Zuma Visits All-White Enclave of Orania

Posted: September 20, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Early in August 2010 Secret South Africa blogged about the Northern Cape town called Orania. Orania is a town that is very reminiscent of the ideals of separation that were fundamental to Apartheid policy. The founders of the town, Carel Boshoff IV being the most prominent amongst them, all have histories that link them to the secret group that was behind the architecture of Apartheid known as the Afrikaner Broederbond.

It therefore raises more than a few questions to find out that President Jacob Zuma visited the town on September the 14th, 2010. The last presidential journey made to the all-white independent enclave of Orania was during the presidential term of Nelson Mandela in 1995.

During the tumultuous era of the 90’s it was considered a gesture of reconciliation with Mandela even sitting and having tea with Betsie Verwoerd, wife of Apartheid Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. (Carel Boshoff IV in background).

President Zuma arrived by helicopter early on the Tuesday and was greeted by schoolchildren dressed in the orange color representing the Dutch ancestry of the Afrikaner. This was as far as the acknowledgement went. The South African Press Association (Sapa) who was present reported that nobody came to the road to see him pass by. A warm welcome indeed. Zuma met with Carel Boshoff IV as well as his son the mayor, Carel Boshoff V.

Both parties saw it as a very positive experience. Spokespeople from Zuma’s office said that the main reason behind the visit was to analyze the management of the local government and understand the workings of the local economy. He also toured a housing scheme in Orania and a skills training programme.

President Jacob Zuma

At a time where workers have been heavily striking and students are causing commotion in schools one wonders how relevant the visit was to the country’s current state of affairs. It is also worthwhile to note that so many communities need the attention of the state much more than Orania does. The problems in impoverished communities are already evident with housing, lack of skills and poor amenities at the centre of the sustainable development debate. Will Zuma deal with the issues at hand head-on or will he keep avoiding the issues and taking tours while the country falls apart?

Eugene Terreblanche

The recent killing of Eugene Terreblanche, leader of Afrikaner right-wing group AWB sparked a lot of anger in the Afrikaner community prompting a potential backlash. If a backlash was being planned, Orania would be quite a suitable setting for the planning to take place. If this is indeed the case then maybe Zuma was right to go sniffing about in the Orania backyard. It is quite curious to say the least that not a soul came out to see the Presidential procession. What do you make of it?

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Comments
  1. Propoganda says:

    What is the weirdest is that Orania is being singled out as being a “Volstaat”, but the current SOuth African trend shows numerous “Volkstate” rising up in our cities, called security estates, where the rich and the politicians can distance themselves fromour poor masses.

    With regards to Orania being a racist enclave the following:
    Orania is not a self-governing Afrikaner enclave. It is a corporate entity that owns private property (and reserves right of admission). Prior to the re-defining of municipal boundaries, at the end of the 90’s, it was a distinct municipality. It is now incorporated into a larger local municipality, which has governmental jurisdiction over it. Any inhabitant of Orania is entitled to all the services provided by the South African government to its citizens. They are also subject to the corporate policies of the “Vluytjeskraal Aandeleblok”, where those do not contravene South African law.
    It would really amuse me if the government decided to enforce affirmative action on the Vluytjeskraal Aandeleblok. At present, I think, every company with more than 50 employees has to meet certain quotas in terms of representativity in its employees. The fact that the government hasn’t taken such measures could be seen as conciliatory

    Excerpt from “The Independent”

    Some commentators noted the diverging perceptions of the town between white liberals and blacks: the former see it as a “pathetic outpost of embittered racists”, refusing to live in equality with black South Africans; the latter see it as a 1950s-style fantasy shielding locals from declining white privilege. Orania was deemed to lack privilege, however, as residents have no domestic workers and few material luxuries; white suburbs in the rest of South Africa, with their high levels of segregation and heavy use of domestic labour, were felt to more closely resemble the apartheid era than Orania did. Along similar lines, Orania was also seen as “one of the few places in South Africa … where class is not determined by skin colour”. Another journalist found comparisons of Orania to the apartheid system inappropriate, as town authorities do not seek to exploit or subjugate blacks, but simply demand separation.

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