The aim of Heritage De Rust is to encourage the preservation and enhance the aesthetics of De Rust.

The information on this website is one of the tools available to achieving this aim. It provides a set of guidelines to:

  • enhance awareness of the architecture and streetscape of De Rust;
  • provide a reference to the legislation that protects these; and
  • encourage owners, buyers and developers to maintain the style, sense of place and character of the town/village.

Please note that this does not replace legislation and municipal regulations and should be read in conjunction with these. Particular attention should be given to the National Heritage Resources Act.

Types of Architecture found in the Greater Oudtshoorn Area

(1800 -1880)  Early mud-brick cottage. Flat “brakdak” with parapet or pitched and thatched  roof.. Verandahs and corrugated iron roofs added from 1880 (Georgian and early-Victorian Period).   

Brak Dak Cottage

(1860- 1890)  Structures in sandstone as well as plastered brick (Victorian period) .Many of the “villas” in De Rust are plastered brick designs.


Victorian Double Fronted De Rust

Preservation of De Rust's Architectural Heritage

Heritage Western Cape (HWC) is the provincial government authority that oversees the preservation of this area in terms of the NHRA. The local administrative authority is the Oudsthoorn Municipality (OM), which has the duty to protect the heritage of the Greater Oudtshoorn Area .

The South African Heritage Resources Management System is based on a system of grading. This provides for 3 grades:

GRADE I: National Heritage Sites (i.e. having heritage value of national significance)

GRADE II: Provincial Heritage Sites

GRADE III: Local Heritage Resources worthy of conservation.

The Grade III category is further sub-divided into 3 subcategories:

Grades IIIA, IIIB and IIIC. Grades IIIA and IIIB heritage resources have sufficient significance to be protected for their intrinsic merit. Grade IIIC heritage resources are significant primarily for their contextual significance (in a streetscape or area).

Buildings older than 60 years qualify for heritage protection if they are assessed as having heritage significance.

The National Heritage Resources Act No.25 of 1999 (NHRA) makes provision for the protection and management of all built structures older than 60 years.

Grade II Provincial Heritages Sites in the De Rust are:

  • Herrie’s Stone, Meiringspoort,
  • Dutch Reformed Church and Parsonage, Le Roux Street, De Rust
  • Watermill, Voelgesang, De Rust, Oudtshoorn District
  • Vredelus homestead, De Rust, Oudtshoorn District
  • Mons Ruber Estate Wine tasting room, Rietvlei, Oudtshoorn District
Water Mill De Rust

HWC has registered Heritage Oudsthoorn Erfenis Committee (HOE) (registration no.  HM/CB/0815/22 ) as a Conservation Body in terms of the NHRA. This mandates and obligates the HOE to review and comment on all proposals to alter heritage resources in Oudtshoorn, De Rust and the surrounding area, as well as all new building in the heritage sensitive areas of Oudtshoorn and De Rust.

The HOE also works with the OM in exercising its responsibility for the preservation of all Oudtshoorn’s heritage resources. HOE has an overview role on all developments within the entire Oudtshoorn area that impact on heritage resources.

All applications for work on the following are reviewed by the permit committee (members from HOE and De Rust Heritage)

  • all buildings (boundary walls and fences included) older than 60 years in addition to all graded buildings in the Oudtshoorn Administration Area; and
  • any proposals that require comment from Conservation Bodies in terms of the relevant sections of the NHRA.