Ora (currency)

The Ora (symbol:Φ, [ˈʊə.ra])[1] is the local currency of Orania, an Afrikaner enclave in South Africa first issued in April 2004. It is pegged at par with the South African rand.[1] The name, recalling that of the town where it circulates, derives from Latin aurum, meaning "gold".[2] The currency is not sanctioned by the South African Reserve Bank.[3]

Tien Ora noot (Racheltjie de Beer).jpg
Ten Ora note featuring Racheltjie de Beer
ISO 4217
Codenot recognized
Date of introductionApril 2004
User(s)Orania, Northern Cape
Central bankChamber of Commerce of Orania


The first notes were issued in April 2004 to provide an internal currency for Orania as part of its quest for self-determination. The idea of the Ora originated in 2002, when Professor Johan van Zyl argued that a community that intended to empower itself should have access to as many instruments as possible, including its own currency.[4]

It is printed in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Ora. The 10 Ora note depicts Afrikaner history, the 20 Ora note Afrikaner art; the 50 Ora note Afrikaner culture; and the 100 Ora note Orania itself.[3] Each note also advertises a local business.[2]

Other than in Orania itself, the currency is also accepted in some surrounding towns.[5] To encourage its use, some stores in Orania offer a 5% discount for items purchased in Ora.[5] The local banking institution, the Orania Spaar- en Kredietkoöperatief, is in charge of the initiative.[5]

The use of the Ora as a payment method also has the effect of discouraging theft, as it can only be used within Orania.[6] About R400,000 to R580,000 worth of Oras were in circulation by 2011.[7] New notes are printed every three years to replace the ones worn out by use.


E-Ora payment in a local hardware store

The enclave is currently working to introduce the e-Ora, a digital version of the currency that is currently in circulation. The e-Ora will not replace physical notes, but supplement those that already exist. Additionally, unlike the Ora, the e-Ora will not have an expiry date. Efficient Group, a South African financial services company, is currently tasked with developing the digital currency in order to reduce costs that are incurred by printing notes.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Vakansieprogram 2014" (PDF). Orania Beweging. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Orania cashes in on the 'ora'". News24. 29 April 2004. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b "'Whites-only' money for SA town". BBC NEWS. 29 April 2004. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Change your rands before trekking to Orania". IOL News. 28 April 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Haleniuk, Aleksander (October 2013), Orania – the embryo of a new Volkstaat?, Uniwersytet Warszawski, archived from the original on 31 July 2014, retrieved 25 August 2014
  6. ^ "Wo Afrikaaner unter sich bleiben können" (in German). Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Voorgrond" (in Afrikaans). Orania Beweging. July 2011. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Orania wants its own Bitcoin". www.enca.com. Archived from the original on 2017-07-16. Retrieved 2017-09-19.

External linksEdit