Ora (currency)

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Ten Ora note featuring Racheltjie de Beer.

The Ora (symbol:Φ, [ˈʊə.ra])[1] is the local currency of Orania, an Afrikaner enclave in South Africa. It is pegged at par with the South African rand.[1] The name, recalling that of the town where it circulates, derives from Latin aurum, meaning "gold".[2] The currency is not sanctioned by the South African Reserve Bank.[3]

The first notes were issued in April 2004 to provide an internal currency for Orania as part of its quest for self-determination. The idea of the Ora originated in 2002, when Professor Johan van Zyl argued that a community that intended to empower itself should have access to as many instruments as possible, including its own currency.[4]

It is printed in denominations of 10, 20, 50, and 100 Ora. The 10 Ora note depicts Afrikaner history, the 20 Ora note Afrikaner art; the 50 Ora note Afrikaner culture; and the 100 Ora note Orania itself.[3] Each note also advertises a local business.[2]

Other than in Orania itself, the currency is also accepted in some surrounding towns.[5] To encourage its use, some stores in Orania offer a 5% discount for items purchased in Ora.[5] The local banking institution, the Orania Spaar- en Kredietkoöperatief, is in charge of the initiative.[5]

The use of the Ora as a payment method also has the effect of discouraging theft, as it can only be used within Orania.[6] About R400,000 to R580,000 worth of Oras were in circulation by 2011.[7] New notes are printed every three years to replace the ones worn out by use. The 'E' Series was distributed in April 2014.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Vakansieprogram 2014" (PDF). Orania Beweging. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Orania cashes in on the 'ora'". News24. 29 April 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "'Whites-only' money for SA town". BBC NEWS. 29 April 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Change your rands before trekking to Orania". IOL News. 28 April 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Haleniuk, Aleksander (October 2013), Orania – the embryo of a new Volkstaat?, Uniwersytet Warszawski, retrieved 25 August 2014 
  6. ^ "Wo Afrikaaner unter sich bleiben können" (in German). Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Voorgrond" (in Afrikaans). Orania Beweging. July 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Nuwe reeks Oras oopgebreek" (in Afrikaans). Orania Beweging. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 

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