Canadian partnership surges ahead

2018-06-28 06:00

A delegation from the Canadian government visited Jeffreys Bay last week Tuesday, as a follow-up to the partnership agreement signed between Kouga Municipality and one of that country’s municipalities.

A Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM) collaboration agreement was signed in March between Kouga and Prince Edward County (PEC).

The programme is facilitated by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and is funded by the Canadian government, as part of relations with their South African counterparts.

At a brief meeting held at Mentorskraal, Global Affairs Canada Director: Kenya and South Africa Development Programme Chantal Labelle said their government was involved in a number of intervention programmes on the African continent and the duty of her department was to monitor progress and sustainability of such ventures.

“There is certainly a lot of potential for this partnership to create a success story and to be a building block for further relations between Kouga and us. Our investment here is not monetary but focuses on capacity building for the municipality to be on a more sustainable path in its planning,” she said.

The partnership between Kouga and PEC focuses on the areas of developing a Local Economic Development Strategy, a Gender Strategy and climate change impact mitigation and planning.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the partnership would benefit Kouga immensely and should help address the needs of, especially, those who were left on the margins.

“There are many people who, while we have all been busy celebrating the dawn of freedom, have been left behind. We are doing all we can as a municipality to bring along everyone, including those who have been left behind, and this is one such project that will help us achieve that,” he said.

BIGM Project Manager Tebogo Matlou from SALGA presented the Gender Strategy Baseline to the meeting.

There was an opportunity for local SMMEs and the Kouga Local Tourism Office to present their business models and programmes to the congregation, after which the delegations visited the business sites of Do it Well brickmaking project in Ocean View and the Bayahluma sewing project in Tokyo Sexwale.

The team from Prince Edward County will be back in Kouga in August for further consolidation of the BIGM project.

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