Orania pleased at land claim

2006-12-05 21:30

Bloemfontein - The Orania Movement said on Tuesday it was satisfied with the settlement of a land claim that involved part of the separatist Afrikaner enclave in the Northern Cape.

"The settlement between the land claims commission and the group of former residents of Orania is good news," said spokesperson Eleanor Lombard.

The settlement involves R2.9m that the state will pay to the claimants.

"With this, any possible right on the land of Orania has lapsed," said Lombard, who added that the land claim was not against Orania itself.

The claim was instituted by about 20 families whom the department of water affairs moved from Grootverwacht, which is part of Orania, in 1991.

Alternative homes

They were settled at surrounding towns such as Luckhoff, Hopetown, Petrusville and Warrenton.

Orania was bought on tender from the department in 1990 and part of the agreement between the founders of Orania and the department was that all the then-inhabitants of the Orania town complex should move out.

The department would have arranged for alternative homes.

Lombard said the settlement was in line with the Northern Cape land claim commissioner's initial standpoint that Orania was a settled community that should not be disrupted.

"The leaders of Orania, after the announcement of the claim last year, met the commission and it was agreed the claim would be handled in a way that avoided conflict.

"It was good that the settlement could be handled this way."

Lombard said Orania residents were pleased by the news that the claim finally had been settled.

"It means the economic development of Orania can continue whole heartedly."

Lombard said the favourable settling of the land claim would encourage business confidence and economic growth in Orania.