Socially and architecturally significant Rex Trueform declared heritage site | Western Cape Government



Socially and architecturally significant Rex Trueform declared heritage site

12 February 2019

The Rex Trueform Factory Complex in Salt River was officially unveiled as a provincial heritage site on Monday 11 February 2019, as a result of its economic, social and architectural significance to Cape Town.

Architects Andrews and Niegemann designed the building and construction was completed in 1948. Anroux Marais, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, unveiled a new plaque at the front entrance of the building.

“As a result of in-depth research and following the relevant official processes, the historical and social significance of the Rex Trueform Factory Complex can now be highlighted,” Minister Marais said during her speech. 

“The Rex Trueform Factory Complex is socially and architecturally significant as it is testimony to both the workers’ rights movement and the modern functionalist movement of the mid-twentieth century. Once a giant in the global clothing industry, Rex Trueform employed many residents of the then ‘coloured’ Salt River district and even further away from the Cape Flats. Notably, many were ‘coloured’ women - a constituency who had not entered the job market in significant numbers before this time. This large factory complex testifies to the growth in South Africa’s working class after World War II, specifically in the textile industry and the pivotal role women played in contributing to the economy.”

After the Rex Trueform factory closed in 2005, the building was converted into an office park and is currently home to several businesses. Marcel Golding, Chairman of the Rex Trueform board of directors, said the current owner chose to retain the name of the business because of the history linked to it.

“Wherever I have been across the country, when you mention Rex Trueform it’s amazing what people say. They remember the name, because either they had a suit from Rex Trueform or their uncle or father worked here,” he said. 

“There is always some connection to Rex Trueform. So in that sense even though we have taken over the company we have not changed the name because we recognise the historical importance. If these walls could talk they would tell you many stories about what has taken place.

The building’s new heritage status means is protected under the National Heritage Resources Act. The Western Cape Government ensures that important historic sites are conserved for future generations. BETTER TOGETHER.

Media Enquiries: 

Dr Tania Colyn
Head of Communication Service
Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 021 483 9877 / 076 093 4913