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In Cape Town, a clamor for independence

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Residents of the Western Cape have long seen themselves as different from the rest of South Africa.

With its more laid-back lifestyle, wine estates, white beaches and predominantly white and Cape Coloured population, it’s less African than the eight other provinces. It's difference is highlighted by the hold that opposition party Democratic Alliance has on provincial and Cape Town politics.

But while the DA taps into disillusionment with ruling African National Congress central governance, a fledgling party in the Cape is hoping to turn that disenchantment into full-blown independence and a separate state.

Set up three years ago, the Cape Party based in Cape Town says it is fed up with racial quotas, black empowerment and affirmative action and argues that there was never a mandate from Western Cape residents to join the Union of South Africa in 1910. It wants a full-fledged Cape Nation set up, complete with border posts, immigration policy and its own national budget – although a decision on what to do with the Western Province rugby team in this rugby-mad region remains unanswered.

Party founder Adrian Kay, 24, who describes himself as Cape Coloured, says he is deadly serious. “This is my home and my ancestors’ home for generations. We are different from the rest of South Africa and we do things much better here whether it’s education, household income, lower unemployment.


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