Nelson Mandela Bay municipality deputy mayor Nancy Sihlwayi will lead a municipal delegation on a visit to Göteborg, Sweden’s second city, at the end of this month.
Sihlwayi will be accompanied by the municipality’s section of the partnership management committee as well as five project leaders from the metro.
The municipality’s communications advisor, Luncedo Njezula, said the visit will focus on projects exploring mutual interests of the two partners.
The projects are inner-city development, transportation, sustainable energy and climate change related.
“In January 2012, the fourth extension of the contract of partnership was signed in Nelson Mandela Bay during a visit by the mayor of Göteborg, Anneli Hulten, underlining the fact that this long-standing partnership has become a relationship based on friendship and respect.
“The partnership focuses on capacity building and knowledge exchange in agreed areas of mutual benefit.
“Partnership activities are fully integrated into municipal programmes and the institutional integrated development plan,” said Njezula.
He said the “visit saw both parties agree that the partnership should be elevated to a new level to achieve a more integrated approach in both cities”.
Sihlwayi said: “Our partnership with Göteborg is our oldest and flagship sister city partnership.
“Underpinned by friendship, respect, solid administration and many successes spanning a decade, we are attempting to emulate it in our other partnerships.”
The municipality said the Swedish International Development Agency was paying all travel and accommodation costs.
Sihlwayi said highlights of the partnership include improvement in the areas of arts and culture development, environmental and air quality management, sustainable urban development, public health, inner-city development and tertiary education.
“Looking back, highlights for me were the visit by the spectacular Swedish sailing ship Göteborg in March 2006, the transformation of the Gelvandale Library in Port Elizabeth into a cultural centre, and the East Cape from Above Exhibition hosted in Göteborg in August 2009 to promote the tourism attractions of Nelson Mandela Bay and the broader Eastern Cape,” said Sihlwayi.
“We also benefited from best practices in inner-city development and planning, and saw the introduction at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University of the MTech degree in entrepreneurship from the Göteborg University.”