News & Events

South Africa Palestine LED Exchange Visit: 06 – 10 November 2016

During the week of 06 – 10 November 2016, VNG International in collaboration with the Centre for Municipal Research and Advice (CMRA) successfully facilitated the exchange visit on Local Economic Development (LED) between South Africa and Palestine in Gauteng province, South Africa. The objective of the visit was to strengthen relations between the South African Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and the Palestine Ministry of Local Government (MoLG); specifically in the area of LED and also to revisit the existing Memorandum of Understanding.

The Palestinian delegation was led by the Minister of Local Governance, Dr Hussein Alaraj, and included the Chairperson of Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) Mr. Mousa Hadid and other officials from the Ministry and Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF). The delegation was received and hosted by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr. Des Van Rooyen and his two deputies, Mr. Andries Nel and Mr. Obed Bapela. Mr. Hadid’s counterpart, Chairperson of South African Local Government Association (SALGA), who was recently elected as the President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Cllr. Parks Tau along with his CEO, Mr. Xolile George also formed part of the host team. The Executive Mayors of Tshwane and Johannesburg, Mr. Solly Msimang and Mr. Herman Mashaba welcomed the delegation in their cities.

The knowledge exchange sessions where organised at the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the 7th and 8th, at City of Johannesburg offices on the 9th and SALGA offices on the 10th. Topics covered included Local Government Evolution, Local Economic Development Practice and Experiences, Urban Development, Governance and Cooperative Systems Local Government Fiscal System and Municipal Infrastructure Finance.  Site visits were also organised for the delegation to see practical Local Economic Development initiatives. They included Kgora bakery, Automotive Supplier Park & Ga-Rankuwa Eco-Furniture Factory in Tshwane and Maboneng Precinct & Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg.

The delegation was also given the opportunity to visit some of the tourist attraction sites such as Pretoria Zoo, Freedom Park, Mandela House Museum and Hector Pieterson Memorial (where the wreath-laying ceremony took place). The delegation departed to Palestine on the 11th of November 2016 after a successful week of knowledge exchange. They took with them various policy documents and legislative frameworks (i.e. The White Paper on Local Government), copies of the presentations made about LED in South Africa, souvenirs and gifts provided by South Africans.