Posted on August 18, 2021

South African Secession Movement Gains Momentum

Patrick McDermott, American Renaissance, August 18, 2021

A secession movement backed by most whites in South Africa’s Western Cape province appears to be gaining steam following the riots in Durban earlier this summer.

According to a poll conducted for the Cape Independence Advocacy Group (CIAG), 42 percent of Western Cape residents of all races would now support a referendum on whether to make it an independent country. Among those who are registered to vote, support for independence rises to 46 percent. The poll was conducted by Victory Research, a respected South African polling firm.

“This is a watershed moment,” said Phil Craig, cofounder of CIAG. “Before this, a referendum was looking extremely likely. I would say after these polling results the referendum becomes virtually inevitable.”

Western Cape Map

Unlike most of the rest of South Africa, the Western Cape, home of Cape Town, is not majority black. Whites, along with the mixed-race “colored” population, are a majority. It is also the only province not ruled by the black-dominated African National Congress (ANC).

Support for independence has grown over the past year. Among all residents, support is up by about 6 percent since a similar poll was by the organization last summer. Among registered voters (who are disproportionately white), support is up by 12 percent.  The reason?  According to the poll’s sponsors, 44 percent of those polled said the riots affected their opinions.

“One of the things we tweeted out during those riots,” said Mr. Craig, “was we said to the people of the Western Cape: What you are watching is a trailer for a film about the rest of your life.”

Although CIAG portrays their cause as a colorblind independence movement, race has also played a clear role. A majority of whites in the province (64 percent) support secession, about the same as last year. The most significant gains in support came among the colored population, nearly half of whom now support independence. Most blacks in the province (74 percent) are opposed, preferring ANC rule.

Supporters of the effort believe there is so much momentum in their direction and that Western Cape officials will be forced to call a referendum within the next 18-24 months, by which time they think a majority of the Western Cape’s voters will support independence. If such a referendum were held and approved, they think independence would be achieved through Brexit-style negotiations over three years.

“In five years’ time we will be unveiling the Cape of Good Hope national anthem,” said Mr. Craig.

CIAG’s poll has also provided insight on what it takes for whites to support secession. In the 1990s, just after apartheid ended, there was an effort to carve out an independent homeland for whites. The effort failed after polls showed that only a small minority of whites (29 percent) supported it. Even fewer (18 percent) said they would move to such a homeland if it were created. Twenty-five years of black rule have dramatically changed their opinions. (This is described in my articles, “White Politics and Secession in South Africa” and “South Africa’s Protection Racket“).

In the CIAG poll, 90 percent of Western Cape whites now say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Most (78 percent) think their lives would be better if the Western Cape were an independent country. So why don’t more of them support secession? Some appear to prefer greater local autonomy and self-governance without outright independence.

As goes South Africa, so may go the United States. Roughly 65 percent of white Americans now say the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, up from roughly 50 percent during the later Trump years, when Covid was already active. Another recent poll indicates that 37 percent of Americans are willing to support secession, a figure that rises to 66 percent among Southern Republicans.

With any luck, our situation will not need to become as bad as that of South Africa before a majority of white Americans feel the same way.