Cape Town

Saint Lounge is one of several Cape Town hot spots that recently made headlines for the wrong reasons.
Images via Facebook

Racism, ‘scams’: 5 Cape Town hotspots that made headlines

Not such a Saint? These Cape Town clubs and restaurants courted controversy for allegations of racism and ‘money laundering’.

Cape Town

Saint Lounge is one of several Cape Town hot spots that recently made headlines for the wrong reasons.
Images via Facebook

Cape Town may be one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa – and the world – however, it’s quickly gaining a reputation for its less-than-friendly popular hotspots. 

Despite the views to die for, many restaurants, nightclubs, and pubs in the Mother City have been accused of unsavoury behaviour towards their patrons.


This week, Saint Lounge in  Harrington Street made headlines for all the wrong reasons – again – after it promised a three-night performance by US singer Akon.

ALSO READ: ‘Where’s my R1m?’: Patrons demand refund over Saint’s Akon saga

However, mid “tour,” the establishment claimed that Akon had been a “no-show,” despite them paying his booking fee. But for patrons and social media users, their explanation did not add up, given their excessive charges of R1 million for a single table booking and their lack of transparency in the saga.

Many accused Saint Lounge of “false advertising” and even “money laundering”!

ALSO READ: Akon no-show: What did Cape Town club Saint charge R1m for?

It’s not the first time the Cape Town club has made headlines.

R1 million table bookings

Like their Akon promise of a performance, their New Year’s Eve gig also charged patrons up to R1 million for a table booking. According to the establishment, the fee was the “minimum spend” for patrons to spend at the club.

“Most Wanted” list

Late last year, Saint Lounge named and shamed several patrons for running up high bar tabs.

Named and shamed by Mihlali for non-payment 

Weeks before shaming patrons, the Cape Town hotspot was called out by influencer Mihlali Ndamase for non-payment. This, over a gig she hosted earlier in 2022.


Apart from Saint Lounge, many Cape Town pubs and restaurants have been named and shamed over allegations that they racially profiled patrons.


Last year, Lebohang Mosia, a film director and producer from Cape Town, tweeted about how she and her boyfriend were turned away from booking a table at the famous Camps Bay restaurant and rooftop bar. This after her partner used his “real name.”

Lebohang then revealed that her boyfriend made another booking using the name “James Hunter,” which was immediately accepted.

READ MORE: ‘Wish I was joking’: Tweep shares ‘racist’ encounter at CPT bar Chinchilla

Hank’s Olde Irish Pub

The Cape Town pub was accused of racially profiling a black patron, allegedly claiming he needed a “white person” to gain entry.

READ MORE: ‘Clap for him’: Praise for white man who confronts ‘racist’ [watch]


In 2021, Zenzero in Cape Town came under fire after the manager turned a customer away who was dressed ‘inappropriately.’

READ MORE: Tweeps boycott Cape restaurant after Nigerian model cries discrimination


In 2019, influencer Ze Shozi – the sister of Sithelo Shozi – named and shamed the Constantia wine farm after she alleged that they “chased away” her group of friends.