The settlement of Orania, situated right in the geographic center of South Africa, is the product of a handful of far-sighted Afrikaners who understood that self-determination and survival is directly linked to the ability to do their own labor and create their own community—without infringing upon anyone else’s rights.
Orania, located on the banks of the Orange was originally built by the “old” South Africa’s Department of Water Works to house workers on one of the river development projects of the time (the canal system from the Vanderkloof Dam).
The buildings were largely prefabricated and once the project was finished, the small village was abandoned and lay deserted for over a decade.
In 1990, a small consortium under the leadership of Professor Carel Boshoff purchased the town for what was a relatively nominal fee, and announced that they had selected the Northern Cape as a potential Afrikaner homeland, or “Volkstaat” (nation state).
The reasoning behind this area—as opposed to the large number of plans for other areas proposed at the time for an Afrikaner “Volkstaat” was simple: demographics.
Professor Boshoff, unlike all the other Afrikaner leaders of the time, understood clearly the relationship between political power and demographics. He knew that Apartheid, founded as it was upon a reliance on black labor, was the downfall of the Afrikaners, and not their salvation.
He laid down three criteria for Afrikaner survival: firstly, the need for an own area, and secondly, the absolute requirement for “own labor” (that is, Afrikaner labor — to do everything, from street sweeping to building—a concept that was completely foreign to the rest of the then white-ruled South Africa) and own institutions.
The Northern Cape, with its sparse population, presented the only area of South Africa which could effectively be colonized by Afrikaners with the least amount of disruption to the rest of the country.
In 2010, the entire Northern Cape, which includes territory which is outside the planned borders of Professor Boshoff’s Volkstaat, has only 2.3% of the country’s population. Majority Afrikaner occupation could be achieved with only half a million or so Afrikaners moving to the area.
Orania is still privately owned, and anyone who wants to buy a house in the town has to accept and abide by the ethos of the settlement, which is not to use any labor apart from Afrikaners to build anything.
From around two dozen pioneers, many of them only part-time inhabitants of Orania, the town has now around 1,000 residents, and continues to grow each month as more people arrive. In addition, more than 10,000 people are members or supporters of the Orania Movement, and it also has foreign-based support initiatives.
Last year, tens of thousands of Afrikaners visited Orania for the first time—all with the intention of finding out more.
The town is properly incorporated as a local municipality, and is recognized by the South African government as such. It is possibly the only local authority in all South Africa which actually balanced its books last year—on a (South African Rand) R10 million budget.
The town boasts two schools, with a total pupil enrolment of well over 200, and no fewer than 70 local businesses.
The land immediately surrounding the town has also been bought up, and South Africa’s largest pecan nut farm is now owned by “Oranians,” irrigated with the water rights the town has from the Orange River.
Total investment in the town and area now amounts to over half a billion Rand.
For more information and a complete overview of Orania, and other important related issues, see Nova Europa: European Survival Strategies in a Darkening World.