleep), I’ll go out
with my life safe and go to White bit now
and have a margarita.” You know what I mean? Tony’s part of the debate about
who benefits from these tours. Does the money help the towns, or does it just go to a select
few tour operators? Do the locals profit out of it? Not just the people
running the tours, but the people
who are being looked at or taken photographs of? They’ll fund them some money. Right. I mean, everyone’s getting paid. Right. But in terms of that having
a deep lasting effect, and changing the community,
and improving the community? No. He makes a good point. Breezing through
and grabbing a souvenir does seem like a superficial way
to see a place. Luckily, someone’s trying
to do it better. Meet Siviwe Mbinda. He runs a tour company
here in Langa, which is the oldest township
in Cape Town. He also founded a school,
a film program, and a kid’s dance company. I sat down with him
to discuss sustainable tourism. It’s bothering when when people
are coming into the township and treat a community
and people like a tour. Like zoo animals or something. Yes. How do you move
from a tour to a visit? We did this: firstly, walk.
Interact with the community. They have to taste
the food, you know. They have to sip what we sip.
That is not a tour. What typically
are your clientele? Our biggest clientele …
is Germans. Germans?
Yes. Because they like seeing, what, a whole lot of people
in confined areas that they can control?
Hey, so let’s take a tour. Let’s do it. I want to take some
Siviwe’s tour for myself, and boy was
he full of information. About 50,000 people
live in Langa. The townships
across South Africa are home to around
18 million people. They were created
during a pod site as a way to keep
the Black population separate from the White.
Kind of a dick move. But one interesting result
is that language developed, a culture,
and economy all its own. For example,
this is a night club. The night club is closed
at the moment. It’s right inside here. I reckon this guy
runs something. This guy’s a bouncer,
he’s an owner, he’s a DJ. He does everything. He does everything. The strip club’s much worse
where he’s the dancer. I’ll let him explain that.

55 thoughts on “South Africa’s Langa Township Deals with “Poverty Tourists” – The Jim Jefferies Show

  1. F*** this video is down right degrading I live in South Africa and the many beautiful places they look at those people like the animals at the zoo or something

  2. This is pretty messed up. I spent a month in north Africa once, as a student. I lived with a host family, and spent time with locals at various wealth and poverty levels, and the poverty was always difficult to see. I had no complaints staying with a family who was poor (by American standards), but at least I stayed with them and met them as real people who I like and respect and still have a fondness for after all these years. I certainly was not "entertained" by any of the poverty I saw, and some of it was very hard to stomach. I would be deeply offended to think of hoardes of wealthy tourists treating my host family, or any other family I met, like a display in a zoo. Yeah, this is pretty distasteful stuff. If you want to go to these places, go with a program, spend time, learn the language and connect with human beings like (cue radical idea) human beings.

  3. Lately Ive FELT unaffiliated with the other folks of Earth, while nationalists pride themselves on owning culture(the simple parts), the rest of the world is ready to bring the best of their cultures onto the world stage, the least fortunate are ready with open arms, but the fearful scream from their caves about how special they are, while loosing what it means to be human.

  4. As a German, I was actually proud when he said that Germans were visiting a lot. I'd like to think that we've learned from the horrible crimes of our ancestors. Everytime a German makes an effort to learn more about the world, learn more about other cultures, about other lifestyles, that makes me extremely patriotic.

  5. Rob all of them if they come into your neighborhood to ghawk at the people. Well European Tourist are very rude for exploiting the disadvantage.

  6. Jim is liar…I dont trust anything he's in. After Avi showed how he and his crew choose to edit videos I can't stand watching him

  7. How are we in America different with the black population? Its way better (less noticeable) but black people are still separate in some areas in the USA.

  8. What people here don't realize is that a lot of these people are contend with what they have, and it's their way of life. I'm not saying that poverty is good, but let's respect other's way of life. They may be poorer than you, but they live happily while in the west, especially the germans, work their ass off grumpily their whole life so they can go vacation when they get old

  9. “…there’s beauty in everything.”
    Yeah, says the guy who can pay $100 to visit a slum so that he can soothe his conscience.
    Would he like to live there so that he can see that “beauty” every day?

  10. How do people not feel like complete assholes while taking such a tour? It blows my mind in what kind of twisted realities some people live. Disgraceful cunts!

  11. Tourist treat every native that way. They don‘t want to see the Texan Industrie they want to see the cattle farmers. They don‘t want to see the Chinese accomplishments they want to see the rice farmer and the water buffelo. Fill in your own nation an look what tourists want to see there. It‘s always a Safari created for them. They come for the old buildings and stereotypes. That‘s why we in the tourist business call them cows. Move in heards, no brain and ready to be milked.

  12. I was worried for a moment, because I went to Ecuador many years ago. A very poor area. However, according to that man I went on a visit, not a tour, so I’m good. I mean, I sure as Hell didn’t think “I cant wait to see some poors, today!”

  13. Wow Jim Jeffries is hilarious to me but fuck me he deserves so much respect for bringing this to such a mass audience. I didn’t know this travesty is a real thing. Gross. I bet all those tourists are 100% white people. Smh

  14. All the outrage should be directed at those offering the tours, but that’s not politically correct. Must blame whitey. 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

  15. "they were created during apartheid to keep the black population separate"…. horribly factually inaccurate but whatever…. nvm that the black population was already separate before apartheid and only then started to develop the cultural advancement of permanent individual housing…. Also I see he was too scared to tour the colourd poor area's (which would have made sense since blacks are not indiginous to the southern or western parts of the country), smart move though cause it's currently under "military supervision" and the gangs are robbing the soldiers blind….

  16. Wow!! They have to be some miserable mother fuckers to think up some bullshit like that. In the words of Oprah, "truly doing well is giving others permission to do the same". But misery loves company.

  17. Oh boy did I cringe when he said germans were their biggest clientele.
    God what a pathetic hobby to pick up when there's football :/
    Sincerely, a non- participating german

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