PRESS RELEASE: CIAG formally requests a referendum on Cape Independence
The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) has formally requested a referendum on Cape Independence. The request was made to Premier Alan Winde in a letter delivered to his office on 15h September 2021. Notification of the request was then delivered to the South African Presidency at Parliament on 23rd September 2021.
A copy of both letters is attached. (Links at bottom of page)
According to spokesperson Phil Craig, the CIAG has made this decision after consultation with its independence partners CapeXit, the Cape Independence Party, and the Freedom Front Plus, and following the decision by both the Democratic Alliance and Afriforum to pursue autonomy for the Western Cape.
“It is important that those on both sides of the Cape Independence debate understand that a referendum on Cape Independence will be the beginning and not the end of the process. From election results published by the IEC we know for a fact that the majority of Western Cape voters have never had the national government they voted for. They can’t express their intense dissatisfaction with the direction South Africa has taken via normal elections; you cannot unelect a government which you never elected in the first place. The constitution specifically provides a mechanism to consult with the Western Cape people in precisely this situation, a provincial referendum called by the Premier and not by the President. This is democracy in action” says Craig.
1.4m million Western Cape voters are estimated to currently support Cape Independence and more than 25% of all registered Western Cape voters have already signed a mandate for secession with civic group CapeXit.
The CIAG and CapeXit will shortly be releasing a ‘Voting Guide for Cape Independence Supporters’ which will clarify the positions of the main political parties in the Western Cape. It will confirm not only which political parties support independence outright, but also which are willing to democratically consult with the Western Cape electorate on this issue regardless of their own position, and which parties are unwilling to even entertain the views of Western Cape Voters.
The CIAG has asked Premier Alan Winde to declare whether or not he is willing to call a referendum on Cape Independence before the upcoming elections and has asked the President to honour both the letter and spirit of the South African and Western Cape Constitutions and to support any such call.
Interestingly, the ANC have not directly opposed a referendum. Instead Head of Communications Sifiso Mtsweni has said that there is no such thing as a ‘Western Cape people’ and if a referendum is to be held, all South African’s must participate in it.
“We have already seen Cape Independence emerging as a significant political issue in the local government elections. We don’t expect political parties to necessarily support secession at this stage, but we do expect them to recognise that 58% of Western Cape voters want a referendum to be held, and for them to respect the democratic process” says Craig.
The level of support for a referendum was determined in a recent opinion poll commissioned by the CIAG and conducted by Victory Research. More information on the poll is available on the CIAG website.
Once the legislative hurdles which both the DA and Afriforum are already addressing have been cleared, any referendum called is likely to contain questions on federalism, transport, and the police as well as Cape Independence.
DATE: 27 September 2021