Students and lecturers from Kehl, Germany, visited Kouga Municipality last week to learn more about the local governance system.
“These young people are all studying public administration; hence we wanted to bring them to a municipality in South Africa to learn more about how the local government system works here,” said Prof. Gert Fieguth.
Fieguth said that there many differences between the way South African and German municipalities work.
“There are aspects where the South African system is ahead of us; thus we have always found it valuable to bring our students here to learn about the different ways local government can be approached.”
The university group was welcomed to the municipality by Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis and staff from different departments.
The students had the opportunity to engage with Kouga officials about their responsibilities and functions.
Hendricks said the visit was one of the spin-offs from Kouga’s partnership with the German municipality Ilsfeld.
“The partnership is still young but has the potential to open many doors for Kouga’s people,” he said.
“While the focus of our work with Ilsfeld is on climate change projects, it is also giving us the opportunity to connect with other people and organisations from Germany.
“Potential spin-offs we have identified thus far, include tourism, early childhood development and tertiary education.”