Partnerships between Regions and Cities

Germany and South Africa are strongly linked, not only on national level. Since the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa, there is a close exchange between regions and cities (twin cities) of both countries.

Partnerships between German Bundesländer (Federal States) and South African provinces:

Bavaria – Western Cape and Gauteng

All hands Enlarge image (©

The Partnerships between Bavaria and the Western Cape and Gauteng exist since 1995. They have successfully cooperated in areas such as education, security, tourism and the development of small , medium and micro enterprises.

In 2007, Bavaria established an economic liaison office in Johannesburg to simplify access for Bavarian companies to the South African market. Furthermore, Bavaria supports projects from the One-World-Network Bavaria. It was also through the support of the Bavarian state that Gauteng was able to undertake the pre-feasibility study for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project.

Baden-Württemberg – KwaZulu Natal

Baden-Württemberg and the province KwaZulu Natal started their partnership in 1996. This cooperation is especially focused on education with a special focus on professional education; other areas of cooperation include tourism, food security and trade promotion.

Lower Saxony – Eastern Cape

Lower Saxony, too, focusses its cooperation with the Eastern Cape on professional education. Since 1994 Lower Saxony assists young trainees in the automotive industry as well as in the health care system, educating health workers for HIV/AIDS patients.

The Eastern Cape was chosen because the Lower Saxonian companies Volkswagen and Continental produce there.

Saxony – Free State

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Ambassador Haller with various officials involved in the VPUU project Enlarge image Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Ambassador Haller with various officials involved in the VPUU project (© VPUU)

During a visit in September 2007, the Premier of the Free State, Ms. Beatrice Marshoff, and Saxony's Secretary of State, Dr Hartmut Mangold, signed a cooperation treaty to strengthen the economic relations of both regions, especially in the fields of furhter education for managers, transport infrastructure, renewable energies, water supply and distribution as well as mining.

North Rhine-Westphalia – Mpumalanga

In 1995, North Rhine-Westphalia and Mpumalanga signed a joint declaration of their cooperation. Since that time, numerous North Rhine-Westphalian organisations are working actively to improve living conditions in Mpumalanga on a sustained basis. To coordinate the activities in Mpumalanga the Mpumalanga-Forum was founded.

The main focus of this partnership are sports, social youth work, educational training and the establishment of public administration structures. Furthermore the partners are engaged in social projects, in trainings regarding professional qualifications and in fighting HIV/AIDS (i.e. for emerging black farmers).

In February 2008, the partnership was extended for another five years.

Partnerships between cities

In addition to the partnerships between the German Bundesländer and South African provinces, there are several partnerships between cities:

Aachen and Cape Town (since 2005)

Bremen and Durban (since 2005)

Düsseldorf and Nelspruit (since 2005)

Heidelberg in Baden-Württemberg and Heidelberg in South Africa (since 2006)

Leipzig and Tshwane (since 2008)

Further information:

Partnership Lower Saxony - Eastern Cape (information provided by InWent)

Partnership Lower Saxony - Eastern Cape (website of Lower Saxony in German)

Partnership North Rhine-Westphalia - Mpumalanga (website of NRW in German)

Partnerships between Regions and Cities

Johannesburg, South Africa, leading commerical centre of the continent