On the 18th of July 2019, the Southern Suburbs Branch of the Capitalist Party of South Africa (ZACP) met in Rondebosch to discuss the state of the party and the branch. Branch leaders from the Northern Suburbs also joined the meeting and proxy members were sent from the greater Cape Town area.
The meeting discussed issues surrounding the relative success of the party at the General Elections in May, but how results could have improved. While some members of the public have called messaging into question, the attendants of the meeting agreed that messaging was not a problem, and that the ZACP appeals to a particular audience that enjoyed the messaging. Catering messaging to people who will never vote for the party is not a good strategy.
Rather, timing was seen as a flaw in the ZACP’s election strategy, and in the run-up to the 2021 Local Elections, the attendants agreed that planning and campaigning needs to start now.
In line with the decentralised model of the ZACP, the branch agreed on establishing semi-independent structures, establishing its own local membership database and ratifying its own constitution.
To account for the existence of too small branches, the Southern Suburbs branch discussed the possibility of forming a greater Cape Town structure to connect the branches. It was agreed that an informal body will be established for now to ensure that the critical mass of branch membership is achieved.
The 2021 Local Elections were announced, and it was agreed that specific local messaging needs to be established. Macroeconomic and national issues have no relevance at a municipal level, and only policies and issues that can be solved at a local level should be put into an upcoming policy document.
In particular, the issue of Cape Town rates, their expense and where they’re going, was brought forward. Levies and by-laws surrounding policing were also addressed. It was agreed that particular meetings and projects will be dedicated to formulating a policy document surrounding election policies that fulfil the following:
- Can be solved at a local level.
- Will appeal to local voters.
- Does not violate the principles of the ZACP.
- Preferably are not being addressed by any other party.
In anticipation for electing the branch leadership, four special offices were stablished.
- Media Officer: Responsible for creation, filtering and dissemination of visual media. Elected to this position was Christoff Smuts.
- Recruitment Officer: An assistant position to the Secretary, with the responsibility of helping with the membership database and leading recruitment drives. This position is currently incorporated into the Secretary until the next meeting.
- Policy Officer: Creates surveys and data collection methods to determine the best issues to focus on for the upcoming election. Elected to this position was Graham McTaggart.
- InfoSec Officer: A current interim duty for finding a secure database solution for the membership database. Elected to this position was Michael de Villiers.
Finally, the essential leadership positions of the party leadership were filled by:
- Chairperson: Gideon Joubert, also an MP candidate.
- Secretary: Myself, Nicholas Woode-Smith
- Treasurer: Francois Kruger
Each position was given a duty and set of tasks to undertake in anticipation for the next meeting, that will be held on the 14th of August 2019.
The branch meeting was a great success, and as Secretary of the Southern Suburbs Branch, I encourage other ZACP branches to get active and start preparing for the upcoming elections, using this model and our findings if necessary.