Cape Independence will improve the lives of all citizens
The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) have just completed the first major independence poll of 2020. It was conducted by Gareth van Onselen’s Victory Research, and, when the results are released in early September, the political landscape of the Western Cape will irrevocably be changed.
One of the questions asked in the poll was whether citizens of the Western Cape believed their quality of life would improve in an independent Western Cape. Regardless of political affiliation, 53.1% of those who expressed an opinion did. Drilling down into that data is both fascinating and revealing.
That 83% of DA voters feel their quality of life would improve in an independent Western Cape is significant, but that 30% of ANC voters and 11% of EFF voters also felt their quality of lives would improve, is much more fascinating. The mind boggles at why the 30% still vote ANC, especially since 22% of ANC voters say they want Cape Independence. The Good party will also have some head scratching to do, 78% of their voters say their quality of life would improve in an independent Cape, whilst 63% want to secede from South Africa. Should the CIAG expect your call Patricia?
So, are they wrong?
Evidence supports poll results
Every shred of evidence available suggests that no, they are not. The lives of Western Cape citizens will markedly improve after independence. Eminent economist Dawie Roodt, recently publicly confirmed that the Western Cape, along with Gauteng, was already subsidising the rest of South Africa. In simple terms, the Western Cape pays 13.9% in, and gets 10.1% back out. The CIAG has privately consulted with several other leading economists, and they were unanimous on the fact that, once freed from disastrous ANC policy, the Western Cape will thrive.
One economist described an independent Western Cape as a giant Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and pointed out that China has turned around its entire economy by pursuing exactly this policy, as well as referencing Hong Kong as an appropriate comparison. He then went even further, suggesting that not only would the Western Cape benefit, but so would South Africa. “When your own country is struggling, do you want rich or poor countries next door?”
What happened to other countries who achieved independence?
I think almost everyone is aware of Singapore. A tiny country with no natural resources other than its geographical location on a major shipping route. South Africa became a republic in 1961, whilst Singapore gained independence in 1963. At the time, the South African economy was twenty times larger than that of Singapore, and South Africa’s population ten times bigger. Both countries pursued vastly different policies and, in 2019, Singapore’s economy became larger than South Africa’s.
Probably far less people are aware of Estonia. Following an independence referendum in 1991, Estonia broke away from the Soviet Union, and therefore the centralised control model favoured by the ANC, and embraced a free market economy. In 1995, Estonia ranked 112/217 on the Human Development Index (HDI), scoring 0.727. By 2018, Estonia had improved their score to 0.882, and their ranking to 30/189. In 1995, South Africa ranked 141/217, scoring 0.649, whilst in 2018, it is still ranked 113/189, scoring 0.705.
Opinions differ greatly by race
In the polling, there was a strong racial divide in opinion. Of those expressing a view, 65.2% of coloured citizens expected their quality of life to improve in an independent Western Cape, whilst 97.5% of white citizens also echoed this sentiment. In stark contrast, only 16.1% of black citizens expected their quality of life to improve.
This seems especially tragic, since by any objective measure, black citizens suffer the most under the current dispensation, and, have the most to gain from independence. According to the poll, black citizens were the poorest (62% of families earning less than R5 000 per month), the most likely to live in informal housing (33%), the worst educated (59% did not have matric), and the most likely to be actively seeking work (35%).
One questions how, for black citizens, things could possibly get worse? It is probably not politically correct to mention Stockholm syndrome. However bad things are for black citizens in the DA run Western Cape, they are significantly worse in the rest of South Africa. The Western Cape has the highest HDI of all South Africa’s nine provinces, scoring 0.741, whilst the Eastern Cape has the lowest, scoring just 0.669.
Coloured citizens don’t fare much better in terms of the metrics quoted (income less than R5 000 41%, informal housing 10%, no matric 43% and seeking work 27%), so movements like the Gatvol Capetonians should come as no surprise to anyone. Where the coloured citizens of the Western Cape do differ, is in recognising that the political status quo is not the answer. The Gatvol Capetonians, and the political party they gave birth to, the Cape Coloured Congress, both support an independent Western Cape.
We can do better
In 2020, in a country as naturally blessed as either the Western Cape or South Africa, there should not be poorly educated people who have to live in shacks, desperate for work, and surviving on a pittance. We can do better.
South Africa is getting the government it voted for. A foolhardy choice perhaps, but a choice that is their right to make nevertheless. The Western Cape however, is getting the (national) government it did not vote for, and has done almost everything in its power to get rid of. Time and options are fast running out. 73% of all Western Cape citizens feel South Africa is regressing.
Cape independence is the answer. We will all be better off.