"Cope is for new change and hope," said Congress of People (Cope) deputy chairperson Nozipho Plaatjie addressing the community at a public debate on Monday [16 May]. Organised by Masifunde Education & Development Project Trust, a community based organisation along with Rural People’s Movement (RPM) and the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), the debate was on local government issues and gave a platform to politicians to speak on those issues.
"There's even no water today and nobody came to tell us that. Cope says water is your right." Plaatjie said that it was promised that the bucket system would be eradicated by 2008. "We are surprised that it is still being used."
She said when Cope talks of corruption they say that it is about taking money from poverty stricken people. "Cope says that its a sin against humanity." She added that they promise to tackle corruption and its roots.
"Let us not allow ANC when delivering food parcels to say that it is theirs. It is not theirs, it is the government we voted for. Let us not allow the ANC to say that they will take you out of your RDP's houses if you do not vote for them. They lie. They are liars. These are the houses that belong to the government we voted for." She added that Parliament is made up of the different parties who make the decisions and it is not only the ANC that does this. "Cope will ensure that in all wards there will be committees who will teach people on their rights."
"Cope says go and vote, it is your right." she added.
"We believe that black people should stand up for their rights and choose and decide who they really want to vote for." She added, "If they want change they must use that vote in a right way and not just sit there," She said that they have been going ward to ward during their campaigning and they have heard people say that they are not going to vote. "We are still where we were in the 1970's, things still have not changed for our people."
She mentioned how the anti-apartheid activist, Stephen Biko said there is going to come a time when we will have a black government in power but that government may not represent our views. She said that Azapo did not participate in the elections in 1994, because they did not agree with the structure of the national party. "We believed that the nationalist party were going to misrepresent us and they just wanted to control black people."