The outcome of the latest poll places intense pressure on the Democratic Alliance (DA), to call a referendum on Cape Independence. Not only do 65% of their voters support a referendum, 19% of them also indicated that they would consider voting for another party if the DA opposed secession.
- 46.2% of registered Voters in the Western Cape already support Cape Independence (42% of all adults).
- 58% support a referendum being held on Cape Independence.
- CIAG to call for a referendum on Cape Independence.
- CIAG to establish a ‘Cape Constitution Commission’.
The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) is a single-issue political pressure group whose purpose is to promote the peaceful and democratic secession of the Western Cape from the Republic of South Africa to form an independent sovereign state: the Cape of Good Hope.
A recent opinion poll conducted by Victory Research in July 2021, indicated 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% amongst all adults in the province when unregistered voters are included. Support amongst voters has increased 12.2% over the past year, which represents a 35% increase in support.
The poll confirmed the primary factors influencing people’s opinion as:
- 89% of respondents believe South Africa (SA) is going in the wrong direction.
- 33% said they have considered emigrating as an alternative to SA’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 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. Not only do 65% of their voters support a referendum, 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,” says Phil Craig, spokesperson of the CIAG.
According to him, both the South African constitution (Clause 127(2)(f)) and the Western Cape Constitution (Clause 37(2)(f)) empower the Premier of the Western Cape to call a provincial referendum. The Referendums Act however has never been amended to enable this constitutional right. The DA announced in June 2021 that they would be bringing a Private Member’s Bill to correct this legal defect.
“The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has thus far remained tight lipped on Cape Independence. Their support has plummeted in the province where they are deeply unpopular. Worryingly 45% of ANC voters in the poll indicated that they believed South Africa did not belong equally to all races. This is in stark contrast to the founding principles of the South African constitution which include non-racialism and specifically state that South Africa belongs to everyone who lives here,” says Craig.
The CIAG believes that the data in this poll is hugely significant and a watershed moment for the Western Cape. The outcome, and its subsequent implications, will now be discussed with the Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
A ‘Cape Constitution Commission’ will now be established by the CIAG. The commission will comprise constitutional law experts, drawn from both South Africa and internationally, who will investigate and report on the various avenues towards greater provincial autonomy, from federalism to independence. Several eminent legal scholars have already agreed to serve on the commission. There will be a broad participation process which will include political parties, the public, and the independence movement.
“Given the deteriorating economic and political conditions in South Africa, it is critical that ordinary citizens stand firm and demand a better future. The ANC is at a crossroads; they can follow the British government’s example in allowing Scotland to hold a referendum on independence and agreeing to honour the outcome, or they can deny the democratic will of the Western Cape people and force the government they have firmly rejected onto them against their will.” Craig concludes.