Orania: “The Third Afrikaners”

Those Afrikaans-speaking whites in South Africa who seek a new future devoid of white supremacy and the “boss-manship” of the old Apartheid era, are happy to be known as the “Third Afrikaners,” their ideological leader has said.

Carel IV Boshoff, son of Professor Carel Boshoff, who was the main impetus behind the creation of the now world-famous Afrikaner town of Orania, made this remark during an interview on South African television recently.

When asked about his relationship—or rather lack thereof—with the leader of the AWB, Eugene Terre’Blanche, who had then been recently murdered, Carel IV said that he had not gone to the funeral because he had never agreed with Terre’Blanche and saw no reason to pretend for the sake of a publicity stunt at the AWB leader’s funeral.

(The “First Afrikaners” were those of the nineteenth century: the Paul Krugers and others who built the Boer Republics. The “Second Afrikaners” were those who inherited and strengthened the system of racial segregation and who were ultimately undone by the system of Apartheid.)

“If Eugene Terre’Blanche was the representative of the Second Afrikaner, the one of the twentieth century, the powerful boss-man, then I feel at home in the concept of the Third Afrikaner,” said Carel IV during the TV interview.

“[The Third Afrikaner] is something which in certain sense must still happen, which must still be born, a phoenix which must once again arise out of the ashes of his incinerated forefather,” he said.

The town of Orania, located on the banks of the Orange River in the direct geographic center of South Africa, was originally built by the “old” South Africa’s Department of Water Works to house workers on one of the river development projects of the time (the canal system from the Vanderkloof Dam).
A classroom in one of Orania's two schools.

The buildings were largely prefabricated and once the project was finished, the small village was abandoned and lay deserted for over a decade.

In 1990, a small consortium under the leadership of Professor Carel Boshoff purchased the town for what was a relatively nominal fee, and announced that they had selected the Northern Cape as a potential Afrikaner homeland, or “Volkstaat” (nation state).

The reasoning behind this area—as opposed to the large number of plans for other areas proposed at the time for an Afrikaner “Volkstaat” was simple: demographics.

Professor Boshoff, unlike all the other Afrikaner leaders of the time, understood clearly the relationship between political power and demographics. He knew that Apartheid, founded as it was upon a reliance on black labor, was the downfall of the Afrikaners, and not their salvation.

He laid down three criteria for Afrikaner survival: firstly, the need for an own area, and secondly, the absolute requirement for “own labor” (that is, Afrikaner labor—to do everything, from street sweeping to building—a concept that was completely foreign to the rest of the then white-ruled South Africa) and own institutions.

The Northern Cape, with its sparse population, presented the only area of South Africa which could effectively be colonized by Afrikaners with the least amount of disruption to the rest of the country.
The resort on the banks of the Orange River.

In 2010, the entire Northern Cape, which includes territory which is outside the planned borders of Professor Boshoff’s Volkstaat, has only 2.3% of the country’s population. Majority Afrikaner occupation could be achieved with only half a million or so Afrikaners moving to the area.

Orania is still privately owned, and anyone who wants to buy a house in the town has to accept and abide by the ethos of the settlement, which is not to use any labor apart from Afrikaners to build anything.

The initial expectations of growth were not, however, met. The remoteness of the town, and the political environment was not conducive to its growth.

As Carel IV explained it on the TV show: “Things did not work out as we expected. We expected faster growth and more interest.

“What we saw in 1994 was the transfer to a post-Apartheid dispensation. Apartheid was gone but many of the societal structures did not change that much,” he said, referring to the fact that initially, not that much changed for the average white in South Africa in the years immediately after 1994.

“Now however we stand at the point of a change to a post-colonial order in South Africa, as it has happened in the rest of Africa. It is more far-reaching, more radical,” Carel IV said.

“The Orania idea was an answer to the inevitable post-colonial period. When we only experienced a regime change, people stayed away and said, ‘no, it’s not worth the trouble, you don’t have to resort to such far-reaching alternatives.

“Now that the transition to a post-colonial order is happening, we are grateful that we had 20 years to prepare the structures which can cater to the increased pace of interest,” he said.

And grown Orania has. From around two dozen pioneers, many of them only part-time inhabitants of Orania, the town has now around 1,000  residents, and continues to grow each month as more people arrive. In addition, more than 10,000 people are members or supporters of the Orania Movement, and it also has foreign-based support initiatives.
Last year, tens of thousands of Afrikaners visited Orania for the first time—all with the intention of finding out more.

The town is properly incorporated as a local municipality, and is recognized by the South African government as such. It is possibly the only local authority in all South Africa which actually balanced its books last year—on a (South African Rand) R10 million budget.

The town boasts two schools, with a total pupil enrolment of well over 200, and no fewer than 70 local businesses.

The land immediately surrounding the town has also been bought up, and South Africa’s largest pecan nut farm is now owned by “Oranians,” irrigated with the water rights the town has from the Orange River.

Total investment in the town and area now amounts to over half a billion Rand.

Section 235 of the South African Constitution allows for the right to self determination of any community, which shares a common culture and language, within a territorial entity within the Republic, or in any other way, as described by national legislation.

As Carel IV said in the television interview, there can be no expectation of further recognition until the reality has been created on the ground—in other words, it is senseless for any group to demand self-determination in a territory which it does not majority occupy.

The aim of the Orania movement is, ultimately, to expand the territory way beyond just the town, and provide a homeland for Afrikaners in Africa.

The Orania Movement has been the subject of much mockery from the more traditional “right wing” in South Africa—but, unlike their critics, the Orania Movement can actually show something for their efforts and work.

Orania offers the only hope for Afrikaner survival, and, just as importantly, shows the way for beleaguered First World populations all over the world.


Below is a recent promotional video for Orania (in English).