COPE joins battle for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro

The Congress of the People (COPE) has expressed its interest in governing the hotly-contested Nelson Mandela Bay Metro after the Local Government Elections.

A number of parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have expressed an interest in taking the municipality which includes Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage from the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

COPE Deputy President, Willie Madisha, embarked on a door-to-door campaign to garner support and introduce ward candidates at Soweto on Sea, Njoli and New Brighton in Port Elizabeth.

After its formation in 2008, following the breakaway of members from the ANC, COPE was seen as a party with the potential to become an opposition or the government.

But internal fighting over leadership positions cost the party.

In the 2009 national elections, the party obtained 17% in the Nelson Mandela Bay, but saw a decrease in votes to almost 5 % in the 2011 municipal elections.

But Madisha says they have learned from their mistakes.

“I want to say to you and to the entire country that we have succeeded. We have dealt with our challenges. We have united our own organisation; our own leaders in all provinces and we are moving together.”

The party’s next target is Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality which has become a battle ground for political parties.

Madisha embarked on a door-to-door campaign in Port Elizabeth where he promised residents improved service delivery.

Housing and unemployment topped the residents’ list.

The party will be contesting 59 of the 60 wards in the Nelson Mandela Bay.


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