Inside South Africa’s whites-only town of Orania…

Via

“We do not fit in easily in the new South Africa. It [Orania] was an answer to not dominating others and not being dominated by others,” says Carel Boshoff Jr, the community leader.

Mr Boshhoff inherited the town from his father Carel Boshoff Snr, an Afrikaner intellectual and son-in-law of apartheid architect, Hendrik Verwoerd.

The town was founded by Mr Boshoff Snr as a registered company shortly before white-minority rule ended in the rest of the country.

Mr Verwoerd’s grandson tells me that his people were faced with a tough question about their future when the black government was elected in 1994.

“In terms of Afrikaners who had been standing very close to the state, when the policies such as black economic empowerment and affirmative action came into place, Afrikaners needed to seriously think about their future. It wouldn’t make sense not to,” he said.
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) was introduced to encourage more black participation in business.

Orania has also proved to be the answer for those Afrikaners who felt displaced in the land their people had ruled for many decades.

“I see nothing wrong with apartheid,” says Martin Kemp, one of the older residents.

“Of course you get the petty apartheid: ‘You use this toilet I use that toilet’, I don’t think that was necessary but the real apartheid as Dr Verwoerd saw it, there was nothing wrong with it,” he said.

We were taken on a guided tour of the town’s facilities by John Strydom, a retired doctor.

The town’s leaders insist that Orania is misunderstood. “We are not against black people. We are for ourselves,” is their message.

However, black people cannot live here.

Prospective residents are screened by the town council using a strict criterion, which includes first and foremost being an ethnic Afrikaner.
It is not enough to simply speak Afrikaans, as is the case with many black and mixed-race South Africans…

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