Covid-19: Orania settlement feeling the pinch as lockdown continues

Covid-19: Orania settlement feeling the pinch as lockdown continues

- Orania residents say that they have been struggling during the current lockdown

- With restrictions in place, economic activities have ground to a halt

- Relying largely on the agriculture industry, the small Northern Cape community is feeling the pinch

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Orania is an Afrikaner stronghold that has been operating independently from South Africa - even to the extent of creating their own currency - since 1991.

But the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown imposed on the nation has had an impact on the Northern Cape community.

With residents adhering to the lockdown regulations, businesses and schools have shut down with masks being worn and community members being screened, reports The South African.

The tiny economy relies largely on the agriculture industry and Joost Strydom commented that:

“Economy can also cost lives in terms of hunger and so on. What we did in Orania is we stayed inside as the rules of the lockdown, but we also kept innovating. We got multiple people making masks. Also, the agricultural sector, which is very big here in the area, is very important for us as Orania. You know it’s a sector that’s been excluded from the lockdown. It doesn’t mean you can do what you want we need to be socially responsible but we got our people working on farms keeping social distance and producing food for the nation.”

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The head of the movement confirmed that around 2 000 residents have been screened and tested and no coronavirus cases have been reported.

While the situation may seem bleak, the community remains hopeful that things will return to normal when the lockdown finally eases.

The SABC reports that the town has found innovative ways for learners to study at home during the continued crisis. reports that the lockdown is set to ease slightly on Friday, with the level of restrictions lowered to Level 4.

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