13-07-2012 Sharon Paterson with her employers, Agnes Sebopela and Renetah Malatji and other troubled community of Pilgrim�s Rest including residents and business owners are not letting the government take over their land.Photo: Tiro Ramatlhatse.

Johannesburg - Business in the Mpumalanga heritage town of Pilgrim's Rest has been brisk as visitors flock to see the village in the midst of concern over its future, according to a report on Friday.

Many local shops have sold out of souvenirs bearing the village's name, even though business owners were granted a reprieve on Thursday, Business Day reported.

The High Court in Pretoria issued an order barring provincial authorities from evicting business owners. Last month, the Mpumalanga public works department handed them eviction notices in an effort to transform the town.

Business owners raised questions over the department's ability to run the town and the tender process. Pilgrim's Pantry owner Sharon Paterson offered around R294 000 for her business over five years, but the lease was awarded to a party offering only R5800 over the same period.

Of the recent boom in sales at the village, which became a national monument in 1986, Paterson said: “It's a pity they only support us when they think it will be taken away”. “South Africans need to support their heritage.” - Sapa