The idea of AfrikaBurn having its own event site has been informally discussed since around 2013. The formal process (ie: our Member body, taking a resolution and voting on this) started in 2015, at our annual Bosberaad meeting, at which a vote was taken by the Member body of our organisation to investigate the feasibility of AfrikaBurn purchasing a parcel of land in order to own its own event site. Prior to this, members of our organisation had made informal queries in the Tankwa Karoo about prospective areas where the event could be held. This was motivated by the idea that should the organisation own the land its event was held on, then the annual land rental payment for the AfrikaBurn event could be put to better use, for purposes such as the purchase of infrastructure, vehicles and associated equipment necessary for the staging of the event. At the 2015 Bosberaad, the vote was passed, and a Land Committee was set up to proceed with investigations, and given a mandate to report back to our Members.
What and who did the land selection process involve?
This process was followed over 2016, 2017 and 2018 until the various potential parcels (12) of land had been narrowed down to a handful of possibilities. These were then visited and assessed, with a report on each being produced by qualified specialists that detailed the price, size, orientation, existing infrastructure, soil geology and status of land claims. Throughout the process, earth jurisprudence has been closely held as a critical factor in making any choices. On that basis, the field was again narrowed down and in mid-2019, a final 3 properties were closely considered.
It was at this point that a community member (whose family trust has a longstanding interest in the preservation of biodiversity through the purchase of land) approached AfrikaBurn with an offer to purchase the land that had been selected as the most appropriate for our event purposes.
Once that purchase process was completed, this enabled our team to begin planning around the change of venue – and announce that our event would be moving to this new location.