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Counter-Currents Publishing June 4, 2013

Orania: Lessons from the Afrikaner Ethno-Community

Kerry Bolton

Orania Savings and Credit Cooperative Ltd was established in 2002 the Øra was issued in 2004 as an internal voucher system.[26] The Øra is exchanged with Rands on parity, and the deposits are backed 100% rather than through fractional reserve; what Mear refers to a “collateral equilibrium.”[27] There is no bank fee on exchanging the currencies. New issues of Øra are made every few years, with the previous series withdrawn, to ensure parity of currency according to commerce. There are four denominations of Øra, each carrying six different advertisements, which pay for the printing costs.[28] Local businesses give discounts on payments made in Øras.[29] Øras are also sometimes used as payment and exchanged by neighboring workers and farmers, who qualify for discounts when spending at Orania.[30] Hence, the currency is having a wider influence beyond Orania.

Mear shows that Orania is a pioneer in self-sustainable development, undertaken without central state intervention or funding. He states that the success is due to Orania’s pioneers “not being materialistic,” who are innovators “with well-founded beliefs and values.” Little or no imports are required, and this self-sufficiency is significantly promoted by the use of a local currency. “The Øra also improves the community’s feelings of a shared identity and economic independence or self-reliance.”[31]

Orania Movement

Although Orania is self-sufficient, perhaps more so than any other situational community in the world, and aims above all to preserve the Afrikaner ethnos and ethos, it is not insular. Orania has reached out, without compromising its purpose. Although eschewing all outside labor, neighboring Coloreds interact with the Oranian Afrikaners and use the Øra to take advantage of the discounted merchandise; the rugby team plays outside the community, and very importantly there is a support network called the Orania Movement which aims to garner support for the Afrikaner throughout the world. The Orania Movement forms alliances with other indigenes, and interacts with a political party.

The Orania Movement can be traced to the activities of Verwoerd’s son-in-law Dr. Carel W. H. Boshoff (1927–2011), whose son, Carel Boshoff IV is the present-day mayor of Orania. Dr. Boshoff was head of the Voortreker movement (1981–1989) one of the keystones of Afrikaner tradition, the Broederbond (1979–1983), and a regional chairman of the Freedom Front (1994–2011), the only political party that continues to represent Afrikanerdom in the “Rainbow” Parliament.

Dr. Boshoff aimed to undertake what his father-in-law could not complete with Apartheid South Africa, a totally self-sufficient Afrikaner community without the need of non-Afrikaner labor, which had proved the undoing of the Apartheid state. This is the full implementation of Apartheid, which literally means “apartness.”[32] This requires a strategic withdrawal, rather than remaining in the quagmire of a cosmopolitan South Africa. In 1980 Dr. Boshoff and H. F. Verwoerd, Jr. founded the Vereniging van Oranjewerkers (Organization of Orange Workers) the aim of which was to create a community in which only Afrikaners would be employed, and to encourage a community of farmers who only employed white laborers. The same year (1980) the state-linked think tank, the South African Bureau of Racial Affairs (SABRA), established in 1948 as an Afrikaner Nationalist alternative to the liberal South African Institute of Race Relations which, under the leadership of Dr Boshoff, had begun in 1974 pursuing a line independent from the National Party, started to promote the idea of a “white state” or “Project Oranje.”[33]

A community was established in Morgenzon, a small farming town near the Osspruit River. The aim was eventually to create a Volkstaat. Through the expansion of Orania the ideal of forming a Voolkstaat remains.[34] The immediate predecessor of the Orania Movement was the Afrikaner-Vryheidstigting (Avstig), the Afrikaner Freedom Foundation, founded by Dr. Boshoff in 1989 with the aim of securing land for an Afrikaner community, which, unlike more ambitious plans by such groups as the Boerstaat Party,[35] advocated withdrawing from the Transvaal and Orange Free State, into a smaller enclave, something that has angered some Afrikaners.

Dr. Boshoff and his colleagues recognized more than a decade prior to the dismantling of Apartheid, that Afrikaners would have to opt for a smaller state, despite the moral legitimacy of the Afrikaners to all of South Africa, by virtue of their “blood, sweat and tears,” in a part of Africa that had only been sparsely populated by some roaming Bushmen and Hottentots when their forebears first landed. Talking to the Christian Science Monitor in 1990, Dr Boshoff quoted Verwoerd, who had stated in 1959: “I would rather have a smaller state that is white than a larger state which has already been given away to black domination.”[36]

The Orania Movement is compared to the Zionist movement and the crucial backing world Jewry provides for Israel: “A growing support base is a prerequisite for extending the sphere of influence of Orania. One can hardly imagine Israel without the support of Jews all over the world (as embodied in the Zionist Movement). Therefore joining and supporting the Orania Movement is essential if Orania is to become a home for Afrikaners.”[37]

For whatever reason, even the most radical of ANC leaders seem willing to concede something for an Afrikaner homeland, even if to isolate the die-hard elements, while Orania is mainly limited in its potential to become a Voolkstaat by the tendency of Afrikaners to sooner quit the land of their forebears than to become modern-day pioneers. The ANC has long regarded this withdrawal of the Afrikaner into its own enclave as a desirable ideal, Valli Moosa, then Minister of Constitutional Development, stated during the Parliamentary budget debate in 1998: “The ideal of some Afrikaners to develop the North Western Cape as a home for the Afrikaner culture and language within the framework of the Constitution and the Charter of Human Rights is viewed by the government as a legitimate idea.”[38] In a conciliatory gesture in 1999 Nelson Mandela had tea with Hendrik Verwoerd’s widow Betsie, at Orania. In 2009 even the generally less than conciliatory ANC Youth League sent a delegation led by Julius Malema, who praised the cooperative spirit of Orania, (perhaps in an attempt to shame his own violence-prone rivals). In 2010 South Africa President Jacob Zuma visited Orania.[39] In 2012 Orania and the Xhosa community of Mnyameni signed a cooperation agreement for a greater degree of self-sufficiency from the central State.[40]

The Orania Movement has achieved something unique in starting to have Afrikaners recognized as a beleaguered ingenious minority, therefore taking liberaldom on in its own domain, and turning anti-white moralizing against itself. The movement has also sought outside alliances.

Early in 2013 a delegation of twelve from Orania visited supporters in the Netherlands, Flanders, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and visited language and cultural organizations, political parties and influential individuals.[41] Among those who have been particularly supportive of Orania are the South Tyroleans, a German folk within Italy. To a question posed by a German journal, the Orania Movement CEO, Jaco Kleynhans, answered:

We simply believe in the right of all cultural groups to practice their own culture, language, religion and traditions in a fair way. We also strongly believe in selfdeterminination and therefore support the efforts by the Flemish people in Belgium, the German speaking people in South Tyrol (Italy), the Catalans in Spain and the French speaking people in Quebec (Canada) as they strive for greater selfdetermination.[42]

On a broader front, the Freedom Front Plus political party, which garners nearly 90% of the vote in Orania during general elections, and which was co-founded by Dr. Boshoff, is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation. FF+ was admitted to UNPO in 2008. UNPO describes the party, recognizing the right of Afrikaner self-determination:

The Freedom Front Plus has been active in South African politics at all levels, aiming to defend the political, cultural and economic rights of the Afrikaners. The eventual objective of the party is to work towards self-determination for the Afrikaners within the South African constitution. In their view this constitution should be interpreted in such a way that it would provide for regional autonomy of all groups that wish self-government. The Freedom Front Plus further claims community rights.[43]

Formed in 1994, FF+ was joined in 2003 by the Conservative Party,[44] that had been founded by the late Dr. Andries Treurnicht, Afrikaner Eenheids Beweging, and Freedom Alliance. Dr. Boshoff was the head of FF+ for the Northern Cape from 1994, although Orania does not include parties in its local representation. FF+ has four seats in the National Assembly. Dr. Boshoff’s son, who is Mayor of Orania, is leader of FF+ in the Northern Cape. FF+ leader Pieter Mulder[45] serves as South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. FF+ devotes a special section on its website to Orania, indicating the importance the party attaches to the project.[46]


Orania provides a blueprint for the creation and development of self-sustaining ethnic communities.

1. Most importantly, Orania is based around a faith. Many socialist communities and communes have been formed and failed utterly. The most enduring self-sustained communities are religious in character, such as the Mennonite and Amish communities and indeed the early State of Utah. One can also include in successful self-sustaining communities convents and monasteries. A supra-human belief provides the enduring strength for unity.

2. Orania is economically self-supporting, and does not rely for anything from the central state. The economy is subordinated to the community, and a local currency is an important part of this as is a cooperative bank with profits staying within Orania.

3. All labor is undertaken by community citizens and is not reliant on “migrants.” Work is therefore a duty and not a burden.

4. Mutual aid supports those in need via voluntarist associations, not state bureaucracies. Not only does this maintain self-sufficiency, but it – like the attitude towards work – promotes a new social ethos that places the community ahead of the individual, without stifling the individual, and the family as the basis social unit.

5. Orania is based around the traditional Boer attachment to the land, with a concomitant ecological perspective. This also provides the basis for the economy, not only in terms of self-sufficiency in food but in encouraging innovative approaches to energy. Again, a spin-off is the development of an ethos that roots the spirituality of the community to the land and rejects the urban mentality that is artificial, superficial and leads to spiritual decay.

Upon such premises Orania has created an edifice that rejects all the decadent elements that undermine societies, states and entire civilizations (as per Spengler[47]) building instead a holistic society based on faith, family, self-reliance, attachment to the land, subordination of money and material goals, and the common interest before self.

The Orania Movement has 10,000 members, and welcomes support from throughout the world:
South Africa: http://www.orania.co.za/english/join-the-orania-movement/ [2]
Offshore: http://www.orania.co.za/english/get-involved/join-as-an-offshore-friend-of-orania/ [3]

[1] T. B. Floyd, The Boer Nation’s English Problem (Johannesburg, 1977), pp. 15–17.
[2] Stephen Mitford Goodson, General Jan Christian Smuts: the Debunking of a Myth (Pretoria: Bienedell Uitgewers, 2012), p. 8. (With gratitude to the late Louis Stofberg, General Secretary of the HNP).
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid., pp. 8–9.
[5] Ibid., pp. 12–14.
[6] Ibid., p. 8.
[7] One of the most outspoken in the House was John Burns, Labour Member of Parliament for Battersea.
[8] J. A. Hobson, The War in South Africa, Its Causes and Effects (London, 1900), p. 197.
[9] Dawid de Villiers, The Case for South Africa (London: Tom Stacey Ltd., 1970), pp. 58–71.
[10] Dawid de Villiers, pp. 125–27.
[11] Professor Edwin S Munger, Foreign Affairs, January 1969; quoted by Dawid de Villiers, ibid., pp. 125–26.
[12] F. W. de Klerk Interview with Stephen Sackur, “Hardtalk,” BBC World Service 18 & 19, April 2012.
[13] C. Mostert, “Economic Policy Co-Coordinator for the Economic Transformation Committee of the NEC of the African National Congress,” Reflections on South Africa’s Restructuring of State-Owned Enterprises, Occasional Papers No. 5 (Johannesburg: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, March 2002), p. 13, http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/suedafrika/07164.pdf [4]
[14] Bruce Weber, “Carel Boshoff, Founder of White Redoubt in South Africa, Dies at 83,” New York Times, March 19, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/africa/20boshoff.html?_r=0 [4]
[15] Ronald Mears, “The Ora as facilitator of sustainable local economic development in Orania,” (2) 2009.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid., 2.1.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid., 3.
[22] http://www.orania.co.za/rebelle-versus-hopetown/ [5]
N. Bauer, “Rugby Rebels with an Afrikaner only cause,” Mail & Guardian, April 22, 2013, http://mg.co.za/article/2013-04-22-rugby-rebels-with-an-afrikaners-only-cause [6]
[23] However, the Maori All Blacks rugby team remains a matter of pride in New Zealand, and was not the subject of abuse from the likes of the Halt All Racist Tours organization that caused mayhem on the streets against the Springboks tour of New Zealand in 1981.
[24] Mear, 3.
[25] John Strydom to K. R. Bolton, personal communication, June 1, 2013.
[26] Mear, 3.1.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Ibid., 3.2.
[29] Ibid., 4.1.
[30] Ibid.
[31] Ibid., 5.
[32] Not “apart-hate” as it was seriously interpreted several years ago on a New Zealand Television news program by Dr. Pita Sharples, Member of Parliament, co-leader of the Maori Party, former Race Relations Conciliator, and one of New Zealand’s many indigenous “academics.”
[33] O’Malley, http://www.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv02424/04lv02730/05lv03188/06lv03216.htm [7]
[34] “Volkstaat development,” http://www.lief-orania.co.za/vryafrikaner_eng.php [8]
[35] Martin Schönteich and Henri Boshoff, “Restoration of the Boer Republics,” The Security Threat Posed by the White Right, http://www.bravoland.co.za/forum/index.php?topic=5096.30;wap2 [9]
[36] “Afrikaners Propose White Homeland in South Africa,” Christian Science Monitor, http://www.csmonitor.com/1990/0809/otrek.html/%28page%29/2 [10]
[37] “Orania Movement,” http://www.lief-orania.co.za/oraniamovement.php [11]
[38] Beeld, June 5, 1998, [12]
[39] “Zuma’s visit an outstanding day for Orania,” Mail & Guardian, 14 September 2010, http://mg.co.za/article/2010-09-14-zumas-visit-an-outstanding-day-for-orania [13]
[40] “Orania and Mnyameni sign agreement to increase self-reliance,” Mail & Guardian, December 11, 2012, http://mg.co.za/article/2012-12-11-orania-and-mnyameni-sign-agreement-to-increase-self-reliance [14]
[41] “Attention Europeans: Your Chance to Hear the Leaders of Orania in Person,” Project Nova Europa, February 25, 2013, http://projectnovaeuropa.com/attention-europeans-your-chance-to-hear-the-leaders-of-orania-in-person/ [15]
[42] “Insight into Orania,” SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste, March 21, 2012, http://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/insight-into-orania/ [16]
[43] “Afrikaner,” UNPO members, http://www.unpo.org/members/8148 [17]
[44] In the 1989 General Election, the last before multiracial elections, the CP scored 31.52% of the vote of the white electorate, displacing the anti-Apartheid Progressive Federal Party as the official Opposition.
[45] Son of the late Connie Mulder, National Party Cabinet Minister, who broke with the Government to form the National Conservative Party, which joined with Treurnicht’s Conservative Party.
[46] Freedom Front Plus, “Orania,” http://www.vfplus.org.za/ [18]
[47] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971) inter alia.

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Flag_of_Orania_after_2004.jpg
[2] http://www.orania.co.za/english/join-the-orania-movement/: http://www.orania.co.za/english/join-the-orania-movement/
[3] http://www.orania.co.za/english/get-involved/join-as-an-offshore-friend-of-orania/: http://www.orania.co.za/english/get-involved/join-as-an-offshore-friend-of-orania/
[4] http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/suedafrika/07164.pdf: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/africa/20boshoff.html?_r=0
[5] http://www.orania.co.za/rebelle-versus-hopetown/: http://www.orania.co.za/rebelle-versus-hopetown/
[6] http://mg.co.za/article/2013-04-22-rugby-rebels-with-an-afrikaners-only-cause: http://mg.co.za/article/2013-04-22-rugby-rebels-with-an-afrikaners-only-cause
[7] http://www.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv02424/04lv02730/05lv03188/06lv03216.htm: http://www.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv02424/04lv02730/05lv03188/06lv03216.htm
[8] http://www.lief-orania.co.za/vryafrikaner_eng.php: http://www.lief-orania.co.za/vryafrikaner_eng.php
[9] http://www.bravoland.co.za/forum/index.php?topic=5096.30;wap2: http://www.bravoland.co.za/forum/index.php?topic=5096.30;wap2
[10] http://www.csmonitor.com/1990/0809/otrek.html/%28page%29/2: http://www.csmonitor.com/1990/0809/otrek.html/%28page%29/2
[11] http://www.lief-orania.co.za/oraniamovement.php: http://www.lief-orania.co.za/oraniamovement.php
[13] http://mg.co.za/article/2010-09-14-zumas-visit-an-outstanding-day-for-orania: http://mg.co.za/article/2010-09-14-zumas-visit-an-outstanding-day-for-orania
[14] http://mg.co.za/article/2012-12-11-orania-and-mnyameni-sign-agreement-to-increase-self-reliance: http://mg.co.za/article/2012-12-11-orania-and-mnyameni-sign-agreement-to-increase-self-reliance
[15] http://projectnovaeuropa.com/attention-europeans-your-chance-to-hear-the-leaders-of-orania-in-person/: http://projectnovaeuropa.com/attention-europeans-your-chance-to-hear-the-leaders-of-orania-in-person/
[16] http://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/insight-into-orania/: http://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/insight-into-orania/
[17] http://www.unpo.org/members/8148: https://www.counter-currents.com http://www.unpo.org/members/8148
[18] http://www.vfplus.org.za/: http://www.vfplus.org.za/