The Sarah Baartman District Municipality hosts delegates from Jincheng City
The Sarah Baartman District Municipality, led by Executive Mayor, Khunjuzwa Kekana, is currently hosting a delegation from Jincheng City, Shanxi Province, in China. The delegation is here to further the partnership between the two municipalities, which has been ongoing since 2008.
Addressing delegates, Executive Mayor Kekana described how agriculture and tourism where important to the District’s economy – drawing similarities with Jincheng City, which despite being an industrial city, would benefit from raw materials from the District such as mohair.
“In 2008, the District Municipality embarked in a ‘Friendship City’ relationship with Jincheng City, Peoples Republic of China. The purpose of the initial agreement was to develop an understanding towards the establishment of a partnership of mutual co-operation between Jincheng City and the then Cacadu District,” the Mayor said.
“In 2009, another agreement was signed in terms of which the two municipalities agreed to co-operate and exchange experience and expertise for mutual benefit in the following fields; economic development, which includes trade and investment, tourism, science, technology, education, sports, culture, health care and any other field of mutual interest.”
She further discussed the visit to Jincheng City in 2013, where other areas were identified for further economic cooperation, such as investment in the mohair industry, the promotion of tourism between the two cities as well as skills development for both the Sarah Baartman District and Jincheng City.
Mayor Kekana also said that she would like for products from the Sarah Baartman District to have increased access to markets in China, while the District was an ideal destination for foreign investment from Jincheng businesses as well as tourists.
During the same event, the Mayor of Jincheng City, Lui Runmin, said that he would like to extend the relationship between the Sarah Baartman District and Jincheng City. He added that mutual visits from both municipalities should be established to facilitate the exchange and development between the different sectors from the two cities.
“Mayor Kekana has mentioned the development of your economy and tourism and investment from Jincheng. This year we will facilitate a visit by a delegation from the economic sector and the agriculture sector from Jincheng and we would like to arrange for them to do some research in the Sarah Baartman District,” he said.
“For the mutual development for both Sarah Baartman and Jincheng, we can organise a youth exchange programme, where a group of young people from Sarah Baartman can travel to Jincheng and a group of young people from Jincheng can travel to Sarah Baartman.”
He also proposed a scholarship programme to promote understanding between the two regions.
“In China there are many, who cannot speak English, and when travelling here we noticed that many cannot speak Chinese. So there is a language barrier between the two cities. So for the long term friendship between our two cities, we could organise a scholarship to encourage students to learn the Chinese language.
“We are willing to provide support for your education system, for example, we can provide some teaching tools for your schools to improve the infrastructure. You can give us with a list of what is needed and we will try to provide the equipment for the schools,” Mayor Runmin said.
He concluded by saying that it is important for both cities to promote each other’s local products through, for instance, exhibitions in order to expand the market of coorporation between the two entities. The delegates were then escorted to Mohair SA in order to learn more about the possibilities of this industry.
A group of musicians from Jincheng City called Ba Yinhui, from the Jincheng Mass Art Centre, are also expected to perform at the National Arts Festival, which starts in Grahamstown on Thursday.
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