Orania, Northern Cape
|District||Pixley ka Seme|
|• Chairman/mayor||Carel IV Boshoff|
|• Total||8.95 km2 (3.46 sq mi)|
|• Density||100/km2 (260/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||0.9%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||8752|
Orania is a South African town located along the Orange River in the arid Karoo region of Northern Cape province. Orania is unique in that population is entirely white and Afrikaans-speaking. The aim of the town is to create a stronghold for Afrikaans and the Afrikaner identity by keeping their language and culture alive. Anyone who defines themselves as an Afrikaner and identifies with Afrikaner ethnicity is welcome in Orania. In 2004 Orania introduced its own currency, the Ora. Seventy businesses are located in Orania.
- 1 History
- 2 Orania today
- 3 Co-operation with South African communities
- 4 Politics
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In December 1990, about 40 Afrikaner families, headed by Carel Boshoff, the son-in-law of former South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, bought the dilapidated town, which was a construction camp of builders of the Vanderkloof Dam on Orange River for around US$ 200,000. This was a few months after the repeal of apartheid laws and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. The town is privately owned by the Vluytjeskraal Aandeleblok company. The farm on which Orania was founded, is called "Vluytjekraal". Along the Orange river grows a fine reed, called "fluitjiesriet" or in old Dutch spelling "Vluytjesriet," meaning whistle reed. A kraal is an Afrikaans loanword borrowed from Portuguese curral, for cattle enclosure. As wood for poles is scarce, these reeds were traditionally used for building cattle enclosures, until stone structures could be erected. Aandeleblok ("share block") refers to the company structure that allows people to buy shares and thereby obtain the right to stay on and work a piece of ground within the property of the company. The shareholders thus own the company, which in turn owns the property. The town was bought from the Department of Water Affairs, which built the town for the workers building a canal network utilising the water in the Orange River, when the project was completed.
According to its founders, the purpose of Orania is to create a town where the preservation of Afrikanerdom's cultural heritage is strictly observed and Afrikaner selfwerksaamheid ("self reliance") is an actual practice, not just an idea. All jobs, from management to manual labour, are filled by Afrikaners only; non-Afrikaner workers are not permitted. "We do not want to be governed by people who are not Afrikaners", said Potgieter, the previous chairman. "Our culture is being oppressed and our children are being brainwashed to speak English".
The town's ultimate objective is to create an Afrikaner majority in the north-western cape, by encouraging the construction of other such towns, with the eventual goal of an Afrikaner majority in the area and an independent Afrikaner state between Orania and the west coast; also known as a Volkstaat.
Flag of Orania
The flag comprises a small boy, pulling up his sleeves, and a blue and orange background, traditional Afrikaner colours.
The idea of a strictly Afrikaner settlement in modern South Africa is not new. In the 1980s, a group of right-wing Afrikaners, led by HF Verwoerd's son-in-law formed a group called the Oranjewerkers. They also planned a community based on "Afrikaner self-determination", and attempted to create a neo-"boerstaat" (lit. "Farmer State," a reference to an idiomatic term for an Afrikaner-only state) in the remote Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga) community of Morgenzon.
In November 2005, around 60 Cape Coloured families lodged a land claim with the government, for around 483 hectares of land within the town. These families claimed to have lived in the town from 1965, when it was first constructed, up until 1991, when it was sold by the government. The claimants hold that they were forced to leave in 1991, when the town was converted into Orania, and that this constitutes a forced removal in terms of race. The community of Orania opposed the claim. The land claim was settled in December 2006 when the South African government agreed to pay the claimants R2,9 million in compensation.
As of 2010[update], Orania is home to an unknown number of inhabitants, with around 10,000 registered supporters. Orania has three residential areas Kleingeluk ("small happiness"), Grootdorp ("big town") and Orania Wes ("Orania West"). In Orania people from all levels of society perform their own manual labour.
The people of Orania believe in protecting the environment.
- The town recycles the garbage of its residents. Residents sort their own garbage and place it into five different trash cans.
- All new houses must have solar-geysers for hot water.
- Various people in the town are looking at ways to switch over to green electricity.
- In the town there are a number of different ecological buildings, for example a straw bale house with a living roof.
- An earthship (aardskip) is currently being built in Orania. Progress of the earthship construction can be seen at the Project Aardskip blog.
There are two schools, the CVO Skool Orania (where CVO stands for Christelike Volks-Onderwys or Christian People's-Education) and Die Volkskool Orania (Orania People's School). Although the official curriculum is followed, special emphasis is placed on Afrikaner history and Christian religion, though with some differences in their teaching methods.
- The CVO-school is run along conventional lines.
- The Volkskool use a self-driven teaching (selfgedrewe) system which is unorthodox by South African standards.
Economy and agriculture
During April 2004, Orania launched its own monetary system, called the Ora, based on the idea of discount shopping vouchers. The Orania local banking institution, the Orania Spaar- en Kredietkoöperatief ("Orania Savings and Credit Co-operative") is in charge of this initiative. Orania recently launched its own chequebook.
Orania's tourism industry is showing rapid development with the completion of a luxury river spa and boutique hotel complex in 2009. Orania Toere (Orania Tours), Orania's first registered tour operator, was also launched in 2009.
In 2010 thirteen independent hospitality businesses operate in Orania. This includes a caravan park, self-catering flats, rooms, hotel and guest-houses.
In 2005, after complaints by citizens, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa shut down Orania's unlicensed Radio Club 100 radio station, on grounds of its alleged racism. The station's equipment was seized. No criminal charges were laid against the operators of the radio station, who claim that the radio station broadcast harmless news about birthdays and social events. Management of the radio station claimed that they repeatedly applied for a radio licence in order to be a community broadcaster like other radio stations in the country.
After being granted a licence toward the end of 2007 Orania radio restarted broadcasting on 13 April 2008 on 95.5 MHz.
In January 2010, Afrikaans daily newspaper Beeld published an article by Frans de Klerk, chief executive of Orania, in which he sets out what he views as the successes of Orania. De Klerk also distanced the town from racist organizations using Orania to further their own causes. Shortly after, Die Burger, another Afrikaans daily newspaper and sister publication of Beeld, published an article by author and journalist Marida Fitzpatrick, describing her experiences when visiting Orania. Fitzpatrick praised the town for its safety and environmentally friendly approaches to living, but also wrote that overt racist ideas and ideology still underpinned the views of many residents.
On Thursday 5 June 1998, Mr. Valli Moosa (then Minister of Constitutional Development in the ANC government) stated in a parliamentary budget debate that, "The ideal of some Afrikaners to develop the North Western Cape as a home for the Afrikaner culture and language within the framework of the Constitution and the Charter of Human Rights is viewed by the government as a legitimate ideal."
On 4 July 2007 the town of Orania and the Northern Cape government agreed that the question of Orania's self-government should be discussed at all government levels.
Debate surrounding a volkstaat returned to the mainstream media following the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche in April 2010. Boshoff claimed a symbolism of the murder for farm murders that he described as "nothing other than a state of war". Yet, he rejected an invitation to Terre'Blanche's funeral, "I'm not enamoured of him. He chose a path of confrontation, of conflict. We wanted another way."
Political parties are not allowed in Orania's local elections.
A list of cultural holidays in Orania:
Co-operation with South African communities
In June 2007, the Afrikaner enclave was visited by the Coloured community of Eersterust, outside Pretoria. The groups met to discuss community development and discussed methods of self-governance. According to visitors "The reception was good" and "We definitely learned from the experience and we experienced no racial tension." The community of Orania gave a donation to the community of Eersterust in support of their nursery school.
In 2009, an African National Congress Youth League delegation visited the town. The leader Julius Malema praised the co-operation between residents: "They co-operate instead of working against each other".
On 14 September 2010 President Jacob Zuma visited Orania. He met with Orania founder Professor Carel Boshoff and his son, Orania mayor Carel Boshoff IV and other community leaders. After the meeting Zuma visited housing projects and several agricultural sites in Orania.
Orania and the Xhosa community of Mnyameni signed a cooperation agreement on 11 December 2012. The objective of the agreement is to assist in the development of own institutions and the transfer of knowledge between the communities in order to reduce their dependency on government initiatives for development.
- Total votes: 278
|Freedom Front Plus||242||86.73%|
|African National Congress||3||1.07%|
|African Christian Democratic Party||3||1.07%|
|Congress of the People||3||1.07%|
- "Main Place Orania". Census 2011.
- "DVD". Orania. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Insight into Orania". 2010sdafrika.wordpress.com. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- [dead link]
- "kraal". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "10 years on, Orania fades away". news24.com. 22 April 2004.
- "Orania - Home of the Afrikaner". Lief-orania.co.za. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Brian M. du Toit, The Far Right in South Africa. - p.647.
- Groenewald, Y (18 November 2005). "Coloureds Claim the Volkstaat". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 2006-06-25.
- SAPA (5 December 2006). "Orania Pleased at Land Claim". News24. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- Orania Inligtingspamflet, 2010
- Zuma likely to visit Orania IOL. 29 March 2009
- "Project Aardskip". Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Aardskip - Earthship". Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Skole". Orania. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Orania CVO-skool". Oraniacvo.co.za. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Red Apple Media. "Afstandleer Plus". Afstandsleer.co.za. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Willliam Dicey, Borderline p14
- "'Whites-only' money for SA town". BBC News. 29 April 2004.
- "Orania launches own cheque book". i Africa. 22 February 2007.
- Orania Hotel - http://www.oraniahotel.co.za
- Flitslig, Mei 2010 and Voorgrond, 2010
- "Orania radio station kicked off the air". iol.co.za. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-25.
- SABC. "Radio Orania on-air again". Sabcnews.co.za. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- Orania Raindance Film Festival. Retrieved on 10 September 2012
- "VF se strewe legitiem, sê Moosa" [Freedom Front endeavour legitimate, says Moosa] (in Afrikaans). beeld.com. 5 June 1998.
- "Orania, N Cape agree on way forward". iol.co.za. 2 July 2007.
- Orania votes for FF+ IOL. 23 April 2009
- Orania building a different future Sunday Times. 10 April 2010
-  Orania Voorgrond - June 2009
- Daley, Suzanne (23 March 1999). "Beloved Country Repays Mandela in Kind". New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Orania community lauded". news24.com. 11 June 2007.
- Malema surprised by Orania News 24. 28 March 2009
- Jacob Zuma visited Orania News 24. 14 September 2010
- Orania signs agreement with Mnyameni Mail & Guardian. 11 December 2012
- Boshoff, Carel (2 January 2013). "Maak soos vriende". Beeld. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- "Orania votes for FF+". Iol.co.za. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Orania web site in Afrikaans and English. (Official website of the Orania community)
- Orania Toerisme (Tourism)
- Orania Hotel
- M-Net story about Orania's unique school.
- Article on iol about Orania
- Official promotional video created by the Orania Movement
- Short docu obout Orania and interviews with 2 spokesmen of Orania
- Lief Orania, Orania's online community and business portal
- Die ou Karooplaas Winkelsentrum, A new shopping centre in Orania