The Cape Independence movement has a brand problem

Without a strong identity, the Cape Independence movement will fizzle out like the Volkstaat





I saw on Twitter that the Cape Independence movement held a March on 27 April - Freedom Day - and decided to ask some of the participants/organisers to explain the brand to me. I felt it is a dead horse, which is quite disappointing since I'm told the South African constitution actually provides a clear route for such an outcome - if it can garner enough support!

https://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/428631/cape-independence-party-on-why-a-referendum-to-exit-sa-is-possible


The brand problem starts with a self-confidence issue. I sense many supporters believe the rest of South Africa is against them becoming independent when the reality is likely very different. The project in South Africa is mainly to align itself with the rest of Africa. The focus is North, not South. There's nothing as fatal as a brand that thinks it is up against a specific competitor when it's not. I often get this working with small businesses that automatically think they are up against the large established brands in their industry when customers simply don't care about them.

Along these lines, as per the below statement, Cape Independence really depends on the desires of another province with far more legitimate claims to being a nation, Kwazulu Natal. 




And here's a relatively recent overview of the population breakdown of the provinces in question. Most of the 11 million in KZN belong to the Zulu nation, which may as well be a country. The Western Cape has much less leg to stand on with its hotchpotch of cultures.




But back to the brand. The data don't add up. On the one hand, I am told 40% in the Western Cape support independence...



On the other hand, they only had a thousand people at their march - many leaving when the day warmed up. 


The other even more significant issue is the undercurrent of racism that raises its head. Here the joke is the fake eyebrows of the apparently black female ANC supporters that attended the recent march - a group that should be embraced should they want any chance of success. 



And, to top it off, the brand positioning seems to be on the back of South Africa's failure instead of the Cape's ability to succeed. Such a "versus" positioning asks people to run away from something negative instead of towards something positive.  The below interaction shows what I mean:



My conclusion from these admittedly limited interactions with some of the movement's organisers/members is that the Cape Independence movement should not be taken seriously just yet. It's a bit like the Volkstaat that never happened. 

You see, you build organisations like this on a shared identity that wants - that deserves - to govern itself. For the campaign to succeed, it needs to find that shared thing that all people in the Cape already have - the province's identity, and this cannot be "oh well, we all hate South Africa". True identity is based on deep connections within itself, not against something else.


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