Orania

Orania’s founders created the town with a vision of ensuring the Afrikanerdom heritage and way of life is not only strictly observed, but also an actual practice. At the heart of this heritage is selfwerksaamheid (‘self reliance’). All jobs in Orania are filled by Afrikaners only; non-Afrikaner workers are not permitted. The town was purchased from the Department of Water Affairs, who originally created the small town to house workers and staff responsible for the construction of the nearby Vanderkloof damn, in 1990 at a cost of R1,5 million. Orania was officially opened on the 11th April 1991. Instead of relying on black people to perform menial tasks, as is the norm within South African households, residents perform most of the work themselves, or use fellow Afrikaners. Orania is like many other towns and cities in South Africa, there are the poorer areas and the more affluent areas. The main difference with Orania is that you will often only see white people, Orania does not have any black, Indian or coloured residents. That doesn’t mean black people aren’t allowed, on the contrary. During my period in Orania, I saw a handful of black people entering the town, purchasing goods from the local shop and also filling up with petrol at the local petrol station. Recently, outspoken ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema visited the town and asked to erect ANC election posters, the request being granted by the Orania leaders. ANC members wandered around the town, without any hostilities from the residents. Under the South African constitution, it is illegal to discriminate based on a colour of a person. Orania is not breaking the law, there is no discrimination, they choose to do all the work themselves and not rely on the cheap labor force, as fellow South Africans are quick to do.

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Daniel Cuthbert

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