Cope: ‘High noon for economic freedom’

2011-04-22 00:00

“LOCAL government is about our people, not the politicians!”

This is theme of the Congress of the People (Cope)manifesto. The slogan of the party’s local government election campaign is “Empowering the people”.

It plans to do this by encouraging community participation in all aspects of service delivery. Cope will set up partnerships in local governments to harness the skills of residents, and will encourage active participation of residents in all local government institutions or associations.

It will empower people further by providing leadership that aims to serve the voters, and is accountable. It wants to canvas support for citizens to elect their mayors directly and impose standards that will hold mayors more accountable to the electorate.

The manifesto states: “Cope will appoint professionals who can improve productivity and guarantee service delivery rather than putting political hangers-on into key posts in local government. This process of appointment will therefore ensure the transformation of local government administration.”

Cope aims to tackle service delivery problems by adopting international standards for billing, establishing an independent service commissioner’s office to allow for complaints against the local government, encouraging an open tender process and establishing a well co-ordinated municipal call centre.

The party will also focus on housing and ensure that local government has a greater say in determining the quality, sizes and manner in which government-funded houses are built. It also wants the intended beneficiaries of the homes to contribute ideas and provide support to allow better houses to be built from the budgeted amount of money.

Cope plans to increase energy efficiency in homes through subsidies to encourage the installation of solar geysers and encourage household production of food. The party says that investing in independent power producers will create more than 500 000 permanent jobs and many more temporary ones.

The manifesto states: “Freedom dawned in South Africa in May 1994. Real freedom, inclusive of economic freedom, must now reach high noon in 2011 and that is what we are striving to achieve together with you.

“Together we can ensure that decent delivery takes place, decent dwellings are created and a decent existence for the people becomes achievable.

“This is our solemn promise and we undertake to be bound to that.”

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