27km van Pretoria vind jy 'n Afrikaner-enklawe.
However, you won't find the safety features in Kleinfontein that are so popular with home owners elsewhere in the "Rainbow country" – barbed wire, military-grade alarm systems and electric fences. Residents trust each other and if there is a problem or a dispute, the locals try to deal with it in their own community first before calling the police.
💡 Het jy geweet?
Afrikaans is 'n Ido-Europese taal wat aan die Wes-Germaanse tak van die Germaanse tale behoort. Afrikaans behoort saam met Nederlands aan die Nederfrankiese taalgroep wat van Oudnederlands afstam.
This 100% Christian town outside of Pretoria is home to 1,500 Boer and Afrikaner people – the descendants of white Dutch and Belgian settlers, who have lived on this land for the past three hundred years.
My guide is Dannie de Beer – one of the 12 directors governing the Afrikaner Cultural Town of Kleinfontein. Dannie is wearing a South Tyrolean jacket – a sign of his appreciation for the small German-speaking autonomous region in Italy. He says that just like South Tyrol, Kleinfontein is an ethnic community, struggling to survive and preserve its culture and heritage.
The "Besieged Fortress"
The 800-hectare "shared block" property has its own restaurant, a shop and a bank, as well as school, home for the elderly, kindergarten and town hall, which also serves as a church. Kleinfontein is closed to outsiders. Every new resident is thoroughly interviewed by de Beer and other directors – people whose role is to be the "elders of the tribe." Even outside delivery and construction crews are allowed to enter the town only with permission from the board. If an owner wants to hire such a crew, management has to check first whether there are any local Boers that could do the job, and if that's the case, it may prohibit the strangers from getting the contract.
According to Dannie de Beer such strict rules are in place because by letting someone else in to do their work, the community is risking its independence and power.
Kleinfontein is not the only Afrikaner community in South Africa. Its sister town of Orania is a two-hour drive away from here. Teams from both communities often gather to play rugby, as well as local games – jukskei and netball.
The town's engineers are currently building a one-megawatt solar power plant, which will make it possible to supply the community with clean energy. Another source of pride for Kleinfontein is the high-speed internet line. The connection relies on long-distance wireless technology and on the use of optic fibers.
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1823 - 1838
Gesterf by die Slag van Italeni, Natal 11.4.1838
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori 1
(Horatius, Odae iii 2.13)
Nou ry ons deur die noue kloof! Pas op! Van alle kante spring die Impis van die Zuluhoof!
Ons's deur 'n gillende muur omring! Die Boere storm dwars deur die muur!
Ons mans is vry! Nee wag! Piet Uys. Moet nog die enge strik verduur! Hy keer die spiese met sy vuis! Sy metgeselle jaag nou weg! Nee! Een keer t'rug om Piet te help! Dis Dirk, sy seun, deur die muur t'rug gevleg
Om sy sterwende pa se bloed te stelp! Die dood het Dirkie ingehol! Mag ons sy edele gees tog erf. Dis aangenaam en erevol. Vir volk en vaderland te sterf.
Die hart van elke Boerekind Sal tril en beef van trots op Dirk! 'n Vreeslose jong en trougesind: Hy't die strooi uit ons volkssiel weggevurk!
© Peter Cohen Hamburg