The IEC's national results operations centre in Pretoria. Photo: @journalist_jill

Kimberley - A defeated Cope said on Thursday that while the party was down, it was definitely not out.

The party’s national chairman, Pakes Dikgetsi, gave the assurance on Thursday as the Northern Cape provisional results came in, that this was absolutely not the end for the party.

“The election outcome is a setback for Cope,” Dikgetsi said.

He attributed the results to a number of internal and external factors. “There was a lack of proper structures on the ground going into the elections and the branches were not functioning properly. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including the legal challenges brought by people up until the first day of the national congress in January.”

He added that the party’s campaign message was not as coherent as it could have been. “We believe in the message we presented but we could have promoted it better in communities suffering from abject poverty and high unemployment.”

Dikgetsi pointed out that the dependency factor worked in favour of the ruling party. “It succeeded in keeping people dependent on the state. We don’t believe that this will last, however, and people will ultimately see through this ploy.”

Other parties, he said, were able to plough much more money into the campaign. “No party can compete with the use and abuse of state resources, whether it is in the form of personnel or food parcels.”

Dikgetsi said it seemed the party had lost supporters to both the DA and the EFF.

“There were those who defected to the ANC after they were offered jobs and given appointment letters to cross the floor.”

He reaffirmed, however, that he remained committed to the party and the political ideology it held.

“South Africa deserves a better government. The intention was to wipe us off the political landscape but this has not happened. We are down, but not out. The task ahead is to go ahead to the drawing boards and to rebuild the structures of the party, so that we are ready for the 2016 local elections.”

He added that there were numerous instances in the past where political parties came back even stronger than before. We are not despairing. We learnt important lessons in this election which will stand us in good stead in the future.”

He said that the party was hoping for a better outcome but although this did not happen, it did not prove them wrong. “We believe the issues we have taken up are correct. Fourteen thousand voters have given us their support and we will be with them through thick and think. We will stay on course and not jump ship due to turbulence.”

Dikgetsi was reluctant to say who would take the single seat the party won in the legislature, adding that this decision would be decided by the party’s national leadership.

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