South Africa: Fringe Talk of Western Cape Secession Is Reactionary - and Unachievable


Fringe groups have long advocated for the secession of the Western Cape from the rest of South Africa, and the creation of an independent state of the Cape of Good Hope. Obviously, the Western Cape is not going to secede and there is no chance of the creation of an independent state. But it may be important to explain why a misunderstanding (or perhaps misrepresentation), of the legal mechanisms available to effect such a radical change, is to be found at the centre of this campaign.

On its website, the Cape Independence Advocacy Group states that its aim is "to coordinate and support people and organisations working towards Cape independence". The group says its primary goal is to bring about "a referendum in the Western Cape, with the end goal of secession from South Africa and forming a new sovereign state, with a government that better represents the people of The Cape of Good Hope".

The campaign is explicitly anti-ANC, and implicitly anti-black (the two things are not necessarily the same). It also fails to address important practical questions such as how this new state will finance all the trappings of an independent state - the creation and maintenance of...

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