Rosendal in the Eastern Free State of South Africa was used as a case study and included the predominantly white town of Rosendal, the black township of Mautse and the surrounding farming community. The area is known as a retreat for city dwellers from the Gauteng region and the capital of the Free State province, namely Bloemfontein.


43 km north of Ficksburg in the Free State province of South Africa; approximately 41 km from the town of Senekal, and; 124 km from Bethlehem, which is the nearest large urban centre where inventory can be purchased at competitive prices.   


Rosendal was founded in 1908. It has become a popular tourist destination, known for spectacular scenery, including the surrounding mountains, and is home to a community of artists and small business owners. The town has a number of attractive buildings and early-20th-century homes and is a weekend destination.

Some residents of Mautse came from Lesotho in search of a better life, but most came as a result of the Land Reform Act–at the end of apartheid–when government brought in minimum wage such that black labourers who were once fed and sheltered on white land could no longer do so.


490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)


Rosendal’s resident population is about 100, with 61 living there full-time. Population statistics for Mautse vary, but it’s thought to be home to around 4,500 (ref. 2011 Census).

0-16 years48? %
17 - 30 years %
31 - 45 years %
46 - 65 years %
66 and older %

Approximate annual growth rate: 4 %


Art, Convenience Stores, Coop, Farming, Tourism

Rosendal is home to several art galleries, a (magnificent) antique store, a boutique hotel and a cafe cum restaurant that hosts monthly dinner theatre.

Mautse has a very high level of unemployment. Poverty is rampant with most residents living in shacks on government issued land. Many of the children are taken care of by their grandparents as their parents left to the city for work. Provided they haveproof of residency, most receive a monthly stipend (pension). Some use their small plots of land to cultivate fresh produce, but most rely on empty calories obtained through a traditional maize dish, that looks like mashed potato.


Hiking, Horseback Riding, Permaculture Workshops, Spiritual Tours

Possibility of mountain biking.


Local Food Production, Permaculture Community Based Business Services, Tourist Activities


  1. To increase employment on Mautse;
  2. Increase education and skills development in and outside of school;
  3. Increase community based development.


  1. Sotho: 94.4%
  2. Afrikaans 3.1%
  3. Sign language 1.1%
  4. Other 1.4%

Only about 20% of Mautse children go to school. Some local projects work with children to increase english language skills.


Mautse has a community IT centre with 7 computers, but no internet access as yet. Most have access to a mobile phone


Drought, Poverty
  1. Legal issues establishing business, building houses etc (licensing, permits, insurance, zoning, government regulations, patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.) - requires knowledge for how to access. Unfamiliarity, complexity, cost and fear of bureaucratic policy can be off-putting.
  2. Disenfranchisement and lack of economic opportunity–self value and confidence–demotivates youth.
  3. School uniforms are mandatory. Inability to prove residence prevents those who cannot afford to buy uniforms to receive their right to government aid through which to do so.
  4. Lack of nutritional awareness and uncertainty of land ownership discourages the people of Mautse to invest time cultivating their lots to grow food.


Physical Landscape, Strong Social Fabric

Many of Rosendal's–predominately white–residents are highly educated, offering a realm of creative, practical (carpentry sewing etc) business and media skills. Most have the desire to contribute to the challenges faced by Mautse.

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