Cape Independence: Lobby group says recent survey 'places intense pressure' on DA to hold referendum

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Supporters of the Cape Party during a previous march.
Supporters of the Cape Party during a previous march.
  • The Cape Independence Advocacy Group says 58% of people want a referendum on Cape independence.
  • This is according to a survey of 886 people over the age of 18.
  • Fifty-nine percent believe their lives would improve in an independent Cape. 

Political lobby group, the Cape Independence Advocacy Group, wants Western Cape Premier Alan Winde to urgently hold a referendum for the province to be declared an independent state.

Briefing the media on Tuesday, the group said the outcome of a recent opinion poll, conducted by Victory Research in July this year, revealed that 58% of the people in the Western Cape are in support of a referendum on Cape Independence.

For the survey, 886 people, all over the age of 18, participated. 

Primary factors influencing people's opinion:
  • 89% of respondents believe South Africa is going in the wrong direction;
  • 33% said they have considered emigrating as an alternative to SA's chaos and corruption;
  • 73% believe the Western Cape is better managed than the rest of South Africa;
  • 59% believe 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; and
  • 62% would prefer less economic interference by the government and support the privatisation of key services.

The main motivation for people wanting an independent Cape relates to improvement in employment, education, health and crime prevention.

The spokesperson for the group, Phil Craig, described the poll as significant and a watershed moment for the Western Cape.

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

"The consequence would be that the DA would have to call a referendum anyway," he said.

According to Craig, people who participated in the poll included all races and were fully demographically representative of the province.

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The group plans to write to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Winde.

The DA previously said it was finalising a Private Members Bill, which would give premiers the power to call a provincial referendum.

In response to the survey, Winde said they are of the opinion that secession from South Africa is not the solution, saying:

While we understand and sympathise with the concerns that many in our province and indeed the country have regarding our country's trajectory under the national government, we do not believe that secession from South Africa is a realistic solution. It will likely cause conflict and chaos.

Instead, he said, they believe increased federalism to be a practically achievable solution.

"We strongly support the devolution of more power to capable local and provincial governments, to bring decision-making closer to communities and to promote good, responsive and accountable governance and better service delivery."

Winde said they were actively pursuing this route, particularly with respect to policing and transport.

"The Western Cape government is already pushing to do more within the current framework, so that we can achieve these goals - and, as a result remains the best run government in South Africa," he added. 

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