What does the future hold for the Afrikaners in South Africa?
The Afrikaners have lived in South Africa so long that they regard themselves as “Africans” or “The white tribe of Africa.” However, today, Afrikaners find themselves in a brand new, and perhaps for them, perilous, South Africa.
The Afrikaners currently constitutes a dwindling population of 6 percent; the so-called “Coloured” population is now almost equal to that of whites. The birth rate among Afrikaners is believed to be among the lowest in the country, raising more fears about the community’s future. Another factor in the declining population of Afrikaners in South Africa is the fact that about 1-million of them have emigrated overseas since the end of apartheid, primarily to Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
According to various reports, Afrikaner youth are struggling to find their place in a post-racial South Africa, and are gradually losing interest in their own unique culture.
Now, 20 years after apartheid was abolished, many young Afrikaners complain that they are now being persecuted for the crimes of their fathers and ancestors.
Regarding the current socioeconomic state of Afrikaners, the lower classes have suffered more than the middle classes [who have] certain skills. [However], Afrikaner businessmen have profited with the opening of markets after apartheid and increased globalisation. The Afrikaans language is under threat in such venues as universities, law courts and business etc.
One of the bittersweet ironies of Afrikaner culture and history is that – despite being intimately associated with the philosophy of white supremacy and white ‘purity’ – they are themselves of mixed race.
Thus, some the oldest and most revered Afrikaner families, including the Krugers, Van Riebeecks, Bruyns, Van Rensburgs, and Zaimans are likely the descendants of mixed-race couples.
Even before Terreblanche’s death, he said, the white separatist movement “Was almost moribund.” In any case, contemporary Afrikaners face a challenging future in the country they once ruled for centuries.