30 – the Afrikaner Volkstaat

‘Volkstaat’ is Afrikaans for People’s state – the people in this case being the white South Africans who identify themselves as ‘Afrikaners’ (mainly descendents of Dutch settlers, speaking a language derived from Dutch and considering themselves an indigenous nation in Africa).


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The idea of a ‘Volkstaat’ came about with the end of Apartheid in 1994, when the white minority finally gave in to the black majority, and handed over the reins of power to Nelson Mandela’s ANC. According to some surveys, about 30% of Afrikaners, thinking back to the independent ‘Boer republics’ that were established in the nineteenth century to escape Britsh rule over the Cape, would like to establish a similar state where Afrikaners can rule themselves. Most South Africans (and indeed most Afrikaners) are opposed to the idea, as it is essentially racist.

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A practical problem in the establishment of a ‘Volkstaat’ is the fact that Afrikaners are quite evenly spread out over the whole of the country, nowhere forming a majority. Two small communities have been formed to be the nuclei of possible Volkstaat options. One is Orania, founded in 1991 in the West Cape, the other is Kleinfontein in Gauteng.

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This map shows the proposal for a Volkstaat in the West Cape, which is sparsely populated and thus might more easily be ‘settled’ by Volkstaters. The idea seems to have waning support among Afrikaners, however, and therefore will probably never materialise.

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volkstaat.gif

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This map can be found here on the website of the Vryheidsfront (‘Freedom Front’), a political party advocating the Volkstaat.

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