Referendum Party Calls for Cape Independence Vote Amid Controversy

The Referendum Party in South Africa is pushing for a referendum on Cape Independence, arguing that the Western Cape would be better off as a "First World country" separate from the "failed state" of South Africa. The party's controversial border blockade and manifesto launch have drawn criticism, with the potential outcome having significant implications for the country's stability and unity.

Mazhar Abbas
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Referendum Party Calls for Cape Independence Vote Amid Controversy

Referendum Party Calls for Cape Independence Vote at Manifesto Launch

Phil Craig, the leader of the Referendum Party, called for a referendum on Cape Independence during the party's election manifesto launch in the Western Cape, South Africa. The Referendum Party, a single-issue political party established to force a referendum on Cape Independence, conducted a controversial stop-and-search operation at the Western Cape border while promoting its manifesto.

At the manifesto launch on April 22, 2024 in Cape Town, Craig argued that in the upcoming Western Cape elections, voters will choose between living in a "failed state" or building a "First World country". He claimed that South Africa is a failed state and that a referendum would allow the Western Cape to become a prosperous nation by electing its own government, which he believes would be better than the government chosen by voters in the rest of South Africa.

The Referendum Party's staged border blockade, which was widely viewed on social media, drew criticism for adopting apartheid-era tactics. The party displayed signs that branded the Western Cape as the "Cape of Good Hope" and the rest of South Africa as the "Failed State of South Africa". Western Cape ANC leader Cameron Dugmore called the stunt illegal and said the ANC would investigate and charge the party members.

Why this matters: The Referendum Party's campaign for Cape Independence highlights the growing political and economic divisions within South Africa. The outcome of this debate could have significant implications for the future stability and unity of the country.

The Referendum Party's manifesto promises a referendum on Cape Independence with as few as 100,000 votes, arguing that without independence, the Western Cape risks succumbing to the same socio-economic and political challenges facing the rest of the country. Craig stated, "The RP aims to convince 100,000 Democratic Alliance (DA) voters to vote for the RP in 2024, in order to keep a DA government and secure a referendum on Cape Independence." The party pledges to enhance local control over the economy, policing, taxation, and border management as pathways to a stable and prosperous future, in contrast to continued governance under the national ANC-led government.

Key Takeaways

  • Referendum Party calls for referendum on Cape Independence in Western Cape, SA.
  • Party claims SA is a "failed state" and Cape can prosper as independent nation.
  • Party staged controversial border blockade, drawing criticism for apartheid-era tactics.
  • Party aims to convince 100,000 DA voters to secure referendum on independence.
  • Debate highlights growing political and economic divisions within South Africa.