Melville Saayman

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Melville Saayman (1965-2019) was a lecturer and researcher in tourism and a prolific writer about the economics and logistics of South African festivals and other public events.


Born on May 24, 1965 in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa, the son of Melville Saayman and Martha Maria (Goosen) van Aswegen.

He completed the following degrees: Bachelor in Physical Education, University Pretoria, South Africa, 1983. Bachelor in Recreation with honors, University Pretoria, 1987. Master of Arts in Recreation, University Pretoria, 1989, Doctor of Philosophy in Recreation, University Pretoria, 1993.

Became a teacher for the Transvaal Education Department, South Africa, 1987-1991, and in 1992 senior lecturer and later professor Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, South Africa. Was a Director of the South African Tourism Board (1997-2019), National Zoological Gardens, South Africa (1997-2019), the South African Recreation Council (1998-2019) and the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies, South Africa (1996-2019) and Director and vice chairman of the Northwest Parks and Tourism Board, South Africa (1996-2019).

Also a member of the Transvaal Athletics Association, 1991-1995. Lieutenant South African Defense Force, 1990-1991. Member Association International Experts in Tourism, International Sport Tourism Association, African Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the Marco Polo Committee on Statistics of Travel and Tourism.

Founder and director of the Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society research unit (TREES), which began operations on 1 January 2009 on the Northwestern University's Potchefstroom campus.

He contracted cancer and passed away on 14 March 2019 at the age of 53, leaving his wife, Andrea van Rooy, and a daughter, Dominique.

Contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance

For a list of his numerous works on tourism and public performance events, see the profile entry on Researchgate[1].

For the impressive list of more specific works on matters relating to theatre, the performing arts industry, festivals and festival culture, and other performance matters in South Africa, by Saayman and his co-authors and students, see the ESAT Bibliography.


Go to the ESAT Bibliography

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