The term 'sister cities' refers to friendly working arrangements between cities. In Europe it is called the 'twinning' of cities, and in South Africa, the term used is Municipal International Relations, or MIR.

The City of Durban has forged strong relations with a number of cities around the world and manages a variey of projects and cooperative interventions with the following cities:

All Sister city partnerships are based on formal cooperation agreements that focus on the following areas of cooperation:

  • Economic development and trade and investment promotion.
  • Sport and youth development
  • Social upliftment and poverty alleviation
  • Environment protection
  • Culture, arts and tourism
  • Health
  • Educational support, skills transfer and sharing of skills and models of good practice
  • Church links
  • Safety and security
The department is also responsible for researching and recommending strategic international cities to partner with the eThekwini municipality. 


The International and Governance Relations will also focus on supporting and facilitating events and the bidding process that enhances the tourism and business confidence within the city.

The unit worked with Durban Africa, DIPA and the ICC to secure the World Cup 2010 soccer bid, conferences and conventions at the ICC and the Exhibition Centre and other strategic events that enhances the city’s profile and its economic growth.