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Recently, Phil Craig of the Cape Independence Advocacy Group spoke to BizNews about the growing support behind the independence movement. While it remains a hot topic, research has found that 58% of people at least want a referendum on Cape independence. Speaking to Alec Hogg, Craig said “46.2% of registered voters in the Western Cape now want Cape independence outright.” Craig also noted that most people in the Western Cape are not aware of how bad things are in the rest of the country. However, the recent riots and civil unrest that rocked KZN and parts of Gauteng has opened their eyes to where South Africa may be heading. Echoing this sentiment is Jack Miller, the founder of the Cape Independence Party. Founded in 2007, the political party was started from a “complete and utter disillusionment with the country.” Miller told the BizNews Power Hour that “the Cape has been largely insulated to a lot of the destruction seen in other parts of South Africa. I think that it’s now becoming blindly obvious to everyone living in the Cape that there is no future for South Africa.”
Jack Miller on the Cape Independence Party’s background:
There are a few places I can start with. We can go back, prior to 1910. I believe the Cape has always been different to the rest of South Africa. South Africa is actually not a natural country. Our name isn’t a country – it’s a geographical location. Where we are – at the bottom of Africa [is] south. The British Empire forces gave us this name without our consent and called us the Union of South Africa. Cape Independence is not a new idea. I believe it exists in the soiled territory. In fact, not just the Western Cape, but even KwaZulu-Natal has strong secession movements.
The abathembu in the Eastern Cape want independence. We’ve got two independent countries living within our borders – Lesotho and Swaziland. There’s a strong argument for many other provinces to also be independent. But the Cape Independence Party, when we started in 2007, basically started out of a complete and utter disillusionment with the direction that SA was going in. We knew for a long time that Cape independence – or certainly, a greater amount of autonomy – was the only solution to the sinking ship that is South Africa.
On why it took the party time to gain momentum:
I think different people have different capacities for how much they are willing to put up with. I think that the Cape has largely been insulated to a lot of the destruction that we’ve seen in other parts of South Africa. I think it’s now becoming blindingly obvious to everyone living in the Cape that there is no future for South Africa. We don’t even hear the [phrase] Rainbow Nation anymore. All you hear is expropriation without compensation and various types of racist, centrist and destructive economic and political policies pushed by the ANC and the EFF.
We saw that this was coming and we’re at a point now where the destruction, goodness – all we need to do is rewind a few weeks and look at what happened in KZN. I think the people in the Cape just don’t want that. We don’t want our malls to be burnt down. We don’t want people being shot lawlessly in anarchistic streets. I think all of these things are fuzing together to create the perfect storm for what we believe is an inevitable outcome – not just for the Cape – but this entire union which was forced upon us in 1910. Its time has come. It didn’t work under the British Empire, it didn’t work under the apartheid government and it’s not working under the ANC regime. The system itself needs to change. I believe we’ll see not just the Cape go independent, but many other territories in South Africa.
On how the party has done at the polls:
We’ve done exceptionally well, [especially] when you consider how the political game works. The Americans [have almost] created a science of politics. Basically, if you have a Democrat or Republican candidate – and they go head-to-head – the party with the more dollar spend wins 9 times out of 10. Let me tell you what the Cape Party situation has been. I’ve spoken to my friends in the DA – in the previous elections – and asked them what their budget was. They had a budget of R1.2 billion in the last elections. The ANC had a budget of R2 billion in the last election.
The Cape Party, we scraped together donations from all our various supporters in the vicinity of R200,000 – R300,000. We aren’t even in the financial game. The fact that we are doing so well – the fact that Cape Independence is exploding the way that it is – in spite of us being up against some of the most formidable political and financial odds, I think, shows the strength of the idea.
Money does make a big difference. I think that’s why we’ve seen our early results struggle against parties like the DA and ANC. But now, because I think the issues are so big, Cape Independence cannot be stopped [and] I think we’re going to see this election, [that] we’re going to get the best results we’ve ever had. We believe it’s just a matter of time before independence becomes a reality. We will do everything within our power to push for a referendum on independence.
On future plans for the party:
We’ve got elections coming up. We’re absolutely opposed to this agenda to try and move the elections to February next year or even further next year. We elect politicians for a five-year term. Essentially, if this goes ahead and the elections are postponed, we’ll be opening up the slippery slide doorway to electing politicians for six years or more. This is not a democracy. This is not how things work. We’re absolutely opposed to the changing of the elections. We hope that they will go ahead on the 27th of October. We think that we’re going to do exceptionally well in the upcoming elections – and I think all branding is well-aligned to do that. I think when they see us on that ballot, in the privacy of a ballot box, I think we’re going to see a lot of people putting their support behind us and us getting multiple seats in these upcoming elections. Once we can do that, we can start putting forward our plans.
- 58% of people in the Western Cape want a referendum on Cape independence – Phil Craig
- Cape independence resolve absolutely strengthened by July riots – Patrick Melly
- Yet to develop traction, Cape Independence may see support as dissatisfaction grows – Katzenellenbogen
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