This article is written in response https://www.news24.com/citypress/columnists/mondlimakhanya/mondli-makhanya-return-separatists-to-the-fringe-20210926 and which was published by both City Press and News24 on Sunday 26th Sept 2021
The Democratic Alliance's increasingly public pursuit of federalism has catapulted Cape Independence into the political mainstream. The racially inspired lunatics proposing it must quickly be nipped in the bud and returned to fringe politics where they belong.
Mondli extensively quotes the Cape Independence Party, who currently have 0.45% of the provincial vote, and who form the focal point for his ire.
The Cape Independence movement masquerades as non-racial, but in truth is simply a front for white supremacists who want to keep provincial tax revenue away from the ‘bloody blacks up north’, who must have no say. Whilst the ANC is indeed corrupt and incompetent, all South Africans have equally fallen prey to their evil machinations.
In short, bigotry, and lots of it.
The only problem is that it is Mondli who is the bigot. His dishonest misdiagnosis of who and what drives growing support for Cape Independence is shocking. Dare I even say racist?
Let's Concentrate on Facts
Can we put emotions and stereotypes to one side for a moment and concentrate on the facts?
Let us start by unpacking whether all South Africans are truly equal victims? Since 1994 the majority of Western Cape voters have never voted ANC. The ANC currently has just 28.6% of the provincial vote. The Western Cape didn’t elect the corrupt and incompetent government, and neither in the normal course of events does it have any possible way of removing it.
Where the rest of South Africa is slowly turning from the ANC to the unquestionably more dangerous EFF, the Western Cape has continued to give the EFF a cold shoulder. In 2019, outside of the Western Cape, 73.1% of voters chose either the ANC or the EFF. So, no Mondli, we aren’t equal victims. South Africa has inflicted these problems on the Western Cape against our will.
Next let us look at tax revenue. 15.4% of South African tax payers reside in the Western Cape. The province generates 13.9% of South Africa’s GDP. It houses 11.2% of South Africa’s population. The national government allocates it just 10.1% of the money allocated to provinces. Alongside Gauteng, it is one of only two provinces which pay into the system.
A breathtakingly large portion of that money which it pays in is subsequently stolen. Millions in the Western Cape live in poverty, and over the last decade another million more have deserted the Eastern Cape and migrated to the Western Cape in the hope of a better life.
The Western Cape wanting to retain its tax money so that it can spend that money on better educating, protecting and housing them, rather than watching that money squandered on the lavish and obscene lifestyles of the political elite has absolutely nothing to do with keeping it out of the hands of those ‘bloody blacks’ as Mondli alleges. Coloured and black South Africans will be the primary beneficiaries of those funds.
Who supports Cape Independence?
Finally let’s look at exactly who it is that is supporting Cape Independence.
The Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) has twice commissioned Victory Research to poll the Western Cape. Independence is supported by all racial groups, with the majority of secessionists being coloured. In the last twelve months support for independence amongst registered voters grew from 34% to 46%. Almost all of the growth came from black and coloured voters.
When it comes to political parties over 70% of independence supporters support the DA, with the rest being shared around by other political parties. This is of course entirely logical. If the democratic majority in a region perpetually votes for one party but instead ends up being governed by the party they went out of their way to reject, at some point they are going to start questioning whether the democratic system works. The honest answer is that in this context, in the Western Cape, it does not.
How do Western Cape Voters benefit?
In summary then, whether you personally think Cape Independence is a good idea or not, the argument in favour of Cape Independence has nothing to do with race. Non-racialism is a founding principle of all the major Cape Independence groups. That is not to say that actual racists on either side of the debate won’t use Cape Independence as a vehicle by which to spew their racist bile.
I do think that we have the right however to expect that senior and well-respected newspaper editors don’t get perilously close to being amongst their number.
If you want to argue against Cape Independence how about explaining to Western Cape voters exactly how they are better off by remaining part of the Republic of South Africa. Is it because that is not a very easy argument to make?