The principal drivers of Grassland Biome conversion and degradation in South Africa include agricultural intensification, plantation forestry, urban expansion, and mining, together with invasive non-native plants and insidious rural sprawl. This biome is poorly conserved and in dire need of restoration, an ecologically centered practice gaining increasing traction given its wide application to people and biodiversity in this emerging culture of renewal. The pioneering proponent of restoration in South Africa in the mining industry, primarily to restore surface stability using vegetation cover. We noticed a historical progression from production-focused non-native pastures to more diverse suites of native species and habitats in the restoration landscape. This paradigm shift towards the proactive “biodiversity approach” necessitates assisted natural regeneration, mainly through revegetation with grasses, using plugs, sods, and/or seeds, together with long-lived perennial forbs. We discuss key management interventions such as ongoing control of invasive non-native plants, the merits of fire and grazing, and the deleterious impacts of fertilizers. We also highlight areas of research requiring further investigation. The “biodiversity approach” has limitations and is best suited to restoring ecological processes rather than attempting to match the original pristine state. We advocate conserving intact grassland ecosystems as the key strategy for protecting grassland biodiversity, including small patches with disproportionately high biodiversity conservation value.