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The Role of Heritage

De Rust’s identity, character and charm is determined by the mix of simple Karoo Georgian and Victorian style architecture, it’s water furrows (lei-water), it’s tree lined streets and agricultural character, as well as spectacular mountain views of the Swartberg and Kamanassie ranges in every direction. 

The Western Cape has a rich mix of influences to its architecture and heritage, as it is the oldest part of South Africa as we know it. 

The future prosperity of the “Village” depends on successful conservation of this Heritage. Without it, De Rust will not prosper, neither will its residents. It is this character that draws both tourists and newcomers to the Village, as in the past. Through conservation, an attractive environment for tourism and trade is created which in turn promotes both the local economy and job creation. 

The vast majority of the buildings in De Rust are over 60 years old with most being built between 1880 and 1935 and are therefore, protected by the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999. 

In terms of the above act The South African Heritage and Resources Agency (SAHRA) is charged with ensuring that “no building older than 60 years may be altered, demolished, destroyed, damaged or moved without a Permit from Heritage Western Cape – a division of SAHRA. 

Owners are therefore obliged to apply for a Permit to effect alterations of any kind. Each property owner is an important role-player in the conservation process. Any insensitive alteration devalues a property and as a result the Village as a whole. A well conserved or restored building will also enjoy enhanced real estate value.