Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Zuma’s visit ‘an outstanding day’ for Orania

President Jacob Zuma’s visit is a “red letter day” for the Afrikaner enclave of Orania, its founder, Professor Carel Boshoff, said on Tuesday.

“We would remember it as an outstanding day.”

Zuma earlier arrived in the dusty Northern Cape town in an Oryx helicopter, seemingly to renew old ties with the white-haired Orania founder.

He told a handful of journalists the meeting was a follow-up to various talks he had held with Orania representatives in the past. He referred to Orania as a community of “interesting ideas”. Zuma said he was warmly welcomed by local leaders.

“And we talked.”

Referring to Boshoff, Zuma said he had never stopped preaching his ideas and views of Orania, which had been his dream. The Afrikaners at Orania were prepared to live in South Africa, but wanted a place to exercise their culture, he said.

Housing problem
In a short memorandum, Boshoff asked Zuma to help with Orania’s institutional status, which he said had not been finalised yet.

Orania’s single biggest growth and development problem was housing. The inhabitants, about 800 of them, paid taxes. He said it would be welcomed if some of those funds could find their back to the town to address “acute shortages”.

Zuma later took a tour of the town in a convey of six black BMWs — 4x4s and sedans — about four police cars and three cars carrying journalists. Nobody lined the gravel streets to sing or wave. One man working in his garden showed little interest.

The president visited the Elim project, housing quarters for unmarried men aged between 19 and 55. The project’s manager, Willie du Plessis, said unemployed white men usually came to the centre. They were then allocated municipal or farm work to do and underwent training. At any given time there were about 40 of them.

Asked if the local municipal workers also took part in the recent nationwide public-servants’ strike, Du Plessis said: “Staking? Ons ken nie daardie woord hier nie (Strike? We don’t know the meaning of that word here).” — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The basic income grant is surely on the horizon

It is becoming clear SA needs a BIG, as many ANC cabinet members, opposition parties and experts agree. But there is still dissent from some quarters

Bargaining council looks into complaint against Blade Nzimande

Two months before the long-serving higher education director general was suspended, he reported Nzimande to the bargaining council

More top stories

The basic income grant is surely on the horizon

It is becoming clear SA needs a BIG, as many ANC cabinet members, opposition parties and experts agree. But there is still dissent from some quarters

Bargaining council looks into complaint against Blade Nzimande

Two months before the long-serving higher education director general was suspended, he reported Nzimande to the bargaining council

Ace claims the state’s witness

The ANC’s suspended secretary general believes the state’s witness is, in fact, the defence’s witness

Taxi violence: Fight for survival in Cape Town’s dangerous turf...

The flare-up of the taxi war in the Western Cape has again shown the industry’s ability to hold commuters, the state and the local economy to ransom
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×