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

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.

Deconstructing South Africa’s construction industry performance

The construction industry has contracted sharply, partly due to Covid, and needs to rebalance its focus if it wants to survive
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Journey through anxious Joburg

A new book has collected writing about the condition of living, yes, with a high crime rate, but also other, more pervasive existential urban stresses particular to the Global South

Football legend Maradona dies

The Argentinian icon died at his home on Wednesday, two weeks after having surgery on a blood clot in his brain

Why no vaccine at all is better than a botched...

As Covid vaccines near the manufacturing stage, a look at two polio vaccines provides valuable historical insights

Under cover of Covid, Uganda targets LGBTQ+ shelter

Pandemic rules were used to justify a violent raid on a homeless shelter in Uganda, but a group of victims is pursuing a criminal case against the perpetrators
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…