Sweet home comforts (South Africa)

Christine McCabe – The Austrailian – THE TOWNSHIP HOSPITALITY TEST samples a new accommodation initiative in South Africa – Sat 4 April, 2009

JACQUELINE Moli is a busy grandmother living in Joza township on the outskirts of Grahamstown, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

Jacqueline Moli. Picture: Christine McCabe

Jacqueline Moli. Picture: Christine McCabe

During her spare time Moli takes in guests, mostly South Africans, but more recently a smattering of international visitors dropping by as part of a home-stay program that puts tourists in touch with a side of South Africa they would not otherwise experience.

A pretty university town about an hour’s drive from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown has wide, leafy streets and quaint 19th-century timber buildings painted in fetching shades of pale blue and yellow. Home to one of the largest arts festivals in the country and a lively nightlife during term, Grahamstown is seen as a bit of a honey-pot by jaded urbanites seeking a picturesque tree change.

Capital of so-called Settler Country, the town boasts a cathedral, several museums and a collection of handsome university buildings, the architectural tone lightened somewhat by an inordinate number of hair salons, reflecting what appears to be a national obsession with coiffure. . .

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