Orania has been around for many years – more like an “apartheid” state within an “apartheid” state. The point is that South Africa no longer practices apartheid, but Orania seems to be holding to the vestiges of racism to this day.
The town may have been around for many years, but it’s only just now gaining resonance among a section of social media and the press. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the town of Orania.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Orania legal?
Orania is not illegal in the sense that it has no formal law banning visitors, and blacks can visit. Still, according to multiple sources, only Afrikaner residents are permitted. Blacks who live nearby fear they might be assaulted if they visit.
Who can live in Orania?
At the moment, Orania is home only to Afrikaner folks – whites, so to speak. In theory, any South African can live in Orania. However, in practice, only whites are allowed to live in the town.
Can I visit Orania?
Orania is open for anyone to visit. However, because it was established as an “Afrikaner-only” settlement, potential; visitors are advised to be cautious and not to do anything that will provoke the local population.
Can anyone live in Orania?
Only Afrikaners are permitted to live in Orania – whites, so to speak. Blacks are afraid to live there as they fear being attacked by white Afrikaner folks.
Who started Orania?
Orania was started in 1991, around the period apartheid was being dismantled, by Carel Boshoff Snr, a South African professor of theology and Afrikaner white nationalist. He died on 16 March 2011.
Is Orania part of South Africa?
Yes, Orania is a part of South Africa. However, because the town and its inhabitants choose to remain isolated, many people continue to wonder if they’re indeed part of South Africa, primarily because the town rarely features in mainstream media.
Where in South Africa is Orania?
Orania is located in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape province along the Orange River. It has a population of 1,773 (2019)
Does Orania have its own currency?
Yes, the town of Orania has its own currency. The Ora was introduced in April 2004 and is pegged to the South African rand. The currency is, however, not recognized outside of the town.
Does Orania have an army?
Orania isn’t known to have a standing military force – no army and no police station. The Oranje Commando, which some people mistake for the Oranioa army, is actually a battalion of the South African Infantry Corps Army Territorial Reserve.
Orania is pretty tiny and can’t possibly resist an invasion from the South African forces – if at all that should happen.
Does Orania have a hospital?
Orania has a hospital. However, its medical facilities and services are not as extensive as those in mainland South Africa.
Does Orania still exist?
Yes, Orania still exists – at the time of writing, anyway: July 2022. And it looks like the town will exist untouched in any way for a long time if the South African government continues to look the other way as it has always done since the founding of the town decades ago.
Does Orania have a police station?
No, there are no police stations in Orania. According to an ABC report three years ago, there is no crime in Orania and, therefore, no police stations. The residents are happy to just live their lives and not steal things.
Does Orania have load shedding?
South Africa suffers from a load-shedding crisis that has made many wonder if “neighbouring” Orania suffers from the same challenge. But Orania doesn’t have the same issues. The town relies on solar power, which generates enough electricity to power the city. Eskom has no foothold there.
Does Orania have a university?
The town of Orania boasts of two schools, the CVO Skool Orania (Christelike Volks-Onderwys or Christian People’s Education) and Volkskool Orania (Orania People’s School). There is no record of a university located in Orania.
Does Orania pay tax?
Orania is pretty self-sufficient as a town, producing most of what it needs, from pecan nuts to vegetables. It also rears livestock and takes care of its electricity infrastructure. Yet it pays taxes to South Africa.
What currency does Orania use?
Orania is determined to not only be independent but also do things through which it exercises its sovereignty, like having its own currency – called the Ora. The currency goes by the symbol Φ.
How to apply to live in Orania?
Many people, especially blacks, have thought of living in Orania but decided to stay away to avoid provoking the local population, which doesn’t want black life to be part of the community.
However, whites who want to live in Orania can apply. They just can’t buy a home in the town and start living there. Those who want to live will have to apply and be interviewed by a community. Among the criteria for selection is that applicants should have no criminal records.
There’s no assurance one would be accepted after applying, however.
How big is Orania?
When some people hear Orania, they think of a vast space. Orania is actually a small town measuring approximately 8.95 km²