STILBAAI NUUS - The old St Augustines Church is lovingly being restored to its former glory by die Dreamcatcher Foundation.
Anthea Rossouw discussed this special project with South Cape Forum. The church itself has already being restored and is a culture centrum currently being built to house art and entrepreneur exhibitions. The first mortuary which is situated on the grounds will be transformed in a flower shop where locals and visitors can buy local fynbos flowers. The old graves are also being restored and research is being done to identify each grave.
Situated about 7km inland from the popular seaside holiday town of Stilbaai, Melkhoutfontein is certainly one of Hessequa's most underrated gems. It was established as a fisherman's settlement in the 1850s with its cute, white-washed and thatch-roofed houses quickly becoming its defining feature.
The hamlet's history took a controversial and unfortunate turn during Apartheid when it was set apart as a coloured residential area and segregated from Stilbaai, cutting it off from many economic opportunities. Despite this setback, the community has managed to cling to its proud heritage and is now reaping the benefits of being one of the Southern Cape's hotspots for unstaged, intra-cultural tourism experiences.
Supported by Dutch NGO, the Dreamcatcher Foundation, Melkhoutfontein offers a number of cultural activities, including a walkabout through the village, mouth-watering traditional cook-ups hosted by local women in their very own kitchens and home stays, giving visitors a peek into the everyday life of this warm-hearted community.