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“De Rust Vision 2040” 

Where to for De Rust in the Future? 


Introduction: South Africa as a country has in the last two decades made major strides forward in a number of areas such as housing and the wider provision of water and electricity to local communities. However, at the same time we as a country have made many mistakes in governance at all levels including the Third Tier of Government at the local level where many problems exist.  


Municipalities by law are required to spend 80% of their budget in the historically disadvantaged areas which often does not leave adequate funding available to carry out planned maintenance on essential installed infrastructure. This has resulted in many municipalities failing to provide adequate essential services to all communities within their sphere of control.   


In addition, due to the state of the economy and high levels of unemployment non-payment for services delivered is common which again causes significant problems for both service providers at all levels of the economy including local municipalities and State Owned Enterprises such as Eskom and the various Water Boards among others.   


A Possible Solution: In order to ensure that De Rust continues to receive a fair share of the services purchased by the consumers from the Oudtshoorn Municipality it is necessary to have an active civic body to represent the voice of the property owners in the Village.  To this end it is proposed that as a starting point the property owners in De Rust must be able to make their voices heard, over and above the normal political channels which are often inefficient and open to corruption including the Ward Committee which is inefficient achieves little if anything.   


Bearing the above in mind it is suggested that a new non-political body be formed being the “De Rust Property Owners Action Group” representing all property owners in the Village.  This body should have a clear mandate and channel to raise concerns with the Oudtshoorn Municipality outside the normal political channels which are both inefficient and lack the necessary skills.   


There are many varied high level professional skills available in De Rust and the proposed De Rust Property Owners action group should be focussing on identifying and facilitating progress in the Village in a positive way. In addition, it is clear over two decades of democracy that many of the required skills are just not available in the municipalities, either through the elected political appointees or the municipal officials at all levels.  


Conclusion: Looking around the country in the 25 years since 1994 it is clear how much the provision of municipal and other level government services have declined. Without the active involvement of concerned citizens things will only get worse not better and if we wish to ensure the continued development of De Rust for all its inhabitants it is essential that we get involved.  


We are fortunate in having the De Rust Heritage Conservation Association, formed in 2008, as a model for managing positive change and development.  Structures already exist at both the municipal and provincial levels with De Rust Heritage and this can be mirrored by the proposed De Rust Property Owners body.  We call on concerned property owners to respond to this appeal.  


07 September, 2018