Winner creates jobs, promotes tourism
Ernest Boima, Limpopo winner of the Community Builder of the Year Award in the group category, believes that tourists should be allowed to see every nook and cranny of South Africa.
Boima, of the Kopanang Community Project, will now compete for the national award, which is sponsored by Sowetan, the SABC and Old Mutual.
Boima said: "Tourists should be allowed to visit and see even the remotest, most rural parts of South Africa because the real South Africa is here, where we are, not only in the country's urban areas."
Through the Community Builder of the Year Award, the sponsors, organisers and the nine provincial Social Services and Development Departments recognise people who volunteer their services to become part of the nation-building process.
Kopanang, which is based in Mopye Village in the Modjadji area, promotes village tourism and it has created employment for villagers.
"We make and sell beadwork and traditional apparel and we are also involved in African traditional carpentry and upholstery," Boima said.
The organisation runs a programme to educate tour guides about heritage.
Boima said: "This is a prestigious award. Only the best in all the nine provinces make it. We tried, but were unsuccessful in 2005.
"We are proud of the work we are doing for the people of Mopye, Modjadji, Bolobedu, Letaba and Tzaneen."
Other winners are Mafemani Mabunda, Noriah Mabunda and Leah Dlomu.