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The Referendum Party (RP) chose the iconic R62 border crossing between the Western and Eastern Capes to launch its 2024 election manifesto on Monday. The party is contesting the national ballot, and the Western Cape provincial and regional ballots. 

The R62 has become politically infamous because of the stark contrast in road conditions on either side of the border, visually illustrating the detrimental impact of ANC government on South Africa.

RP erected a border post with signage indicating that people were either entering the ‘Cape of Good Hope’ or the ‘Failed State of South Africa’ depending upon their direction of travel. Further signs then advertised that if people voted RP the border would be closing soon, and that a vote for RP would deliver ‘Cape Independence’ and a ‘First-World Future’.

The boom was then lowered and the border symbolically closed after which RP leader Phil Craig introduced the manifesto, supported by a team of RP activists drawn from all three of the Western Cape’s main ethnic groups. 

Craig said, “This is probably the shortest manifesto in this election, but also the most powerful. It can change the map of the world, it can create a new country, and it can fundamentally change the lives of the Western Cape people for the better. 

Describing the manifesto as a contract with the Western Cape people, Craig invited voters to hold the RP to their promises before saying, “In essence this manifesto says only one thing; you give us 100 000 votes, and we will give you a referendum on Cape Independence.”

The launch had social media platform X (formerly Twitter) up in arms with South Africa’s Head of Public Diplomacy Clayson Monyela threatening to intervene, before deleting his tweet after it went viral, and PA leader Gayton MacKenzie threatening to deport Craig.

RP were unrepentant. Craig says, “We are not here to make people feel comfortable, we are here to turn the system on its head. A referendum on Cape Independence is a legal revolution. The people of the Western Cape must be allowed to choose their own destiny and if that offends people in the rest of South Africa, so be it.” 

[Read manifesto on RP website]

[Download manifesto in pdf format]

[Images available for media use]

A video of the launch is available on the Referendum Party YouTube channel