Onderhoud: Marokkaanse koerant Maroc Hebdo met Joost Strydom, na afloop van reuse steun vir Orania uit Marokko.
Maroc Hebdo: How did you receive the support of Raja supporters?
Joost: The Orania Movement uses social media to spread our cause, inform people and keep international friends of the Afrikaner and Orania informed of the situation and risks for us because of government policy. We were flabbergasted and very surprised to see massive support from Morocco one morning! First we weren’t quite sure exactly what happened and why- but on Twitter posts the picture became clear: The people of Morocco were standing in support of Orania and our quest for freedom!
Maroc Hebdo :Did you expect to be known in Morocco?
Joost: Not at all, in the challenging situation in South-Africa, we sometimes feel very alone and forsaken. As if the world has forgotten about the Afrikaner in our time of need.
The Fact that people in Morocco knew about Orania is a testament that 1. The Orania idea is gaining worldwide popularity because communities see that this is a viable option for Afrikaners and many other groups- Orania is gaining more and more international attention! 2. Its also a testament that Orania has international friends that we don’t even know about. What a comforting feeling that people know of the situation in South-Africa and the tyrannical policies of the ANC. It shows that we are neither forgotten nor alone. The time is ripe for the Orania idea!
Maroc Hebdo: Obviously not all Moroccans know about your movement. How would you present it to someone who is unfamiliar with it and with South Africa’s context in general?
Joost: Orania is in the extremely challenging and privileged situation to break new ground for alternative idealists and communities worldwide. The reason for this is: Orania is BOTH an idea and a home for people. To be either is easy, to be both is challenging!”
Orania is two things; a freedom-organisation carrying the torch for Afrikaners and other groups alike, not only proving that freedom is necessary, but also that it is possible.
Furthermore, Orania is a home in the deepest sense of the word. A home for members of a volk that got sold out, humiliated, and deeply wounded but never conquered.
In a country where Afrikaners are outnumbered 20:1, Orania is not just the only hope for Afrikaner-freedom, but also becoming the last resort for survival – both physically and as a survival place for language, religion, and a balanced world view.
Orania is a solution-driven, bigger picture community, meaning that we have a plan for ourselves but also suggestions for others, including the rest of our country. We believe in a confederate-system as possible solution for a country so diverse that it claims eleven official languages!
Orania faces multiple challenges; firstly, to educate both friend and foe of our (ethical and workable) idea, and secondly to physically and ideologically survive and / or thrive in a very dangerous and hostile host country.
Any chance of survival, let alone the opportunity to flourish, should start with solving Afrikaners’ (and others’) main challenge: demographics. In a country (as created by the British empire with zero regard for local institutional arrangements and landownership) where Afrikaners are locked into a geographical ‘country’ the size of 16 Western European countries and outnumbered 1:20, demographics is a serious challenge. Why?
Afrikaner culture, religion, language, and values have zero ‘say’ in a one man one vote democracy and is simply disregarded. Furthermore, Afrikaners as previous minority rulers who lost everything, is actively hated and held responsible for a country in decay. There is no way to maintain your ways.
Demographic challenges cannot be overcome economically, militarily, or even politically! It must be solved demographically.
Orania started just that; by relocating to a barren, almost unpopulated part of semi-desert in the middle of the country where the weather is harsh, and resources are scarce.
The Karoo-area in South-Africa is so scarcely populated that Afrikaners have the opportunity to become a demographic majority in a geographical area. By achieving this, Oranians are creating a de facto reality; one where we can maintain our own culture, religion, control of our children’s futures and more.
Another aspect, which is hard for Europeans to understand because they already practice this, is the idea of own labour. In short, labour practices create demographic realities. If you import cheap labour from external communities not of the same culture, you change demographic realities forever.
The other two pillars of the Orania plan are own institutions and own land. The former is a set of independent institutions, from sosio-economic and education, to financial, religious,
and production-related – everything people would need when their own state is a) antagonistic and b) incompetent. The latter is logical in a time and age where land is so controversial in South-Africa, legally acquired land big enough to start a community.
What we built:
The Orania community, taking up alternative non-mainstream measures, since the political inception of the idea, has created a set of alternatives including an own ‘currency’, own banking system, own labour practises, own safety and security in a professional, legal and effective manner, created an own justice system, and won a court case against the state (and all odds!) to become a unique and independent municipality.
Orania has managed to organise the community with population of about 2500, to grow about 10% every year! However, in 2020, our census showed a growth of 16.5%.
In terms of new businesses, we are seeing growth of about 25% per year. The main economic sectors in Orania are retail, construction, tourism, and service delivery. One of two local schools doubled in attending children, in a span of 5 years. The local tertiary training institution grew from five attendees to twenty to fifty to one hundred in four years. Medical, security and professional services are growing by the day. However, looking beyond the buildings, the institutions, and services, Orania’s main success is its strongly determined and wildly enthusiastic people.
Oranians push with an unspeakable determination against almost hopeless circumstances. And that, paired with a shared HOME, makes every challenge worthwhile!
Maroc Hebdo : Afrikaner nationalist movements are often associated with apartheid in its racialist sense. Does Orania identify with it?
Joost: The Orania-idea is in not inherently racist. To tell the truth, Apartheid did not end in South-Africa. The state enforced policy shifted to economically enforced. Massive inequality and horrible living conditions is still the norm in South-Africa. Racial tension is high because of ANC-policy enforcing more than 120 laws based on race!
In contrast with the ANC’s racism, which created more problems than it solved, Orania’s community based approach is balanced and acknowledge all the peoples and nations of South-Africa. It is evident from Orania’s official and diplomatic liaison with black traditional communities which also strives towards higher levels of self-sufficiency.
Orania broke away from colonial and apartheid era labour practices by endorsing the idea of “own labour” something very unusual in South-Africa. All the work in Orania is done by Afrikaners/residents of Orania.
(This exploits no one else, while empowering Afrikaners in own right! – red)
Orania has been called “the antidote” to Apartheid by a journalist who understood the massive undertaking of own labour policies.
Maroc Hebdo: Have you ever been in touch with Moroccan authorities?
Joost: Not yet! Orania have hosted officials from various governments, and we are always open for conversation and higher levels of acknowledgment and respect. It’s wonderful to experience non-expected support.
Maroc Hebdo: Morocco has, throughout its history, always supported self-determination movements such as Algeria’s starting from its independence in the mid-1950s, but it also wants to make a distinction with purely separatist movements since it is directly affected by the situation in its Sahara. In what way does Orania constitute an authentic self-determination movement?
Joost: Orania is an authentic self-determination movement in the deepest sense of the word. Why?
Firstly; we ask only what we wish the other nations of the country. We do not want to rule anyone but ourselves.
We define freedom as: Not being ruled over by others, but also not ruling over others!
Orania also embrace a system for South-Africa of “community of communities. Meaning; it is time for the outdated ANC system of central government in South-Africa to end, it is not working great for anyone and it is working horribly for some.
A community of communities means place for everyone, and good relationships, trade, communications and more between groups. The friction that ANC policy is causing, can only be solved by managing such friction by creating a community of communities.
Secondly. Oranians are not claiming the high value mining areas or the rich vineyards of South-Africa, but rather a semi desert area in the Northern Cape, where there are almost no population.
An area not wanted by many will be converted into a home for Afrikaners.
Thirdly Afrikaners are a defined group. Culturally, religiously, and more we are identifiable as a homogeneous group. We have a unique culture, own language, and practices.
A definable, identifiable group, with a own culture and claim for an own piece of land.
We do not demand anything from anyone else, we only expect that the government acknowledge us as people.
And even if they refuse us that very basic right- we will continue to build a home for ourselves, with the help of many international friends!
word 'n lid!
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