The poll showed that support for a referendum on independence has increased significantly by 11.4% in comparison to a similar poll conducted last year. Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The poll showed that support for a referendum on independence has increased significantly by 11.4% in comparison to a similar poll conducted last year. Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Idea of a Western Cape secession dismissed as unrealistic, dangerous

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Aug 16, 2021

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Cape Town - A secessionist lobby group, the Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG), is standing firm against a barrage of criticism from politicians and political analysts who have dismissed a recent poll for Cape independence as unrealistic and likely to cause conflict.

The poll carried out on behalf of the Cape Independence Advocacy Group, found that 58% of Western Cape voters support a referendum on Cape independence and that 46% of Western Cape voters support Cape independence.

The poll showed that support for a referendum on independence has increased significantly by 11.4% in comparison to a similar poll conducted last year.

CIAG spokesperson Phil Craig said: "They should be asking: how are we going to democratically empower the 7 million people who live in the Western Cape to elect the government that they want?

"At what point do we say that 30 years of having a corrupt, incompetent government forced upon them despite the majority of Western Cape voters never having voted for it, is enough?"

FF+ MPL Peter Marais said in the legislature on Friday that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s responses to questions asked at the Zondo Commission, rampant corruption at Cabinet level and factionalism in the ANC had cemented the party’s commitment to fight for the Western Cape’s independence.

“We are now more than ever convinced that it is the only option left to ensure the socio-economic and constitutional survival of our province.”

Political analyst Shingai Mutiza-Mangiza said: “It’s one thing to have an opinion poll, but an actual referendum would most likely produce different results altogether.

“People may actually realise what they stand to lose once people begin to articulate what it would mean to no longer be a part of South Africa.

"Also, the Republic of South Africa would not allow it, and hardly any countries from the rest of the world would support it.”

Political analyst Melanie Verwoerd said: “These kinds of narratives are hugely damaging, especially in the current climate. They add to the already heavy burden of pain and anger that the majority of South Africans carry."

Premier Alan Winde said: “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."

Provincial leader of the opposition, Cameron Dugmore (ANC), said: “The unfortunate thing about the statement by Marais is that it contributes to the illusion that the Western Cape can become a separate country. This is not going to happen."

Good party secretary general Brett Herron said: “We support a united South Africa as envisaged by the Constitution. The Western Cape, which is a product of negotiations that led to a democratic South Africa, did not exist in its current form before the 1994 elections."

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