Notes on the Geography of South Africa: Swellendam 1: Houses: Photo 6
The house was built by one Johannes Rothmann. The letters JVDS apparently stand for "Jaar Van De Slaven," the Year of the Slaves. That would be 1834, the year of the abolition of slavery. Why Rothmann put that on his front gable is unknown but at least suggests that the event was transformational.
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