The Congress of the People (COPE), a political party of South Africa, will focus on the 2014 elections with an inclusive strategy.
COPE is insisting that the president of the country should be elected directly by the people. Although all political parties have their own policies, which they abide by, and the leadership elective is part of the process of the parties, COPE wants to look at possible candidates by using external agencies for verification and thereby select a reputable person from state representatives, mayors, premiers and the president to represent the party. This move would strengthen the power of South Africa and the citizens would be able to hold their leaders accountable. An appeals committee will be set up for people to appeal the candidate if it is thought that he or she is not worthy of such a high position. COPE is promoting clean governance with their inclusive plan.
COPE launched its political party in December 2008 and won over 1.3 million votes in the 2009 general election. This victory made COPE the third strongest opposition party in South Africa. The 2014 elections will be a second chance for a greater victory, which the party is hoping to get.
COPE is a fragment of the African National Congress (ANC) party, and its leader Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota played a prominent role within the ANC before opting to start his own political party. During his term under the ANC, he served as Minister of Defense and Premier of the Free State.
According to the manifesto of COPE–should they obtain a victory–the party will downsize government and use the wasted resources for investment in the economy. It is the goal of the party to support an environmentally robust economy. The party will promote organic farming to protect both the consumer and the environment.
COPE believes that education is an important role of the government and the party promises to ensure that the already far too low pass rate for matriculants would be increased. Education will include artisan programs and physical education which would be mandatory for all students. COPE emphasized the importance of teachers and would separate the union associated with education. COPE also emphasized the importance of unions, but recalled that the demands from union members conflicted with the free teaching profession.
The health care program would be run by professional managers if COPE were to come into power.
Another factor COPE wants to change is the secrecy bill. The bill’s current form, according to COPE, allows leaders to undermine the freedom of the press and maybe use this bill to hide corruption.
While COPE insures that their manifesto is a decent upliftment for the majority of South Africans, there is always the constant reminder that this party was originally part of the governing ANC party. Members are torn between voting for the ANC, who according to the masses deserve their loyalty, and then moving away to another party based on the high corruption within that party. The ANC have failed miserably on service deliveries, and people are looking for a government that will uplift their lives. The option of voting for another party is particularly confusing for most simply because COPE like the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were born out of the ANC and there is the possibility that the ANC policies whether good or bad would linger into the new party.
COPE has a plan to take the political power and provide better government to the people of South Africa. The party has listed a substantially workable proposal for the country and above all want to eradicate corruption. While Lekota has a large following, his turbulent past still lingers in the minds of many. COPE can deliver a decent governance to the people of South Africa and the 2014 elections will show how desperate the citizens actually are for change.
By Laura Oneale