Cape Town is currently a city in South Africa and not an independent country. The possibility of Cape Town becoming its own country would depend on various political, social, and economic factors, as well as the desires and actions of the people and government involved.

A recent announcement by the Western Cape Government revealed that according to a recent poll, many Western Cape residents believed that their country was heading in the wrong direction and in turn, believed that the quality of life for its communities would better be suited to an independent province (state). A discussion was held on Cape Talk 567 AM on 18 September 2023, by Constitutional Law expert, Professor Pierre De Vos. Vos opined that the Western Cape secession is a “no-go zone”. He added that unless the country as a whole agrees on a split and amends the Constitution, it's simply unattainable given the fact that South Africa is a unitary state under the Constitution. Additionally, De Vos voiced that with the country's politics, being independent was “unrealistic”. Despite De Vos’s beliefs, an article circulated by Times Live reported that approximately 800 000 residents registered to make the Western Cape its own country during 2022.

The autonomous community of Catalonia

One example of a state separating itself from its country is the case of Catalonia in Spain. Catalonia is an autonomous community located in the North-Eastern part of the country, with its own distinct culture, language (Catalan), and regional government. Over the years, there was a significant movement for Catalan independence, with some advocating for Catalonia to become its own country. The push for independence gained momentum in 2017 when the Catalan government held a controversial independence referendum. Despite being declared illegal by the Spanish government, the referendum took place, resulting in a majority of participants voting in favor of independence.

Warstrand (2020) argued that this led to a period of political turmoil and tensions between Catalonia and the Spanish government. Proponents of Catalan independence argue for greater self- governance, control over their own finances, and the preservation of their cultural identity. They believed that Catalonia's economic contributions to Spain were not adequately recognized and that they would be better off as an independent nation. On the other hand, opponents of Catalan independence argued that it would lead to economic instability, political fragmentation, and the potential exclusion of Catalan citizens from the European Union. The Spanish government has consistently maintained that the Spanish Constitution does not allow for the secession of any region. The situation in Catalonia remains complex and unresolved. It highlights the challenges and complexities involved in a state separating itself from its country. The outcome ultimately depends on the negotiations, political will, and legal frameworks in place, as well as the desires and actions of the people involved.

Provincial powers bill

Reportedly, the DA in the Western Cape said that its Provincial Powers Bill was not designed to separate the province from the rest of the country, while the Bill, which was introduced in May 2023, was presented to the Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature. The issue with the Bill as well as the legislature is its deciding factor on whether to form an ad-hoc committee to oversee a public participation process. The DA added that it wanted the national government to give capable provinces and municipalities decision-making powers over policing, public transport and trade, among other things (Nene, 2023). Provincial Agriculture Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Ivan Meyer, said that the bill was aimed at protecting people from ANC's failed governance. Meyer voiced: “This is not a Bill to separate the Western Cape from the rest of South Africa. We want the rest of South Africa to succeed, we want to be part of South Africa but we do not want to be part of an ANC failed state”.


Therefore, the compounding issue of secession does not lie in the detail of the Western Cape being classified as a better state, but rather the misfortunes of the ANC. Does this therefore, mean those outside the Western Cape will need to suffer under the rule of the ANC as highlighted by the DA, or would the DA distinctly take its interests to the Western Cape and abandon its current duties where it manages municipalities and provinces currently?


Fraser, A. (September 18, 2023). Cape Talk 567 AM. The WC becoming its own country CANNOT happen … its politically unattainable.
Warstrand, A. B. (2020). “Catalonia – a New State in Europe?”. Department of Law, Master’s Thesis in Public International Law.