About 15,000 Boers, descendants of mostly Dutch, but also French and German settlers, want to emigrate from South Africa to Russia, where they plan to establish an agricultural colony and invest in the Russian economy.
Post-apartheid South Africa has worked out well for some, and not others. The overall struggle against apartheid in South Africa was only made possible by guaranteeing that a post-apartheid South Africa wouldn’t be so radical that it would fall into the Soviet orbit. The Soviets, as well as Gaddafi of Libya, had supported anti-apartheid leaders like Nelson Mandela, even while he sat in prison for more than 27 years. Thus, only with the the USSR on the teetering verge of absolute collapse, could western powers pressure its partner South Africa to improve their public image, and change their constitution, release Mandela, and the rest as they say, is history.
As a result, of course a good number of blacks increased their lot, and white South Africans of English descent nevertheless continue to have a strong pull on the financial and trade centers in the country. Other blacks, not tribally or economically connected to blacks in powers, and white Boers, haven’t fared as well. Indeed, despite well-intentioned and effective anti-apartheid media and literature from the past, Boers in South Africa – while maintaining an advantage and privilege over most blacks – nevertheless lived in some of the poorest conditions by modern standards, paralleling the poverty of whites in parts of the US like Appalachia.
South Africa is on the verge of a race war and economic disaster. The devastation and confiscations, as well as the murders of white farmers, mean that the Boers are thinking of massive emigration. In addition, migration to South Africa from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, has increased substantially, and as a result, more violence – inter-tribal black-on-black violence as increased substantively as well.
The present situation in South Africa was created long ago, no one alive today is responsible for the history or the European requirement to create colonies. What people today appear prepared to do, is make the best out of an inherited dynamic. But raising the spectre of white poverty in South Africa often creates a dividing line, and even accusations of ‘racism’ can be hurled at those speaking on the issue.
Currently, 30 Boer families are ready to move to Russia immediately, and another 15,000 people want the same.
Irina Volynets, president of the non-governmental organization National Committee of Parents, who attended a meeting with a delegation of Boers in the Russian region of Stavropol in the south of the country, discussed the prospects of this emigration.
According to her, the Russians and Boers have a similar spirit, appreciate family values and traditions. 15,000 Boers expressed their desire to move to Russia to engage in agriculture and science.
“It should be noted that the representatives of the Boer, the delegates who came [to the Stavropol region], are intellectuals, not just people with higher education, one of them is a scientist, a doctor of science. They are people who want to come here as dependents and live here at our expense, but people who plan to make their contribution to general well-being,” Volynets explained.
As for assimilation, the policy emphasized that the values of the Boers coincide with those of the Russians, which will facilitate this process.
“We are not against the fact that the Boer, as well as other ethnic groups that come to Russia, maintain their identity. It is a common tendency in our history: Russia as the elder brother, as a generous friend to the small. From ancient times, the people who arrived here in peace, kept their identity in Russia, while becoming part of this multiethnic family,” she said.
According to her, Russia must provide aid to the Boers and offer them the opportunity to live, work and raise their children in Russian territory. The policy stresses that boers could settle in Russian farming regions – in the south of the country. As for the creation of the necessary conditions for this migration, Volynets said that it is a very difficult issue that will take a long time and that it must be resolved at the highest political level.
This is not non-refundable help. Boers are ready to work in Russia, they are people who have initial capital to settle in Russian territory.
Volynets hopes that in several months the Russian authorities will make their decision on the Boer emigration to Russia.
Besides agriculture, Boers, being industrious people, can invest in the Russian economy.
“This migration could become a great investment project that would be beneficial to everyone – for both the residents and the investors, as with the Boers, they will apply their money to the development of a region,” she said.
“These people know how to work, they like to work and they do it perfectly. In Russia these people will be a good example of what we need,” she said, adding that these migrants will contribute to the diversity of the Russian multiethnic people.