Why don’t all the independence groups just work together?

BLOG POST: An answer to the question we encounter most

Why don’t all the independence groups just work together?

Without question this is the most frequently asked question we encounter – most of us asked exactly the same thing ourselves when we first got involved in the independence movement.

It seems entirely natural and logical that all the independence groups should work together. We do all know each other and we do co-operate on a regular basis. Ultimately however, we complement one another’s activities rather than duplicate them. This is both inevitable and beneficial.

Practicalities

The Western Cape has a population of approximately 6 000 000 people, of whom roughly half (3 100 000) are registered voters. To win independence we will need the support of 50% + 1 - so if everyone registered to vote actually votes, we would need 1 550 001 people to vote in favour of independence.

Those 1 550 001 people are extremely diverse: ideologically diverse – being drawn from both left and right of political spectrum, ethnically diverse – being coloured, black and white, and religiously diverse – comprising Christians, Muslims, other smaller religions as well as those who do not identify as religious at all.

Independence is about wanting the people of the Cape to be able to elect their own government, and to be able to hold that government to account. All supporters of independence can easily agree on that, but they will inevitably hold different views on how that should be achieved, and how and by whom an independent Cape should subsequently be governed. Once independence has been won, democratic elections will be held to decide these questions. In the meantime people will be drawn to an independence group or groups that most closely reflect their personal values.

This is very beneficial – someone who might, for example, feel quite uncomfortable supporting a group whose primary focus is built around a specific culture, might feel much more comfortable supporting an independence group which does not reference culture at all, or vice versa.

Types of Independence Groups

Groups seeking independence broadly fall into three distinct categories, which are:

Political Pressure Groups – Groups whose purpose is to bring political influence to bear on existing political or civil organisations so that in turn the activities of those organisations become beneficial to the independence movement.

Political Parties – Groups who are directly seeking power in parliament, from where they will push for independence

Civic Groups – Groups who are seeking to leverage the mass support of the Cape peoples in ways that do not involve direct political power 

Who are the main groups working towards independence?

Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG) - Political Pressure Group – CIAG’s mission is to bring genuine functional democracy to the people of the Western Cape, where after, the Cape peoples can elect the government of their choice. CIAG works hard to influence the position of the major political parties, and most specifically the DA, since they are currently the party with a clear democratic majority in the Western Cape, and who therefore are currently the only political party who hold the power to call for a referendum on independence. CIAG is strictly non-racial and bring a culturally inclusive independence message.

Cape Party - Political Party - The Cape Party is a registered political party who are looking to win seats in parliament from where they intend to leverage that power, most likely as a ‘Kingmaker’, to force a referendum on independence. The Cape Party are strictly non-racial and bring a culturally inclusive independence message.

Freedom Front Plus (VF+) - Political Party – The Freedom Front Plus is a registered political party, who already have seats in parliament, and whose traditional support base is within the Afrikaans community. They were initially formed to obtain self-determination for the Afrikaans people and were directly involved in section 235, the section on self-determination, being inserted into the South African constitution. They are, however, also strictly non-racial and increasingly have a multi-racial membership. They support Cape Independence.

Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) - Political Party – The Cape Coloured Congress is a registered political party formed specifically to give a voice to the coloured people of the Cape. They support independence and want to ensure that independence changes rather than maintains racial inequality in the Cape. They were linked with comments that were perceived as ‘anti-black’ but have assured the CIAG that they recognise black Cape citizens as having equal (but not preferential) rights in an independent Cape.

(The CIAG recognises that the upliftment of poor Cape citizens, the majority of whom are coloured and black, is an essential component of a prosperous and successful independent Cape.)  

CapeXit - Civic Group – CapeXit are a registered ‘not for profit’ entity whose purpose is to follow a legal process which will result in Cape independence. Their primary focus is on obtaining signed mandates from Cape citizens which they then intend to use as proof of majority support, either to obtain a referendum, or, to make a unilateral declaration of independence. Whilst their proposed legal argument is based upon international law in respect of the rights of ‘a people’ to self-determination, and therefore must include legally acceptable, defining factors of the ‘people’ in question, including a common history, culture and language, they are strictly non-racial in their vision of an independent Western Cape.

United Liberty Alliance (ULA) - Civic Group – The ULA is a registered ‘not for profit’ entity whose purpose it is to follow a legal process that will result in an independent territory well beyond the Western Cape. Their primary focus is on obtaining signed mandates from South African minorities which they then intend to use as proof of majority support within the areas identified by them, either to obtain a referendum or to make a unilateral declaration of independence at the UN. Their focus is on the minorities of SA and, as such, racially exclusive.

Sovereign State of Good Hope (SSoGH) - Civic Group – The SSoGH are a cultural organisation strongly aligned with the Khoi-San peoples. They are seeking independence through their aboriginal rights under international law, identifying themselves as the First Nation of the Cape. They propose a more spiritual and holistic independent Cape, where the Cape peoples, including those who are not Khoi-San, can live in peace and harmony. They have already declared the Cape independent but have not yet received the requisite support to make this a practical reality.

Our Support & Racial Inclusivity

The CIAG actively supports other organisations seeking independence by peaceful and legal means. However, non-racialism is a non-negotiable for CIAG, so the CIAG regularly reviews their support for other organisations. The CIAG acknowledges that, even though the CIAG doesn’t share this vision for the Cape, cultural arguments are legally, morally and constitutionally valid. In the event that any organisation crosses the line between culturalism and racism the CIAG would be forced to withdraw their support for that organisation.