Prior to joining APC Esterhuysen was executive director of South African APC member SANGONeT, an Internet service provider and training institution for civil society, labour and community organizations. From 1987 to 1992, when she joined SANGONeT, she did information and communication work in development and human rights organizations in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
During this period, and while she was at SANGONeT, Esterhuysen, with many others, helped establish email and Internet connectivity in Southern Africa. SANGONeT hosted a Fidonet hub that provided universities and nongovernmental organizations in, among other places, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with email links to global networks as part of a collaboration between the APC and the United Nations Development Programme.
She has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa’s African Information Society Initiative and was a member of the United Nations ICT Task Force from 2002 to 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Task Working Group on Financing Mechanisms, and the Commission for Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements.
She is currently a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum and serves on the boards of Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative and Ungana-Afrika. Esterhuysen has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice.