Towards the development of sustainable education and employment opporumities in the hospitality industry through an authentic homestead experience: A case study of Shobeni, KwaZulu-Natal
Media reports show that South Africa is engulfed by the clouds of abject poverty and unemployment. These conditions lead to many social ills: hunger, a lack of self esteem, the poor performance of children at school due to malnutrition and the general low morale within communities. This condition seems to worsen as one moves towards the rural areas. As a result, the government has embarked on a number of projects in an attempt to help the destitute. This requires support from all South Africans. In view of the above, this study aimed to investigate the possibility of developing sustainable education and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry through the provision of cultural tourism at a proposed homestead Lodge. The study's objectives were firstly to explore the possibility of offering development in the form of sustainable education in the rural community of Shobeni village, located along the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Secondly, the study aimed to explore the possibility of establishing a Homestead Lodge at Shobeni to provide employment opportunities to the community, while facilitating tourist access to an authentic rural experience. Lastly, it wanted to examine the possibility of linking to a teaching institution such as the Durban University of Technology to ensure the continuity of fresh ideas through research and education. The data collected revealed that the rural villages are rich in cultural tourism. The approach taken for data collection was of a qualitative nature, as thirty study participants were interviewed based on their knowledge of the subject under study. For the analysis of field data an auto/ethnographic approach was adopted. further exercise was completed to select the kind of cultural products deemed suitable for such a project. A participatory approach was employed to ensure that the community had a say in the decision-making process. The study concluded that it is possible to create a project of this nature. The recommendation is that the implementation stage should start immediately after all stakeholders have been consulted.