Cope vows to comeback stronger in the local government elections

Published Jun 14, 2024


The Congress of the People (COPE) is meeting this weekend in Bloemfontein in the Free State, to create a roadmap for the future after its dismal elections performance.

The party said the meeting was to take a stock of where it had faltered in the elections, as it considered itself a viable alternative for South Africans. It would also use the meeting to map out strategies to navigate the current political developments in the country.

Cope said on Friday: “In keeping with the vow to build a strong party, the party will will convene in Bloemfontein for a two day workshop of former candidates, serving representatives, and the party’s top leadership to reflect and chart a way forward to reorganise and strengthen its election machinery on June 15 and 16.

“As a party, COPE vows to make a strong comeback. In municipal by elections and prepare for the 2026 local government elections.”

Cope managed to garner just over 30,000 votes during the polls, resulting in the party losing its two seats in the National Assembly.

It was formed in 2008 by former high-ranking ANC members, Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota, Mbhazima Shilowa and Mluleki George, who disagreed with the direction the ANC was taking following the recall of Thabo Mbeki as president.

In its first National and Provincial elections in 2009, Cope garnered 30 seats after securing 7.42% or 1.3 million votes in their first attempt at elections.

Their number significantly dropped during the 2014 elections, where it received 123 235 (0.67%) national votes giving them three seats, and 47 461 (0.27%) in 2019.