Response to Darryn Pollock’s “Whites-Only Bitcoin-Like Currency To Appear In South Africa”
This is a response to Darryn Pollock’s article titled: “Whites-Only Bitcoin-Like Currency To Appear In South Africa” (The CoinTelegraph, July 17, 2017).
Pollock kicks off with: “A controversial racially segregated bastion in the North West Province of South Africa that operates outside the laws of the country…”
Nothing could be further away from the truth. The Afrikaner community on Orania, a group that seeks Afrikaner self-determination, operates fully within the laws of the Republic of South Africa and within the boundaries of international law.
Right of Self-Determination – Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa
Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa, the section relating to self-determination reads:
“The Right of the South African people as a whole to self-determination, as manifested in this Constitution, does not preclude, within the framework of this right, recognition of the notion of the right of self-determination of any community sharing a common cultural and language heritage, within a territorial entity in the Republic or in any other way, determined by national legislation.”
The Afrikaner community on Orania consists of people who share a common cultural and language heritage. They are like many other diverse communities in South Africa who are exercising their right of self-determination based on the same principles as contained in Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa.
Right of Self-Determination – International Law
“The right of self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principle in international law. It is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Common Article 1, paragraph 1 of these Covenants provides that:
“All peoples have the rights of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
The right of self-determination has also been recognized in other international and regional human rights instruments such as Part VII of the Helsinki Final Act 1975 and Article 20 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Territories and Peoples. It has been endorsed by the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, the scope and content of the right of self- determination has been elaborated upon by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as well as international jurists and human rights experts.
To read more about Self-determination click on one or more of the links below (PDF and Word documents).
- Indigenous Peoples Self-determination and the Nation State in Asia, by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance
- Definition and delimitation of the indigenous peoples of Asia, by Tapan Bose”
Pollock: “Currently, 97 percent of the town is white, in a country where the demographic sees just 10 percent nationwide being classed as white.”
There are many municipalities and communities in South Africa where 97%+ of the communities consist of Black Africans with their own common cultural and language heritage. E.g. Albert Luthuli Local Municipality, which is similar to Orania in terms of demographics, has a population of a 186,010 people of which 97.6% are Black Africans.
Albert Luthuli Local Municipality – R90m water supply project under way
This is not even to mention the hundreds of other “Black Oranias” in South Africa. They all consist of communities that, like the Afrikaner community on Orania, exercise their right of self-determination as per Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa – and rightfully so.
Pollock: “Orania was created as a bastion for believers in the cruel and inhumane principles of Apartheid to continue existing.”
Simply not true. Members of the Afrikaner community on Orania learned from history. They seek self-determination for the Afrikaner people based on three core principles:
1. Control over own institutions such as schools, social services, municipalities and museums.
2. An own territory.
3. Own Afrikaner labour (Official Orania Website).
Own Afrikaner Labour
Orania has over the time span of 25 years signed many agreements with other South African communities that wish to be more self-sustainable, including communities such as the Xhosa community of Mnyameni – a community that is 98% made up of Xhosas (and to use Pollock’s measure: 100% of Black Africans).
Orania signs cooperative agreement with Xhose community (Mnyameni)
Pollock: “Now, with the boom in digital currencies, Orania hopes to implement this forward thinking technology into its socially backward ways.”
The creation of the E-Ora will aid the socio-economic upliftment of the Afrikaner community on Orania – a community that loves to celebrate their cultural heritage in ways that involve all members of the community. E.g. during the annual “Orania Karnaval,” Afrikaners from all over South Africa come together on Orania to celebrate their common heritage.
This is but one of many events organized by the Afrikaner community on Orania to get as many Afrikaners socially involved as possible.
Fun at its best during the annual “Orania Karnaval”
Pollock: “Ora currently functions like a token or voucher with the users benefiting from discount prices in the town. It is of course not recognized by the South African reserve bank, however, within Orania it can be traded for South African rands at the so-called central bank at a rate of one-to-one.”
Correct. The Ora functions as a token or voucher that can be used within Orania. Thus, there is no need for it to be supported by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
The “so-called central bank” Pollock refers to is the “OSK Koöperatiewe Bank Beperk” – a co-operative bank run to the benefit of the Orania community, registered and recognized by the SARB.
In addition, the Ora brings many benefits to the Orania community beyond merely serving as a means to get discounted prices. E.g. interest is earned on the ZAR (South African Rand) deposited at the OSK, while the equivalent in Ora is used in transactions to help sustain the economy in Orania. The use of the Ora also discourages counterfeits and theft, because it can only be used within Orania (as mentioned above).
Pollock: “The next step for Orania is to do away totally with the town’s fiat currency and thus remove transaction fees which are slowing the use of the internal currency.”
Pollock fails to mention than there are no transaction fees involved in the use of the Ora. The digital version of the Ora will however help to eliminate the cost associated with the printing of physical tokens. The digital version should also enjoy more widespread usage as many people have devices that will make it easier to use and transfer the tokens.
Pollock: “Despite the obvious social and humanitarian crimes that Orania revels in, the small town acts as an interesting case study as to the value of a full digital currency on a micro level.”
Which “obvious social and humanitarian crimes”? This is more defamation from someone who is hell-bent to tarnish the image of the Orania community – a community that is no stranger to hard work, hospitality and a desire to co-exist in peace and harmony with their neighbors.
Nelson Mandela is one of many leaders who visited Orania. He visited Orania in 1995 and was well received (see below).
It is people such as Darryn Pollock who are hell-bent to advance their agenda of hate at any cost. People such as Pollock is the reason why there is a need for crypto tokens such as Bitcoin. The same reason why communities such as Orania must create their own digital tokens. To stand against those who are hell-bent to cheat them out of their right of self-determination.
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