By: Thabile Duma
19 September 2023
In a media statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, 19 September, the city revealed that a memorandum of understanding between eThekwini Municipality and the City of Xaimen in China was signed to strengthen ties and ensure mutual cooperation for the next five years.
The statement added that is in accordance with the principles of the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between South Africa and China. In August, Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, paid a state visit to South Africa, upon the invitation of Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa. The two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on China-South Africa relations, China-Africa cooperation, and regional and international affairs of mutual interest. During high-level talks, the two leaders reached consensus on a series of important related issues, including the substantial growth of China-South Africa relations over the past 25 years since establishing diplomatic ties in 1998.
EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda and Vice Mayor of the City of Xaimen Zhuang Rongliang confirmed the establishment of sister city relations between the two cities. In July 2022, it was reported that the eThekwini Municipality had set aside R248 000 to renew a partnership between the municipality and the city of Daejeon in South Korea and to also form a sister city relationship with Xiamen in the People’s Republic of China. At the time, the Deputy City Manager for Governance and International relationships Sipho Cele was given the green light to proceed with the renewal of the memorandum of understanding to promote a global view and sustainable service delivery to eThekwini residents.
The statement indicated that the signing ceremony took place at the Durban City Hall this morning where the representatives agreed to corporate in several fields of interest including the economy, trade, ports, culture, sports, health, and education.
According to the statement, Mayor Kaunda said he is excited to formally establish a partnership between the City of eThekwini and the City of Xiamen. He also said the partnership will enhance relations and will facilitate information and knowledge sharing, good practice, and innovation in all aspects of service delivery and governance.
“The signing of the memorandum of understanding comes at an important time when South Africa and all the BRICS countries have concluded a successful BRICS Summit. Through the BRICS Summit, the relations between South Africa and China have been enhanced. Therefore, this visit and the signing of the MOU today will further strengthen this important partnership,” said Mayor Kaunda.
Rongliang, the Vice Mayor of the city of Xiamen described the agreement as mutually beneficial to both cities.
“We are one of the fastest growing cities. Our city offers a wide range of growth prospects for foreign investors. We are excited to have established this collaboration with eThekwini for the next five years,” said Rongliang.