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Strengthening sister city partnerships

Date: 2023-09-22 08:18:16

Strengthening sister city partnerships

I AM pleased to announce that a memorandum of understanding was signed on 19 September between eThekwini Municipality and the City of Xaimen in China to strengthen ties and ensure mutual cooperation for the next five years. This is in accordance with the principles of the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between South Africa and China. The signing ceremony took place at the Durban City Hall where we agreed to cooperate in several fields of interest including the economy, trade, ports, culture, sports, health, and education. We are excited to formally establish a partnership between the City of eThekwini and the City of Xiamen.

The partnership will enhance relations and will facilitate information and knowledge sharing, good practice, and innovation in all aspects of service delivery and governance. On another positive note, I am pleased to report that we hosted a very successful CEOs Forum. The engagement took place on 15 September at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Forum provides a platform for the City to respond to some of the high-level issues business has raised at various engagements. It also looks at how the City and private sector can collaborate to deal with some of the economic and social challenges facing Durban.

The Forum brought together captains of industry, experts, business leaders, academia, business formations and stakeholders to discuss the Durban Port Development, its implication for Durban businesses, and opportunities related to port infrastructure, operations, and management. We assured them that government is giving this matter the attention it requires as we are determined to ensure that Durban continues to grow to become a globally competitive port city. We assured the business sector that the City is working with relevant stakeholders to ease congestion at the port. And in more good news, Durban was selected as the host for the prestigious 19th World Water Conference taking place in 2025.

The conference is set to inject about R340 million into the local economy. EThekwini City Manager Musa Mbhele was in Beijing, China recently where he received the symbolic baton from the President of the International Water Resources Association Li Yuanyuan and the Minister of Water Resources in Beijing Li Guoying. This marked the official handover to Durban. This important event comes at a crucial time when our City and other parts of the country, face substantial water challenges.

The City has made a concerted effort to address water issues with several reservoirs constructed as well as the maintenance of water infrastructure which is ongoing. And in conclusion, I am happy to report that Municipal entity, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) has been awarded with a prestigious five-star rating by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). The TGCSA’s five-star rating is the highest accolade bestowed upon establishments in South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sector.