Orania is a town in South Africa, founded by Afrikaners in 1991.
It is located along the Orange River in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape province.
The goal of Orania’s founders is the preservation of Afrikaner cultural heritage, and “selfwerksaamheid” (which is Afrikaans for “self reliance”). All jobs, from management to manual labour, are done by Afrikaners; non-Afrikaners are not allowed to live or work there.
The community promotes self-determination and self-sufficiency, believing that these principles provide a more stable political climate for South Africa.
Facing South Africa’s energy crisis, Orania is investing in renewables like solar panels and other independent sources of electricity.
The town has issued its own coupon system backed by the rand, functioning as de facto legal tender. The community’s goals include increasing its manufacturing base and developing an entrepreneurial environment.
Orania perceives South Africa as a community of communities and emphasises the value of natural communities. It views itself as a healthier alternative to relying on a corrupt political establishment.
The town faces challenges such as the domestic economic failures of the South African government and the central government’s hostility to the autonomous rights of different cultural communities.
Orania’s approach to self-sufficiency and communal living offers an intriguing model that may become more popular in South Africa, especially in light of the country’s ongoing challenges. Its commitment to cultural preservation, economic growth, and sustainable development sets it apart as a unique community with a vision for the future.
The town is officially part of the country, but it has a large degree of autonomy and hopes to secede in the future.
Joost Strydom is Orania’s spokesman.