The Cape Independence movement revealed in a press release following a recent poll, that 36% of Western Cape citizens would support the province’s independence from South Africa.
The group was formed this year “to coordinate and support people and organisations” willing to see the Cape’s departure from the country in a bid to establish a new sovereign state – the Cape of Good Hope.
This goal needs to be achieved “peacefully and democratically”, the group maintains, primarily by organizing a national referendum – an idea they say would be supported by every second person from the territory, citing results of a phone survey conducted among 802 adult participants.
According to Phil Craig, co-founder of the group, Cape residents have “nothing at all against South Africa” – despite being largely unsupportive towards the governing African National Congress (ANC) party that sits in Johannesburg. For Craig, it’s rather “a question of self-preservation.”
“I think we all understand that the country is in dire straits and we need to look at where the solutions are going to come from. We’ve seen since 1994 that ideologically and politically there is a stark divide between what the Western Cape wants and what South Africa wants,” he told the BizNews.
As South Africa is “getting worse”, he says, so grows negative sentiment among Cape citizens towards Johannesburg.
“South Africa is dictating the terms, I guess, to the people of the Western Cape,” he says.
The poll, which he said was funded by “very generous” people, also showed that Western Cape’s independence would be supported by 53% of voters of Democratic Alliance party, the main opposition group to ANC, while 64% would back a referendum on the issue.
“Fundamentally, people want a DA government. We’re not going to get one as part of South Africa,” Craig suggested.
According to the campaigner, the Western Cape produces nearly 14% of the country’s GDP but gets slightly more than 10% of the government funds allocations.
“Just at face value, there’s a net gain by not being part of South Africa,” he explains.
The Western Cape is the fourth largest province, out of nine, in South Africa and is located on the south-western coast bordering the Indian and Atlantic oceans. According to 2020 estimates, it has some 7 million inhabitants.