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Orania Authors Explain How the Afrikanervolkstaat Works: “It is a Private Company”

OraniaRead an excerpt from Hanlie Retief’s Orania: Afrikanervolkstaat deur die oë van ‘n lens, and view some of Michael Hammond’s photographs from the book.

Orania is a small town on the R369 between Hopetown and Petrusville in the Northern Cape, about 160km from Kimberley. It has been steeped in controversy since its establishment as a nation state exclusively for white Afrikaners.

In the excerpt, the authors explain how Orania works. The property is controlled by a private company, the Vluytjeskraal Aandeleblok, and residents who own land in the town are shareholders. But, according to Retief and Hammond, there is tension between the shareholders and those inhabitants who are “mere employees or tenants”.

Singles quarters were recently completed to house young, unemployed men who come to Orania in search of work. During a visit to Orania a few years ago, I was surprised by the forthright way in which the town council’s publicity material referred to “the labour problem”. The problem arises from the fact that only Afrikaners may be employed as workers, yet many Afrikaners are unwilling to do manual labour, or expect to be paid substantially more than the standard wage for which coloured or black workers in the vicinity work. In conversation, some residents expressed concern about the increase in unemployment and poverty among Afrikaners in other parts of the country, which has resulted in an influx of destitute people coming to Orania in search of a better future. These new residents put additional pressure on the economy of the town. Orania is not a state with a large source of revenue or a substantial number of tax payers, after all: it is a private company.

View photographs from the book on the OraniaBook Facebook Page:


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