Social Cohesion

“PLACE OF OUR OWN”: The Anthropology of Space and Place In the Afrikaner Volkstaat of Orania

In anthropological studies place is often taken for granted, “just” the locale where other interesting, more significant things happen (De Jongh 2006:79). I argue that rather than a mere backdrop to activities, the landscape of Orania is significant and that physical place is essential for the construction of an Orania identity. I ethnographically examine whether […]


Big fish in small ponds: Changing stratification and inequalities in small towns in the Karoo region, South Africa

Chapter in a book. The chapter is available from the author at

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Engaging with the ‘soil and soul’ of a community: Rethinking development, healing and transformation in South Africa, PhD thesis 

 Engaging with the ‘soil and soul’ of a community: Rethinking development, healing and transformation in South Africa . PhD thesis Phia van der Watt, University of the Free State, Febr 2016 Abstract This study was inspired by my community development praxis over the past 25 years in South Africa. Critical losses, hardship, oppression and frustrated dreams […]


Exercise in futility or dawn of Afrikaner self-determination

Due to their ethnic diversity nation states have the arduous task of accommodating various identity conscious groups within their boundaries. Nation-building programmes and strategies are employed mostly to unite the heterogeneous populations of nation states, as is currently also being done by the ANC Government in South Africa. In 1991, three years before the ANC […]

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Griqua identity: A bibliography

Most scholars acknowledge that the origins of the Griqua people are rooted in the complex relationships between autochthonous KhoeSan, slaves, Africans and European settlers. Coupled with the intricacies that underpin the issue of Griqua identity – and often as equally contested – is the matter of terminology.  Christopher Saunders and Nicholas Southey describe the Griquas […]

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No Fixed Abode: the Poorest of the Poor and Elusive Identities in Rural South Africa

The itinerant sheep-shearing Karretjie (donkey cart) People of the arid Great Karoo of South Africa are among the poorest of the poor. They represent a rural underclass. Although they trace decent from both the early KhoeKhoen and the San, there is no historical continuity between the present-day impoverished foragers and their pre-colonial nomadic Forebears.

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Resilience and Adaptability of Rural Communities. A Case Study of Ebenhaeser

 Resilience and Adaptability of Rural Communities. A Case Study of Ebenhaeser Ilma Brink, Dissertation masters in development studies, Centre for Development Support University of the Free State, 2014 Abstract Successful development of cuisine as a niche tourism product has been portrayed in various countries in the world. The paper argues that the Karoo provides evidence […]


Socio-economic and cultural study of the Griqua people in South Africa

The history (or rather ‘histories’) of the Griqua people is a highly contested subject matter and versions of the historical development of the Griqua nation are as diverse as the nation itself. From the early 1800s, when the name Griqua was adopted to describe indigenous people with linkages to the traditional Khoi-San culture, ‘true’ Griqua […]

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The Ubuntu Development Forum’s profile and goals

 The Ubuntu Development Forum’s profile and goals Ubuntu Forum for Socio Economic Development is a voluntary association and registered as a non-profit organisation . We are an inclusive organisation open for membership to individuals and organisations representing the broad community and can associate themselves with the objectives of the forum. UBUNTU REGION Geographical size: 20 […]


We are the First People’: Land, Natural Resources and Identity in the Central Kalahari, Botswana

This article focuses on the ways in which the San and another minority group, the Bakgalagadi, have been treated over time in Botswana, with particular emphasis on the people residing in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the largest protected area in the country. It deals specifically with the roles of various institutions and individuals, including […]