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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 April, 2004, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
'Whites-only' money for SA town
Orania resident (photo: Orania.co.za)
Critics of Orania accuse them of living in the past
A whites-only enclave is launching its own currency just two days after South Africa celebrated the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid.

Orania is a small town in the northern Cape populated by white Afrikaners, including the grandson of Henrik Vorwoerd, the architect of apartheid.

The currency will be known as the ora and is available in four denominations.

A spokesman said the currency could only be spent within the town and would be worthless if stolen by outsiders.

"The whole idea is that we are actually working towards the idea of a community that is self-sufficient," said spokeswoman Eleanor Lombard.

"The symbols on the ora 10 note showed the Afrikaner's history, the ora 20 note his art, the ora 50 note his culture and the ora 100 note depicted Orania," she said.

A spokesperson for South Africa's Reserve Bank said the voucher or currency must not resemble any of the South African bank notes. An Oranian spokesman told the BBC that the new notes had been designed by a local artist and the celebrations in the town hall would be preceded by songs and on-stage sketches.

The BBC's correspondent in South Africa, Barnaby Phillips, says the ANC government is ideologically opposed to the concept of a whites-only homeland but instead of confronting Orania, has tended to ignore it.

'Fruit salad'

Ms Lombard rejected suggestions that the new currency was a sign that the community had rejected a multi-racial South Africa.

Museum
A museum in the town is dedicated to Afrikaner history
"South African society is like a fruit salad - if I am allowed to be whatever I am - a banana, an apple or whatever - I can add to the flavour," she told Reuters news agency.

"If I am all squashed up, I cannot contribute."

Many of Orania's 600 residents say they have come here to escape the violence and crime prevalent in the rest of South Africa.

Their main industry is agriculture.


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