Some politicians complain that white people care more about their pets than the majority of their impoverished black compatriots.
“If a person can afford to keep their dog in such circumstances, that’s their business,” said Hassan Khan, who works at The Haven District 6 feeding center next to SuperWoof.
Tilana Kruger, a 35-year-old estate agent, recently moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town and regularly deposits her beagle with AtFrits.
“He can’t wait, he literally jumps out of the car,” she told AFP by phone.
Whether luxury dog hotels should exist in a country with such high levels of poverty and inequality remains a moot point.
A stay in AtFrits’ most expensive room costs R535 ($35) per day. The government sets the national poverty line at R890 per month.
Yanic Klue, owner of AtFrits, says she is doing her part to fight poverty by creating jobs.
“I have 37 employees that I give income to,” she said.
She donates 10% of hotel revenue to help stray dogs, including neutering.
She also runs a non-profit project that teaches poor township women in South Africa to sew dog clothes for the hotel boutique.
South Africa’s strict lockdown at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic reduced demand for dog hotels because people were working from home and not going on holiday.