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


Cape Town has lots of luxury. But in between your boat rides,
your frou-frou cocktails, and your mountaintop yoga, some visitors squeeze in
an authentic experience. And that’s where
Comedy Central sent me. Welcome to Langa Township. Alright. Alright so kitchen, bedroom – Ugh, 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. Reporter: 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. Jefferies: It’s true.
Well-off tourists pay about
$100 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! Jefferies: 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. Part of the
problem is this world’s
relationship with Africa. Yeah. We get lots of people coming
over, but 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. That’s always big. You 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 f**kin’ hell, I’ll go
out with my life safe and
go to a white bit now.” Right, right, right. And have a margarita,
you know what I mean? Jefferies: Tony is 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 bung 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. Jefferies: He
makes a good point. Breezing through and grabbing
a souvenir does seem like a
superficial way to see a place. But 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 kids dance company. I sat down with him to
discuss sustainable tourism. Like they’re zoo
animals or something. What typically are
your clientele? Germans? Yes. Because they like seeing a
whole lot of people in confined
areas that they can control? Hey, so let’s take a tour. Jefferies: I wanted to take
Siviwe’s tour for myself. And boy, was he
full of information. About 50,000 people
live in Langa. But townships across
South Africa are home to
around 18 million people. They were created during
Apartheid as a way to
keep the black population
separate from the white. Kind of a dick move. But one interesting result
is that Langa has developed a
culture and economy on 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 is a bouncer,
he’s an owner, he’s a DJ. He does everything. Does everything. The strip club’s much worse
where he’s the dancer. I’ll let him explain that. G’day, mate. Jim, how you doin’ man? Oh, we’re doing that one? I never know what to do. One, two, three, four,
I declare a thumb – Is it more of a bar or is
there dancing in there? Do you ever get white
people coming in trying
to drink at your bar or… Germans? Germans. Wow, this is going great. I feel like a guest,
not a tourist. I mean, look at all
the friends I’m making. Look at all those… Germans? with a different tour company
posing children for pictures. Wait a minute. Is that what I look like too? I don’t wanna look
like a German! Maybe doing tourism the right
way requires more effort. And in my travels, I’ve had
most of my best cultural
exchanges over a few frosties. So I made Siviwe take
me to the local pub. So the beer is actually
not served in glasses. Everyone drinks
from the same thing. But don’t you worry about if one
person has a cold, then we’re
all getting the f**king cold? The price you pay for sharing. I’m a pretty
hardcore germaphobe. But as Anthony
Bourdain taught us, it’s always worth risking
a cold to have a real
cultural experience. And I’d love to create
that cultural experience… for my friend Andrew. Andrew! – Yes? Come and have some beer,
mate, with everybody. I can’t because you know
I don’t drink alcohol. This is Andrew,
our field producer. Andrew? Here we are. Delicious! It’s a bit – uh, smoky. This guy, I feel like, is going
to drink the whole f**king lot. This is all three-gulp Sam. You see his f**king Adam’s
apple going up and down. He’s gonna have all this. See? A bucket of beer
means instant mates. Then I asked Siviwe, “what’s
a good eat around here?” That would be a sheep’s head. This is a sheep’s head. I’m Australian enough to
know that’s a sheep’s head. What’s with the
yellow paint on the – It’s to protect the
skin from the fire. Right, so if you’re a Simpson,
you wouldn’t find that racist? No, no, no. You cut them in half, Mhm. take out the brains, Right. And you boil it for two hours. They look like here. Now, I’m – I’m
also a vegetarian. Ummm… So Andrew, if you
wanna have some uh… sheep head. Andrew: I’m a
little nervous Jim. Yeah, that’s alright. That’s alright. Mmmm, lamb head. [gags] Jefferies: Ah, you didn’t
spice it properly, Andrew! You should watch this guy try to
eat pizza. It’s the same thing. So what did we learn? How can you be a responsible
tourist without looking
like some sort of German? Because this just doesn’t
happen in poor parts of Africa. People visit the Lower
Ninth Ward in New Orleans, stroll 8 Mile in Detroit, even take hood-life tours
through South Central, L.A.. Now, it’s OK to visit. But don’t gawk from
the back of a tour bus or snap selfies with
homeless people. Just find a legitimate tour
guide, be open to new things, and remember you’re
in a neighborhood. So act like you’d want someone
to act in your neighborhood. And just in case, bring an Andrew.

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

  1. We get z lot of german tourists here in the Faroe Islands. I guess old germans wanna see the world they tried to conquer

  2. If the people profit from the porverty tours , the people would9be in poverty for long ..

  3. We love rich people visiting our hood but we like to be able to mug them if they are dicks. its a simple self managing sustainable system.

  4. I went to Soweto, but "poverty" isn't the attraction there, the cultural and historical sites are. Also, the food was great.
    I was offered a tour in Langa when I went to Cape Town, and when the tour company salespeople couldn't offer me any more information than "Everyone should see what a township is like." (For the low price of $130!) I declined.

  5. This is every Native American reservation. People looking in windows, taking pictures, touching hair n regalia without asking, and saying our $60 crafts are too expensive. While their kid is on an iPad. Like, we know ur face cream costs more than that, Becky.

  6. Poverty is engineered so wealthy people can feel better about themselves.

  7. I’m South African and I’m proud Andrew ate a sheep’s head. Trust me they taste good

  8. Why are German speakers obsessed with these types of tours?? and why are they obsessed with Africans,,,or am i wrong?

  9. – Promotes "genuine" tourism where people "taste the food," "sip what [the locals] sip."
    – Makes another person do that.

  10. People and mostly if not always white people travel to France etc not one picture with a French child , travel to Africa or any other “impoverished” mostly darker skinned nation and pose with the children . Using them as ornaments of their supposed “altruism” , that is so cliche and disrespectful and if not racist definitely treads the line .

  11. What goes around comes around, in the next life they will be the extremely poor.

  12. "Just incase bring an Andrew" you're a mess Jim. I give you an A for effort😄.

  13. It's quite condescending to suggest there is no reason to go to a township other than to get a glimpse of poverty. You're basically saying that these people and places have absolutely nothing to offer or show except to make me feel lucky about not living there. Bullshit. Tourists go to these places for a variety of reasons, and I notice you didnt ask ONE tourist WHY they chose to go on the tour. You just enjoyed the tour yourselves while criticising the "other" tourists. Hypocrites.

  14. Ummm, when massive tour groups go stomping through my neighbourhood in New York, London, Sydney – does anybody say "well do the locals get something from this or just the tour operators?" – what's the difference? You're invading my neighbourhood and gawking at my way of life and nobody is paying me for it.

  15. Jim: Look how elitist and patronising those other white people are.
    Also Jim: No, I won't share a beer with you, that's disgusting.

  16. 4:27 my mother did this to an Amish child one time. We have not spoken in a decade.

  17. Fine! I'll be the one to say it: That German lady photographing the kid has a phat ass! Ooh!

  18. Fucking hypocrite. Criticising Germans for doing poverty tour, but won't even share a beer with the locals. Do you think a single fucking resident of ANY township, favela, or slum GETS to be a germophobe? Does a single one of them have the luxury to choose to be a germophobe? But oh, look at those bad Germans taking photos, let me film them with my five-man camera crew. I can't believe you posted this hypocritical WANKY SHITE

  19. If poverty tourism is so abominable, why is there no mention of the people who created the industry and are profiting from people's poverty? Shouldnt they be the focus of your scorn? Oh, but that narrative doesn't help us demonise the big bad whitey

  20. You're apparently so worried about whether the locals are getting a cut of the guide's minuscule fee, but I'm here wondering how many locals will get a cut of the millions in advertising revenue from the tv show you broadcast this on……? Fucking hypocrite.

  21. I live in St. Thomas, USVI. I used to live in St. John, USVI and on a recent trip there where this is a terrible opiod crisis. Texans have opened up a business here making fun of f-upped people here. I couldn't believe it! Texans like to come here and make fun of displaced Stateside people who are drunk, high, etc. Thank you for making this video. Tourists who do this are assholes.

  22. I get giving up the booze because it killes your liver and that kills you. But giving up meat and being underhanded with your guests. I'm done with JeffriesI forget what his first name is but it's not Jim.

  23. Because we all know, I don't drink alcohol. 😒😒. These people obviously never saw a Jim Jefferies show!

  24. Act like you'd want someone to act in your neighborhood.
    Excellent advice Jim! Respect the local cultures, treat everyone with dignity. I wouldn't want some strangers snapping off photos of my children to show to their posh friends back home!

  25. Unless its an inside joke, it was weak and, to be honest, quite cunty of Jim not drink/ share that hooch..

  26. When I was in Joburg aka Johannesburg back in 2002 I had both the honor and privilege of staying at Lilliesleaf. It was a very special experience for me to learn and see where Nelson Mandela and other revolutionaries used to hide out and were arrested during the fight to end apartheid. Truly learning how "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". The U.S was calling the revolutionaries terrorists meanwhile a fellow African from the north was funding Nelson Mandela's cause. So wouldn't the man or country who helped the cause of fighting and ending apartheid also be considered a freedom fighter… but that man was called a "mad dog " by the U.S.. That's correct Muammar Gaddafi was the man who help fund Nelson Mandela's revolution against apartheid and Mandela never forgot that and became very close friends with Gaddafi after being released from being imprisoned. Mandela even referred to Gaddafi as the Guide Gaddafi. Mandela even ripped Obama a new ass when asked why would he invite Gaddafi to South Africa.
    I still have no clue why Jim Jefferies moved to the U.S when he's so much more of a humanitarian and realist than the warmongering irrational fascists of the US.

  27. How about squeezing every penny from those rich tourist going on the "poverty tour" and use those money to fixing the problem in those poverty town

  28. If you have enough money to fly to an impoverished county to gawk at poor people…you have too much fucking money!

  29. Disappointing revolting won't be sad if they became statistic

  30. The poverty rate in the U.S. is about 12% (reported) and an estimate of unreported (due to poverty) is another 12%. So stay home Americans and take a short drive with the family. Let me know what happens or where you were hospitalized after you started snapping pics.

  31. This is not a f*****g safari. This is disgusting. People are just walking through someone’s house. You can educate without dehumanizing people

  32. Really…. ESAU, come to tour their handiwork. Be mindful of these red people always putting noses where it doesn't belong. The theif comes but to kill, steal and destroy that's their history. BE MINDFUL

  33. If these people want a real poverty tour, they should come to my home state of Alabama.

  34. OMG this is unbelievable!! This is disgusting… Who are these freaks!??

  35. You can't watch this whole eating, it's not that it's disgusting, it's just that it's too damn funny 😂

  36. I just saw an Australian turn down beer! Either pigs are about to fly, or this show is fake!

  37. Most are German because we actually care about poverty, but most don't know that the tour doesn't actually help anyone

  38. Bin dai(the black guy): " how do you move from a tour to a visit?"

    2 sec later…
    Jim: " let's take a tour" SMH

  39. The towns people should rob the tourist. They get the money and the tourist get an authentic experience. It’s a win win.

  40. These fuckers should just come to my house ! They feel bad being rich well I feel bad being poor as fuc

  41. So quick question… were Jim and his crew considered well-off as they toured the area… taking pictures/filming… essentially being the same thing they are reporting on others doing?

  42. That's fucked up. Maybe they should help instead of pretending it's an open air human zoo

  43. I'm not surprised by this. People did this in the Victorian ages to look at poor areas in London "tours. In New Orleans, a few years after Katrina they actually dared to take you to rough hit areas as a tour. The people in NOLA obviously were pissed.

  44. I know i would robbe and assault every each on of those meat-bags… And fuck some women…

  45. Why won't these cunts go take a tour at Favela do Alemão??? it's a once in a life time experience, 'cause you won't be alive to try it a second time.

  46. i absolutely hate this poverty tour ,, dont bring in your cameras and make a spectacle out of the poverty ,,, dont ever do this ,,

  47. Better start paying for those pictures ! I know when those white people get back home to their countries they are clowning us. My people are poor but not stupid they see what's going on, just that they need the money, so since this won't stop, atleast make them pay for everything. Sad 🇿🇦💯

  48. We have the same issue in my country Kenya 🇰🇪

    These tourist saviours zoom past the city, pass the rehabilitated areas of the slum and look for the most "disadvantaged" person, take pictures and talk about how the experience was life-changing.

    Some go into rural areas where some ethnic communities are trying hard to preserve a cultural lifestyle. Then these tourists paint a narrative of how hard it must be living in such an environment. They can't get it through their heads that not everybody desires an urban lifestyle.

    They try enticing kids with their fancy gadgets and treats, despite their parent's distaste, just to score a picture of a kid in the slums or a village.

    It's so disrespectful because they go out of their way to make it a sob story. 😖

  49. Its happening since ages in India..its a better tour since space is much more limited for population reasons..visit Dharavi..get real bang for your buck 🙈

  50. Bitches out on trying the beer and food, fucking insulting. Jim Jeffries is a closet racist but has to stick to his agenda to keep his career afloat fuck this dude!

  51. I thought it was somewhat disrespectful that Jim refused to try the food or beer. I know he was trying to be funny but he completely undermined his entire point.

  52. I don't drink alcohol. I'm a vegetarian.. Andrew!!!!.. LOL.. Jim is by far my favorite comedian of the day..

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