History of De Rust

Province: Western Cape
Klein Karoo
Coordinates:33°28′S 22°31′E
Area:17.63 km2
Municipality: Oudtshoorn

The farm De Rust “Aan d’ Olyphants Rivier”. was allocated to Johannes H. Schoeman in 1765, reallocated to him in 1775 and then allocated to R. Van Jaarsveld in 1787. These “leningsplase” (loan farms) were allocated to farmers by the colonial authorities. The next owner of the property was Marthinus Bekker to whom it was transferred in 1809. By 1812 he had become a wealthy large property owner.
The area was a popular area for travelling farmers to “outspan” It was near a mountain spring and was a good place to rest before tackling the route through the gorge. The village of De Rust was established in 1900 on part of the farm.
Farmers in the Karoo experienced some difficulty transporting wool and other products to Cape Town. Mossel Bay is the closest harbour but the products still had to travel by ox wagon and there was no route through the Swartberg mountains.
Petrus Johannes Meiring came to the area in the 1820s. He was there to explore the Elephants River Valley between Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West, and to find a route through the Swartberg Mountains. He discovered this while following the Karoo’s Great River which flows through the gorge. The way became known as Meiringspoort. In 1858 a road was built which remains a vital link. It is also a famous tourist attraction due to its spectacular rock formations. The economy of the area is agricultural, ostriches, sheep, dairy, lucerne, and deciduous fruit.

In recent years tyhe village has become a popular arts and crafts destination. De Rust, has a pretty, tree-lined main street and its Donkie Teksie donkey cart is a quaint touch.  It’s a great stop with a lively restaurant and café scene.

The postcodes for De Rust are 6651 (Streets) and 6650 (Boxes)


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Things to see and do in De Rust

Useful Numbers

  • Police: 044 241 2050
  • Oudtshoorn municipality 044 241 2105
  • Traffic department:
  • Fire: 044 203 3000
  • Water:044 203 3000
  • Electricity:044 203 3000
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 044 241 2109
  • Library: 044 203 3941
  • Closest hospital; clinic 044 241 2057
  • Pharmacy;
  • SPCA:Garden route SPCA 044 693 0824
  • Schools: De Rust secondary school 044 241 2237
  • Tourism 044 241 2109                                                                                                                   [/vc_column_text]

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