Posts Tagged ‘Orania’

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?

After various posts about Project Coast and Wouter Basson’s plan to poison South Africa’s water, a reader of the Secret South Africa blog sent me an intersting article about Orania.

Orania is a secluded town in the bleak landscape of the Northern Cape Province inhabited by a group of highly nationalistic white Afrikaners. Orania was founded by Carel Boshoff, a former Afrikaner Broederbond member and someone who would definitely identify with the beliefs of someone like Wouter Basson.

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 the town has been designed to be entirely self-reliant.

Orania manages its own electricity, sewerage and water systems, which are separate to the rest of South Africa’s. What is intriguing is that Orania is an old water town. Does this mean that Orania residents would not be affected if something had to happen to South Africa’s water supply? Orania was founded in 1990, when there were no serious concerns over the future of South Africa’s water supply. Did Boshoff know something that we didn’t?

Orania recently got its own currency. Could this be the beginning of another independent state within South Africa’s borders? Just something to think about…