There’s an autonomous, whites-only enclave in the Northern Cape that has gotten used to doing its own thing during South Africa’s democratic era – and that rings true for the Local Election season. Like the rest of us, Orania will be going to the polls on Monday… but their ballot papers will be different to ours.
ORANIA STEM SELF: IN ONS EIE VERKIESING
Oraniërs stem vandag vir 11 +1 (uit 21 genomineerde) kandidate wat hulle sal verteenwoordig in Orania se weergawe van ‘n eie unieke munisipale bestel. Geen politieke partye, net verteenwoordigers! https://t.co/1wcuMPO4Fz pic.twitter.com/pzeOrQAFym
— Joost Strydom (@StrydomJoost) November 1, 2021
Election Day in Orania – how does it work?
In the past, EFF voters have travelled to the town to cast their votes in National Elections. Hilariously, the Red Berets ended up with 3.4% of the vote in Orania two years ago. But the same feat cannot be replicated during Local Elections – because the controversial settlement only elects its public servants via an ‘Own Representative Council’.
An Own Representative Council is elected by residents, running parallel to the Local Elections.There are 21 candidates to vote for, and Orania locals will be asked to pick 11 representatives in total.They have NO affiliation to any of South Africa’s political parties, and all run as independents.Oranians are asked to wear orange when they attend the voting booth on Monday, as per tradition.
You can see a full list of those candidates here:
Who can you vote for in Orania?
The voting population of Orania is between 1 000 to 1 500. This cohort will decide who runs the administrative side of things for the town, right up until 2026. Although this enclave is classed as Freedom Front Plus stronghold, there will be no party representatives on the OVR. The vote being held today is essentially divorced from the rest of SA.
The only people allowed to vote in Orania’s OVRs are those aged 18 or over with residence rights, and participants must have lived here for three months or longer. Outsiders who have bought property or joined the Orania Movement are also allowed to vote, and they will receive a link to an online platform via text or email.
“Orania has a unique system, and no party politics is represented. Locals vote directly for representatives, who directly represent our interests. This comes from a court case in 2000, where a settlement agreement with the government was reached and our Transitional Council continued as the Orania Representative Council (OVR).”
“Voters do not have to own property here to have the right to vote. One person must be 18 years or older, have residence rights, and live in Orania for more than three months. Persons living outside of the town, but with established interests here – through property or membership with the Orania Movement – are also allowed to vote.”