UK newspaper brands Orania ‘desert Eden’ – as population soars by 55%

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Make no mistake, Orania is a town that is growing by the day. Although its ideology and history remain contentious, the whites-only enclave is now undeniably proving it can succeed on its own – to the point where international media institutions are paying attention.

Orania making headlines overseas

The Times, a flagship national newspaper in the UK, wrote a glowing report about the direction Orania is heading in. Author Jane Flanagan even labelled it the ‘desert Eden’, for South Africans who are increasingly opting-out of living in an urban society.

It’s no secret that more populated areas of Mzansi are still at the mercy of poor policing, fearless criminals, and ineffective governance. Crime soared in the most recent quarter, and SAPS don’t appear capable of managing this dire situation.

How Orania is growing ‘at a rapid rate’

For those who, let’s say, ‘qualify’ to live in Orania, its remote location and sound security features are proving to be a big draw. The population has increased significantly since 2018 – and town officials are planning for as many as 10 000 people to come and live in their so-called Eden:

  • The report states that ‘an influx of people’ are now ‘retreating from the chaos’ of urban South Africa, to move into Orania.
  • There has been a 55% rise in its population numbers in the last four years, with about 2 500 members now living in the town.
  • Applications from outsiders to go and live in Orania have reached ‘staggering levels’, and new houses are being built at a rapid pace.
  • The goal is self-sufficiency, with an Eskom-independent grid and a sewage works that can serve 10 000 citizens now in the pipeline.
  • Flats have been built for new residents, who are looking to rent in Orania before they can buy.
  • Finally, the enclave’s local history museum is also receiving more submissions ‘than it knows what to do with’.

A desert Eden? Whites-only enclave sees population skyrocket

Flanagan states that those in Orania are pushing forward with their ‘ambition to secede’ from South Africa. It has its own currency, an amended school curriculum, and even a set of public holidays exclusive to the town. Those things seem to be helping the community, rather than hindering it.

With large parts of South African society now damaged extensively, it’s plausible that a social experiment as jaw-dropping as this could only ever survive here. Despite its morally-dubious origins, more SA citizens are now looking towards Orania WITHOUT scorn.

“Progress is being made with its founders’ original ambition towards secession. A sewage works to meet the needs of a population of 10,000 has been built, and a solar-power farm will capitalise on the bright desert skies to get the town off the crumbling national grid.”

Jane Flanagan of The Times

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