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The Referendum Party (RP) welcomes the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) decision to press ahead with the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill (WCPPB). Bold action is required to protect the Western Cape people’s interests, however this approach should extend beyond just this legislation.

RP leader Phil Craig says, “The Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill is an important tool for empowering the Western Cape Government. The Referendum Party supports the DA in their attempts to assert the democratic will of the Western Cape people and their right to self-determination.”

The DA’s decision to ignore two legal opinions that were critical of the legislation’s legality is however noted with great interest. The RP agrees that legal opinions are not the law and should not be used to obstruct Western Cape self-determination.

Given these events, the RP is astounded that a key argument of the DA for denying a Cape Independence referendum remains the existence of one legal opinion claiming that the Premier is not entitled to call one. Even more so, when we know for a fact that the Premier has a second legal opinion saying that he can call a referendum.

Craig says, “The DA is playing fast and loose with democracy. They cannot use legal opinions as an excuse when it is politically convenient to do so and ignore them when it is not. A referendum on Cape Independence will do more for the welfare of the Western Cape people than 1000 Western Cape powers bills will ever do!”

The DA’s decision also raises questions about their response to the Western Cape Peoples Bill (WCPB), which has also received an adverse legal opinion. The passing of the WCPB is vital in giving the WCPPB the legal authority to be successful in its objectives. Despite this, the DA has previously indicated they oppose the Peoples Bill. It will therefore be very interesting to see how the DA evaluates this legal opinion.