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- Orania cashes in on the 'ora'
- 2004-04-29 21:59
- Johannesburg - A handful of staunch Afrikaners tucked away in a whites-only Orania were to launch their own currency on Thursday as part of a campaign for an independent homeland.
- "The whole idea centres around Orania's ultimate goal of independence," said spokesperson Eleanor Lombard from the dilapidated town in the northern Karoo.
- About 500 Afrikaners are hoping to create an independent homeland in Orania, which was bought by a private company in 1990, months after apartheid laws were scrapped and liberation icon Nelson Mandela released from prison.
- Orania's owners have embraced a whites-only policy and promote "selfwerksaamheid" (self-reliance) among Afrikaners.
- The launch of Orania's new currency came after a vote among residents on five suggested names for the money: leaves, talents, nuts, orion and ora.
- Notes carry advertising
- Lombard said: "To my delight, the 'ora' won overwhelmingly. It comes from the first three letters of 'Orania' and it also sounds like the Latin word 'aurum' which means gold."
- The notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50 and 100 and display pictures of an Afrikaner woman dressed in a traditional Dutch bonnet and a frilly old-fashioned gown, holding a baby.
- But each note advertises a local business. The 50-ora, for instance, carries the logo of the local liquor store and its slogan: "The years pass by, but the throats will always be dry."
- The ora notes were to be on sale from Friday morning for exclusive use in Orania, but Lombard said local businesses would continue to accept South African currency.
- Lombard said: "The ora is to be used by residents on a voluntary basis and some businesses will give discounts if you buy with the ora.
- "The idea is to cash some of your rands for oras at the beginning of the month, and then spend it in our town.
- "It will promote local economic growth. From now on, I will have my hair done in Orania and pay with my oras instead of going to some hairdresser in the city."
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