THE only way that Cope can remain politically relevant in the North West province is by strengthening its branches and coming up with a detailed strategy on how to win the support of local communities between now and 2019, when the national elections are held.
This is the view of Cope’s provincial chairperson in the North West, , who said that the party is concerned with their performance during the local government elections.
While a number of other opposition parties managed to attract a significant number of votes in the province during the polls, Cope’s performance – when compared to how they fared five years ago – shows a considerable decline.
The party failed to improve on their record in the Madibeng municipality – only managing to retain the single seat they won during the previous local government elections. In Moretele, they also won a single seat.
However, they will no longer have any representation in the council of the Rustenburg municipality, where they previously held one seat. In the Moses Kotane municipality, Cope also saw their influence reduced.
In 2011, the party won four seats, they will now only have a single councillor representing them. However, it is their overall performance in the province that has become a cause of concern for the Mosiuoa Lekota-led party.
In 2011, Cope managed to win a combined 27 seats in the North West. However, this time around, they managed just six. Plaatjie said to The New Age that financial limitations could have contributed to their failure to improve on their performance in 2011.
“We have accepted that we failed to do better than we did in the 2011 elections. I think a major factor was that it was hard for our candidates because they had to canvass for support using money from their own pockets.
“It was difficult because we could not assist them as a party. “In Rustenburg, we failed to submit the list in line with the IEC deadline so we did not participate,” Plaatjie said.