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Posted: 23 June 2024

A South African local government delegation, led by SALGA President, Cllr Bheke Stofile, participated in the Founding Meeting of the BRICS+ Association of Cities and Municipalities in Kazan, Russia.

The delegation, representing a coalition of South African municipalities, includes mayors from seven cities and municipalities. The forum comprises of an analytical grouping of emerging market countries that are currently experiencing strong economic growth and poised to dominate the world economy by 2050.

In a major stride towards enhancing international relations, the Executive Mayor of Polokwane Municipality, Cllr Makoro John Mpe and Rustenburg Municipality Mayor, Cllr Sheila Huma signed an agreement of intent with the Acting Head of the Mendeleevsky municipal district, Leysan K. Galeeva in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia.

The agreement establishes sister city relations between Polokwane and Rustenburg, and Mendeleevsk, Russia. The primary goal is to strengthen mutual understanding and relations between the peoples of the two cities. Both parties recognize the mutual benefits of deepening and expanding their cooperation in various fields.

Key aspects of the agreement:

1. Establishing sister city relations: Polokwane, Rustenburg and Mendeleevsk will build their relationship on a foundation of equality, mutual trust, and shared interests.

2. Promoting innovation and exchange: The agreement encourages the development of innovation, trade, economic, scientific, cultural, sports, and tourism ties. Both cities will support the exchange of delegations and business entities to strengthen these connections.

3. Sharing knowledge and culture: Regular exchanges of information and experience in urban management, along with visits from creative groups and cultural figures, will be promoted. Art exhibitions and other cultural events will be held to enhance cultural understanding.

4. Developing new areas of cooperation: The agreement aims to unlock the full potential of both municipalities through innovative forms of cooperation and improved resource management.

5. Joint projects: Both parties will explore and implement joint projects on mutually beneficial terms, ensuring practical outcomes from their collaboration.

6. Resolving issues together: Any issues arising during the implementation of this agreement will be addressed jointly, in accordance with the laws of both countries.

7. Flexibility and longevity: The agreement allows for amendments and extensions, ensuring it remains relevant and beneficial over time. Initially set for five years, it will automatically renew for subsequent five-year periods unless terminated by either party with a 30-day notice.

This agreement marks the beginning of a promising partnership between Polokwane and Mendeleevsk. It opens up new opportunities for growth and development and strengthens a spirit of global cooperation and mutual benefit.

Issued by the South African Local Government Association

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