LGE 2021 Positive for Cape Independence

PRESS RELEASE: CIAG delighted with outcome of Local Government Elections. Notable shift away from centralised government towards devolved power.

Local Government Elections Produce Positive Outcome for Cape Independence

The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) is delighted with the outcome of the 2021 Local Government Elections which have not only shown strong growth for secessionist parties in the Western Cape, but also a clear political shift, both nationally and provincially, away from parties who favour a strong central government towards regional and federal parties who support the devolution of power.

According to Phil Craig, spokesperson for the CIAG, support for parties who have formally adopted Cape Independence increased from 0.1% in 2016 to 5.4% in 2021.

The CIAG notes the attempts by some opponents of Cape Independence to equate support for the Cape Independence Party (CIP), who increased their share of the vote from 0.1% in 2016 to 0.5% in 2021 winning their first seat in local government, with the sum total of support for secession. Not only must support for independence be measured in a single-issue referendum question as opposed to being extrapolated from a local government election where service delivery is the core issue, but independent polling has repeatedly shown that the overwhelming majority of Cape Independence supporters vote DA (72% in Aug 2021). Only a tiny minority vote CIP (approx. 1%).

It remains to be seen if these elections are the Rubicon moment that some are claiming. The CIAG is as delighted as anyone to see the ANC brought below 50% nationally for the first time, and to see the growth of the EFF halted in some regions. The stark divide, however, between the Western Cape and the remainder of South Africa is still in evidence. Outside of the Western Cape the ANC and the EFF combined still obtained 61.2% of the vote, compared to just 23.8% in the Western Cape and the historically low turnout could be hiding an even worse picture.

Craig says, “All the major policy decisions which affect the daily lives of the Western Cape people are now being made by a party with just 20.4% of the provincial vote. This is untenable and a solution must be found.”

“Parties who support a more devolved structure to the South African state now represent approximately 65% of Western Cape voters, and 35%-40% of national voters. It is time for South Africa to recognise that the concept of a unitary state has failed, and it is increasingly not the structure of government that South Africans favour. People want more direct control over their lives”, Craig concludes.

The DA led Western Cape government has committed itself to greater provincial autonomy, and to calling provincial referendums on a range of issues which will include a question on Cape Independence. They have the overwhelming support of the province behind them.

DATE: 05 November 2021