2000• Community Development Award

>> Back to 2000 Awards


Anthea Roussouw has taken literally Nelson Mandela’s exhortation to re-build South Africa and create a “better life for all”.

Giving particular attention to the empowerment of women, she utilizes tourism as a means of economic upliftment of local communities.  As a generator of foreign income in South Africa, tourism ranks fourth; in some areas it is second only to agriculture. 

Emphasizing the economic advantages of tourism implies extensive community work and liaison.  South African tourism initiatives must be developed by the community for the advantage of the community, who therefore take responsibility for their own development and progress.  It is through Anthea’s efforts that a previously destitute community, in a forgotten fishing village has become one of the premier eco-tourism destinations in South Africa. 

Called “Dreamcatcher” by the people, she has portrayed incredible insight and commitment, at a time when there was no available expertise, in re-developing disadvantaged communities through tourism. 
Hundreds of permanent jobs have been created in one community alone.

Anthea has been active in the re-development of various underdeveloped communities in South Africa, using tourism as the stimulator of local economic development, investment and job creation.

The model of this practice has been proclaimed a blueprint for the reconstruction and development of marginalised townships in post-apartheid South Africa.  It has recently received the Nelson Mandela Masakhane prize for excellence in socio-economic advancement.

Anthea has also designed a community based care program for senior citizens built on educating the communities that retired persons can contribute their knowledge and skills to assist looking after each other and those less fortunate.  This is done by recruiting many volunteers, effectively putting the senior citizen back into the community with dignity.  A similar model is in place for the disabled.

Anthea has recently stepped down as Director on the National and Provincial Tourism Boards,
where she worked tirelessly to ensure availability of funds to market South Africa and to

ensure that the products in the communities she has assisted to uplift, become part of mainstream tourism itineraries. Due to her extensive exposure to all facets of tourism, in terms of attractions and particularly community based experiences, she is a powerhouse of knowledge on how to experience the real Africa and meet its’ hospitable people. 

Her Tourism Marketing Practice, Dreamcatcher, is re-writing travel itineraries to South Africa, offering more than a bus window experience, thus ensuring that tourism works where the communities live. 

Anthea also conducts workshops, and is a motivational speaker for community and tourism stakeholders throughout South Africa, enabling them to replicate her successes in Stilbaai, and various other communities.

Throughout her work Anthea has encouraged her fellow citizens to strive for equality and a greater role in society, particularly striving to uplift and empower women.  Her model for the economic uplifting of local communities through tourism is a blueprint for the rest of South Africa.