The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has vowed to shake things up in Orania – the “whites only” enclave in the Northern Cape – should the party emerge victorious after the local government elections.
The EFF says the status quo at Orania, which falls under the Thembelihle Municipality, will definitely change. Residents of Orania currently receive no services from the local municipality. This follows an agreement in 2000 through a legal framework known as share block under South African law.
Orania is home to 1 300 Afrikaners. The town was established in 1991 to preserve and promote Afrikaner culture and language.
However, Thembelihle Mayor Danny Jonas, an EFF candidate, says should the party win at the polls – the whites only town might cease to exist.
“I believe when EFF takes over on the August 04, we need to go back and understand what is happening because you cannot have a Boerestaat in an area like Thembelihle or South Africa. You cannot have two mayors, it cannot work like that.”
Orania will hold its own elections on August 03 and residents will choose their own council made up of 12 members.
Despite registering to vote, residents say local government elections mean nothing to them and that the EFF is not a threat. Orania leader, Carol Boshoff, says, “Nobody is prevented from participating in local government elections in Orania, but it is not popular amongst our people. At the same time, on the same day, we do elect our own internal council as well. What we have learned about populist politics is that there are a lot of things said but when you get down and discuss the hard issues of the day, there is always a possibility of finding some common ground.”
Residents echoed their leader’s sentiments. One says, “I am not particularly interested in party politics but very much interested in the whole idea of localism.”
Thembelihle Municipality is currently governed by coalition between the Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People (COPE) and Mayor Jonas who won as an independent candidate.
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