More than twenty years after the end of Apartheid, South Africa is still marked by gross inequality. Although its economy is one of the largest and most advanced in Africa, unemployment persists at a high level and more than half of the population lives in poverty. The settlements on the outskirts of Durban are characterised by a scarcity of jobs offering regular incomes, lack of access to electricity and running water, and insufficient infrastructure. In rural areas, disparities in education, income and wealth become even more pronounced.
In 2015 the Secretary of State, Federal and European Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, together with the city of Durban, launched a programme to develop sustainable tourism in Durban’s outer districts. The project aims to create income-earning opportunities, jobs and new career prospects for disadvantaged groups in the tourism sector. Key to the success of this project: putting outer districts on tourists’ radar, connecting tourists with service providers, and making tourist offers more attractive. Project activities in Durban include raising visitors’ awareness of the diverse offerings that are already available, developing new offerings, and supporting local service providers in their approach to foreign customers. In Germany, a Fair Trade product hand-crafted in Durban will serve as a marketing tool for the region.
Project partners include Bremen University of Applied Sciences (Applied Leisure Studies and Tourism Management), Bremen Information Center for Human Rights and Development (biz), Bremen Tourist Office (BTZ), Durban Green Corridors (DGC), and the South African NGO Africa!Ignite.