Politics and Society
Orania at glance: 10 facts
Orania is an Afrikaner-only South African town located along the Orange River in the arid Karoo region of the country’s Northern Cape province. We look at 10 facts which give a snapshot of the self-proclaimed Afrikaner homeland.
1. Orania was established in 1991, by Afrikaner intellectual Carel Boshoff Snr, the son-in-law of former South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd.
2. The town was created with the primary intention to preserve Afrikanerdom cultural heritage and Afrikaner selfwerksaamheid (self reliance).
3. The town has a population of 1,085 (estimate, 2014) and it measures 8.95 km2 (3.46 sq mi). Afrikaans is the main language, spoken by 98.4 percent of the population and English is spoken by 1,6 percent.
4. White South Africans are the main population group and according to a 2011 census, the group represented 97.2 percent of the total population. Coloureds make up 1,9 percent and Black Africans represent 0,9 percent of the town’s total population.
5. The name Orania is a variation of the Afrikaans word oranje, referring to the adjoining Orange River.
6. The town is not independent but its existence is permitted by the Constitution of South Africa under a clause that allows for the right to self-determination.
7. The town is run by a council, which is the main political institution, responsible for running the town’s daily affairs.
8. The economy is dependent on agriculture, and there is a large pecan nut plantation, one of the largest in South Africa, and the town exports some its agricultural products.
9. The community has its own currency, called the Ora, pegged to the South African Rand.
10. The town boasts of a deeply religious community. There are various local churches, which include the Dutch Reformed Church, Apostoliese Geloofsending, Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk, amongst others.