ANC president Jacob Zuma heaped praises on Afrikaners who he described as self-sufficient, innovative and genuine people.
Zuma spent yesterday in Sandton enticing the Afrikaners to take part in shaping the destiny of the country.
He said Afrikaners retreated into hiding after society ostracised them for the apartheid system.
He invited them to rise and express their concerns about the new South Africa.
"The reality is Afrikaners are South Africans and cannot sit back forever."
He encouraged them to continue to identify with their heroes.
Zuma said in his interaction with Afrikaners he had been impressed with their personality.
"Afrikaner people are genuine people; when they like you they do that. When they hate you they mean it," he said.
He said he was equally impressed when he met a delegation from Orania recently.
"That community is well organised," he said. "If you remove the name [Orania], it will be great if other communities could organise themselves like that.
"We might have views about the place, but the system they are practising is good."
Zuma said democracy had brought new development and the emergence of a black middle class in this country.
"Because of the new realities, people interpret the world differently, they even want to belong to the organisations that are different.
"Some of them even take their ideas too far, thinking a bishop can be a leader," he said.