Cape Party launches bid for Western Cape independence

 ·18 Aug 2021

The Cape Party has changed its name and will contest the upcoming local government elections as the Cape Independence Party.

Announcing the launch and name change, party leader Jack Miller said the push for an independent state in the Western Cape has gained increasing support from South Africans.

“Cape independence is now an inevitability which more and more people are accepting as the only solution to perennial ANC rule.”

Miller said that the democratic will of the people of the Western Cape can never be served by being a part of South Africa.

“The Western Cape is fundamentally at odds with the eight other provinces. And no matter how often the people of the Western Cape vote to keep the ANC out, we can never get the result we want.”

“Cape Independence is and has been our signature issue for over a decade and its fitting that our name should easily convey our number one priority,” Miller said.

Poll shows support 

A poll conducted by Victory Research in July 2021 on behalf of the Cape Independence Advocacy Group , showed that a clear majority of voters in the province (58%) now support a referendum on Cape Independence being held.

Support for independence itself is now at 46.2% of all registered voters (with 49.6% opposing and 4.2% undecided), and 42% among all adults in the province when unregistered voters are included.

Support among voters has increased 12.2% over the past year – 35% increase.

The poll confirmed the primary factors influencing people’s opinion as:

  • 89% of respondents believe South Africa is going in the wrong direction.
  • 33% said they have considered emigrating as an alternative to South Africa’s chaos and corruption.
  • 73% believe that the Western Cape is better managed than the rest of South Africa.
  • 59% of those who expressed a preference believe that their lives would improve in an independent Cape, and 75% affirmed their support for non-racialism
  • 76% believe the province must have more control over its own policies.
  • 62% would prefer less economic interference by the government and support the privatisation of key services.
  • Respondents identified improvements in employment, education, health and crime prevention as their main motivation for Cape Independence.

“The outcome of the poll places intense pressure on the Western Cape’s ruling party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), to call a referendum on Cape Independence,” said Phil Craig, spokesperson of the Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG).

“Not only do 65% of their voters support a referendum, but 19% of them also indicated that they would consider voting for another party if the DA opposed secession.

“Were they to do so, the DA would be forced into a coalition government with pro-independence parties. The consequence would be that the DA would have to call a referendum anyway.”

Legislation changes 

While the push for cape independence will stand in opposition to the Democratic Alliance, the party has proposed a private members bill to allow premiers to call a provincial referendum.

This will allow it to further improve service delivery, it said.

Section 84 of the Constitution provides for the president to call a national referendum. Section 127 provides for premiers to call a provincial referendum, in terms of national legislation – however, this is not stated in the Referendums Act.

The DA’s bill aims to bring the act in line with the constitution.

“In its current form, the Referendums Act only allows for the president to call a referendum and does not provide for a premier to call for a referendum in a province,” the DA said.

“The draft Bill, therefore, seeks to address this omission by an amendment enabling a premier to exercise their Constitutional powers to call a provincial referendum, to ensure that provincial residents can make their voices heard on important issues.”

Through the draft bill, the DA said it seeks to advance the Party’s principle of federalism by strengthening the devolution of power to provinces.

“The DA’s bill seeks to bring power closer to the people by giving elected Premiers the mechanism to use their constitutional powers to call referendums on crucial service delivery issues, where the dysfunctional national government has failed, such as railways, the police, and electricity generation,” it said.

Read: The end of an era for South Africa: Ramaphosa

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