No More Prevarication - Referendum Ultimatum to be Delivered

PRESS RELEASE: WC Premier Winde to be given 7 days to honour DA's 2021 pre-election promise and to call a Cape Independence referendum on election day 2024

No more prevarication - Referendum ultimatum to be delivered to WC Premier Alan Winde

On 03 October 2023, several Cape Independence organisations will handover a letter addressed to Western Cape Premier Alan Winde which has been signed by more than 30 000 voters. It calls on him to call a Cape Independence referendum on election day 2024 and gives him until 10  October 2023 to confirm whether he is willing to do so or not.

The organisations are the Cape Independence Advocacy Group(CIAG), CapeXit NPC, the Freedom Front Plus, Cape Independence Party, the Cape YouthFront, and the Swartland Aksie Groep. Members of the public signed the letter online at

The organisations have run out of patience with the DA who they accuse of duplicity and perpetual stalling to avoid consulting the Western Cape people on Cape Independence.

CIAG spokesperson Phil Craig explains, “Prior to the 2021 elections, DA leader John Steenhuisen promised the CIAG that the DA would fix the referendum legislation and then call a provincial referendum which included a question on Cape Independence. The DA then gazetted the legislation. But after the election, whilst repeatedly reassuring the public that the referendum legislation was a priority, they secretly cancelled it. It was only reinstated after the DA were found out. Meanwhile Premier Winde has been using the delays caused by the DA themselves to justify not calling the promised referendum.”

The DA did eventually table the legislation in June 2023, more than two years after they promised to do so, but it will now not be finalised in time for the 2024 elections, potentially allowing the DA to sit on the referendum fence for another election.

The Cape Independence organisations are not going to allow this to happen. They are adamant that Western Cape voters must go to the polls in 2024 knowing whether the DA kept or broke their 2021 referendum promise.

Craig says, “Our recent polling found that 68% of Western Cape voters support a referendum on Cape Independence. This rose to 79% amongst DA voters. If the only way for those people to get an independence referendum is to vote against the DA, then they need to know that before they vote in 2024 and not after.”

The independence organisations have found an innovative way to ensure that Premier Winde cannot hide behind the legislation. Section 127(2)(f) of the South African Constitution and 37(2)(f) of the Western Cape Constitution are unequivocal, the Premier has a right to call a provincial referendum. The Premier’s ‘get out of jail’ card is that the Referendum Act, which legislates how referendums should be enacted, was written before Premiers existed.

Many legal experts believe this is not a problem since the Premier’s right can be ‘read in’, a legal process where an obvious constitutional right can be read into an otherwise unconstitutional law to render it constitutionally compliant. Premier Winde has opted not to accept this interpretation.

So instead, the independence organisations are asking the Premier to request President Ramaphosa to enact his referendum call, since the existing Referendum Act explicitly gives the President the authority to do so. If the President refuses to do so, then the Premier will be off the hook. If the Premier refuses to do so, then we will all know that the legislation issue was a red-herring all along.

DATE: 02 Oct 2023

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