China trip ‘fruitful’ for Ugu, says mayor

2010-11-23 00:00

UGU District Mayor Sithembiso Cele has described his recent visit to China as “fruitful for the district”.

He said he and Hibiscus Coast Mayor Nolwazi Shusha have convinced prominent Chinese businesspeople to invest in agricultural and transport projects in the district.

Cele was giving feedback on the visit at an executive committee (Exco) meeting last Thursday.

“The mayor of Tangshan City even said that if we strengthen our relationship, they might open an office in Ugu so that we don’t have to go to the Durban Chinese office,” said Cele.

“They will invest in the projects of this district.

“They will definitely invest in agricultural projects, and they have shown great interest in investing in Margate Airport as well.”

The prospect comes as welcome news for the district, which has struggled to facilitate the growth of Margate Airport.

“The two agricultural farming projects in Ezinqoleni are not enough,” added Cele.

“We have identified 13 other farming projects so that when the Chinese visit Ugu in January or February, they can see them.

“The trip was a success as business links have been created.”

Cele said that China is a communist state with a command economy and that there are no strikes.

China is a highly productive country with a good employment rate and Tangshan City is even recruiting staff from other nearby districts and towns, he added.

In terms of water treatment, Cele said China keeps costs down by not purifying all the water it uses.

He said he was impressed by the cleanliness of the streets in the cities and towns.

Deputy municipal manager Mdu Mnyandu, who also went on the trip, defended the costs.

“The cost implications of this trip were covered as Ugu paid the return flights for the mayor and the deputy municipal manager only to the combined value of R52 135,” he said.

“All accommodation and ground transportation was subsidised by Tangshan City.”

The management of Ugu District Municipality will discuss a strategy to further support the development of the planned projects and an annual twin-city exchange programme will be considered by Exco at its next meeting.

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