8 October 1997

South Africa: Envisaged Boere Republic Registered In The Heart Of Mpumalanga

Balmoral — Discrimination against Afrikaners in the new South Africa has prompted several Afrikaner businessmen to establish an envisaged Boere Republic in Balmoral, near Witbank.

Chairman of the Boere-Republiek Kooperatief Beperk (Boers Republic Co-operative Limited), Fritz Meyer, said that Afrikaner rights had to be protected. "People are being discriminated against if they are an Afrikaner, and this is not acceptable," he said.

He said Afrikaners were losing their jobs because of the government's "racist' affirmative action policy and that the Boere co- operative wanted to economically uplift the Afrikaner. Meyer said the government was also incapable of maintaining stability in the country.

"Crime in South Africa is out of hand and one of our aim is to ensure the collective safety of our members," he said. Three private farms of about 200 hectares in total in the Balmoral area were registered officially in March as the Boere-Republiek Kooperatief Beperk.

On Saturday (11 October), at a cost of just R1 200 each, members of the co-operative will be given 1 000 square metre stands on which they can build their homes. "The first residential area will be called Voortrekker Hoogte, after the Voortrekkers," Meyer explained.

He said a shopping centre, clinic and schools would also be built on the property. "We will not pay for services, but will have our own refuse removal, water and sanitation services which will be run by the board of directors," he said.

He said the standards of education, health and safety and security in South Africa were deteriorating and that the Afrikaner had to be protected. "Our long term primary goal is self-determination," he said. One of the board directors, Louis Swanepoel, stressed that the co-operative was not a political organisation.

"We are in no way party-political nor are we linked to parties to the right of the political spectrum, but a large number of our boere people are struggling in the new economy," he explained. "This is simply a project initiated by Boere Afrikaners for Boere Afrikaners," he said.

Swanepoel said a Mr Mabena living on the property had been asked to apply for a house elsewhere through the government's RDP housing programme. "We are not racially discriminating, but we need to take care of our own people and protect our identity as Afrikaaners," said Swanepoel.

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