German partnership to bring ‘fascinating projects’

2015-10-28 06:00
The deputy prime minister of Lower Saxony in Germany, Stefan Wenzel (right) and Pemmy Majodina (left), MEC for sport, arts and culture.  Photo: Deon Ferreira

The deputy prime minister of Lower Saxony in Germany, Stefan Wenzel (right) and Pemmy Majodina (left), MEC for sport, arts and culture. Photo: Deon Ferreira

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THE international partnership that has helped to establish the Eastern Cape as a renewable energy hub will still deliver years of “fascinating projects and learning”.

This according to Stefan Wenzel, the deputy prime minister of the Lower Saxony region in Germany, who visited Nelson Mandela Bay last week with a delegation of over 50 representatives. He was speaking during a visit to the provincial legislature’s meetings with the public in the Bay.

Lower Saxony has been a twin to the Eastern Cape since signing an agreement in 1995. According to this agreement, the two regions will share knowledge and support for several projects, spanning education, sport and renewable energy.

“Renewable energy is very close to my heart,” said Wenzel. “All around the world, we are affected by climate change, and this won’t be resolved by just one country. We need to partner up and work together.”

Lower Saxony’s support has been a large part of the province’s capacity to generate renewable energy, added Noxolo Kiviet, speaker of the legislature. “When we started exploring this field, Germany was already a step ahead and had a lot of knowledge to impart,” she said. “We have also participated in exchange programmes for sport teams, but the Eastern Cape is definitely benefiting the most from this partnership.”

Yet there are many lessons to be learned from the Eastern Cape, said Wenzel. “Our regions have a lot in common, and both our countries started building their democracy in the late 20th century. In Europe, we are now surrounded by countries in conflict and we will have a million refugees in Germany. At this time, the Eastern Cape and Nelson Mandela serve as great inspirations. The country has proved that deeply rooted injustices can still be overcome peacefully.

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