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Cope’s Tom Mofokeng wants big business to thrive, to grow Gauteng and SA


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Cope’s Tom Mofokeng wants big business to thrive, to grow Gauteng and SA

Cope’s Tom Mofokeng wants big business to thrive, to grow Gauteng and SA (Camera & editing: Nicholas Boyd)

10th May 2024

By: Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


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Congress of the People's (Cope’s) Gauteng Premier candidate and chairperson Tom Mofokeng is focussed on ensuring that large multinational companies are able to work with the State to ensure Gauteng is economically sustained.

Speaking exclusively with Polity, he noted that major companies were leaving South Africa’s shores, impacting employment and provincial economies.


His major focus will be on manufacturing and steel to ensure development of the country’s infrastructure. He said if need be, he would ensure that companies were subsidised to ensure their survival.

“I can push to have that company subsidised because with the steel that comes there, we are going to develop the country, we are going to develop the entire Africa. But not only that, you know, you have just seen what happened with the George disaster. One can only ascribe that to poor quality of building. Now, my priority will be to make sure that steel is manufactured here in South Africa,” he pledged.


His second area of focus is petroleum. He said local companies such as Sasol were not given enough opportunities to thrive.

He noted that Sasol provided a large number of jobs and was a large corporate taxpayer in South Africa.

“Why would you prioritise all these other companies that are bringing crude oil and all those kinds of things from outside the country and not concentrate on your own, so that jobs should be created. You can just imagine if we can prioritise that how much of the young people are going to be trained technologically,” he pointed out.

Mofokeng also had an eye on fixing electricity supply in the province and said he was not against privatising certain portions of State-owned entity Eskom.

“…because you need the private sector to try and inject money in your major project,” he said.

Cope also wanted to professionalise the State by hiring by qualifications, not nepotism, Mofokeng said.


Mofokeng believed that Gauteng’s middle class had been neglected and said this was the key to ensuring that the poor were uplifted from poverty.

He said the middle class was being denied opportunities to start businesses and employ those who needed jobs.

“Your [small and medium-sized enterprises] are basically a product of your thinkers in the province, and this province has got marvellous people that can take this province to greater heights. Not only that, but I will also look into making sure that middle class families are actually getting growth, in quality and in quantity. What do I mean by that, I mean that many political parties they're making noise, saying ‘we want to solve the problem of the poor’. The problem of the poor is not with the poor; it is with the middle class. If you invest in the middle class and give them opportunities to do what they are supposed to do… these are the people that are going to pull the poor, out of poverty, and give them opportunities,” Mofokeng stated.


Cope will see its leader Mosiuoa Lekota step down from his position, in line with the party’s constitution, which prescribes that a leader can only stay on for two terms.

While Lekota will still be on the May 29 election ballot, the party will hold its national congress only after the May 29 elections to elect its new leader.

The reason for this, Mofokeng revealed, was that the party decided to use the money for its national congress on the party’s election campaign.

When asked about the role Lekota would play in the party going forward, Mofokeng said Lekota would be in Cope for a very long time as he still had much to teach from his experience and knowledge of South African politics.

“… that is why we are still going to have him given another responsibility. The party's talking, we can have him as maybe emeritus president, or we can have him maybe as the adviser to the new upcoming president. But those are decisions that can be taken by the conference itself. And who knows, somebody can say, let's change the constitution, because the conference has got the power to do so. It can say, oh, let's change the clause that says two times, two, three times or something like that. But he [Lekota] is an asset that we are all appreciating, not only us in Congress of the People, but the nation as well,” Mofokeng said.


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