Frans Cronje, CEO of the IRR, interviews Roman Cabanac, one of the founders of the South African Capitalist Party (ZACP), also known as the Purple Cow Party
Is the purple cow party a serious idea or a spoof run by what some people will regard as a bunch of crackpot libertarians out for a bit of fun given the hopeless state of our politics?
At our core we are comprised of ten entrepreneurs with proven track records in the private sector, and we have believed for a long time that there is a better way of running the business of the country; to run the country like a business. As in any business, we intend to use our skills to create and implement simple, cheap and effective solutions to the real issues in our country. In short, yes we’re serious, and yes we’re here to stay.
As I understand it you have almost no money, administrative infrastructure, branch structures or political experience. Yet you need between 30 000 and 40 000 votes to get into Parliament. Will you get to 1 000?
Within the first week of our launch, the Capitalist Party of South Africa and our logo, the purple cow, permeated the social ether of South Africa. Our members appeared on major news stations across the country including Kyknet, eNCA, PowerFM, and Cape Talk, and our story was published in major national newspapers including Timeslive and The Citizen. In the short time since our launch, we’ve amassed over 500 passionate volunteers from all over South Africa who have independently created branches in Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Who do you think will vote for you?
Anyone who believes in liberty, equality, tolerance, fraternity and the rule of law. Anyone who believes that their hard work should be rewarded by the ability to hold private property and build their own wealth unmolested. Anyone who believes they have the inalienable right to protect themselves and their property from those who would see them dispossessed. These are the 7 million South Africans that feel dissatisfied with the current political landscape, and they are our constituents and we are their party.
If you get into parliament how does that help – what are you going to do?
We have set out a ten-point road map to address ten of the largest issues in South Africa currently. For each of these issues, we have detailed a quick, simple and cost-effective solution. With our seats we will deploy our MPs to parliamentary committees to curb unnecessary spending of the tax-payers’ money and ensure that our solutions are implemented. After all, we’re entrepreneurs; it’s our job to fix problems.
Many people will think ‘I’m just wasting my vote on this purple cow business and would be better off supporting an established party’. Are they wrong?
South Africa has a proportional voting system in which parties gain seats according to the number of votes they receive. The larger parties are losing support and it appears very likely that we are headed for a situation in which a large coalition of smaller parties will be needed. A large enough coalition can actively prevent Parliamentary abuses of the rights of South Africans by working together and keeping the larger parties in check.
The DA says smaller parties will split the opposition and strengthen the ANC. Surely the thing to do is the back the big established opposition party. The DA has its problems but at least they’re there in numbers and fight many of the right battles?
Big is not the same as effective. The official opposition may be good at governance but it continues to misunderstand its opponents. It never mentions the ideology that flows through the dominant party’s policies, the National Democratic Revolution. Understanding this is key to successful opposition. We understand this, and we intend to use it to our advantage in Parliament.
If you can justify a vote for a smaller party, why should it be for you? There are established smaller choices such as Cope, the ACDP, and the FF+. You think you’re a better bet than them?
The parties you have mentioned have fundamentally different ideologies. We are not a party based on any one race, religion or creed, and we’re not a splinter faction of a problem party. Where other smaller parties operate solely to ensure an ongoing income stream, without any desire to challenge the central aspects of the currently flaw government policies. They do just enough to retain their seats in Parliament, and little else. All of our candidates are successful within the private sector within their own right. We didn’t enter politics for the money, we entered politics because we believe we have the skills and solutions to make a positive impact for all South Africans.
Few people have heard of any of your candidates or what they have done. Why should a voter trust you with what is actually a very serious responsibility at a very perilous moment in the evolution of our country?
One of our main strengths is that we are not politicians; we’re entrepreneurs. While we’re well-known in our respective spheres of the private sector. you won’t find us haunting the pages of your favourite tabloid or “being seen” for the sake of it. We’ve been too busy running our businesses successfully and consciously contributing to the economy while doing so. Now we are targeting the business of the country. You may not have heard of us yet, but you will.