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28 February 2023 Media Release: Garden Route DM to partner with Tacoma Sister Cities from the USA

Media Release: Garden Route DM to partner with Tacoma Sister Cities from the USA

For Immediate Release
28 February 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), recently hosted members of the Tacoma Sister City council Committee, who hail from the State of Washington in the United States of America. Delegates included the Deputy Mayor of Tacoma City Council, Pierce County Council Member and the Chair, Tacoma-George Sister City Committee.

The purpose of the visit was to start talks about future collaboration and subsequent partnering with the Tacoma Sister City Committee, known as a twinning agreement.

Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, boasted about the Sister City Committee’s achievements and the impact they’ve made in George over the past 25 years. GRDM Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu also said he is excited about the prospect of Tacoma City Sisters working with the entire Garden Route. “With the opportunity coming our way, the people of the Garden Route will reap the benefits,” said Stratu.

“I am encouraged and looking forward to the concretisation of the Garden Route and Tacoma Sister City partnership.”

Catherine Ushka (Deputy Mayor: Tacoma City Council) said that she particularly gravitated towards the warmth and kindness of the people of the region. She also stated that the partnership going forward would help the parties to find ways to move closer to the outcome of justice.


Caption: The GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, Melannie Denise Cunningham, Chair, Tacoma-George Sister City Committee, and Ald. Gert van Niekerk, GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor. 

To date, Sister City has made significant strides in the George area, which include the following:

– Support the establishment of Phambili Refuge for Battered Women and Children in 2017;

– George-based student studied small business development in Tacoma, while a Tacoma intern studied community development in George;

– A container of 9071 kg of donated supplies was sent to Bethesda HIV/AIDS Hospice and orphanage;

– Container donated for a Grade 1 classroom at Tyholorha Primary School in Thembalethu, George;

– Textbooks and computers donated to Tyholorha Primary School;

– Supported the “Stepping Away from AIDS” project through the George HIV/AIDS Coalition;

– Sponsored a 30-minute video titled “Shattering Images” about common stereotypes of Africa and America;

– Participated in the U.S. State Department grant awarded to Tacoma Women of Vision NGO to reduce domestic violence in George;

– and more…

Feature image:

The GRDM Mayoral Committee, Municipal Manager and support staff hosted Tacoma Sister City Committee members from the USA. Pictured (from left to right): Adv. Nadiema Davids, Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard (Mayco), Iona Kritzinger (Mayco), Monde Stratu (GRDM MM), Marty Campbell (Pierce County Council Member), Ald. Memory Booysen (GRDM Executive Mayor), Catherine Ushka (Deputy Mayor: Tacoma City Council), Ald. Gert van Niekerk (Deputy Executive Mayor), Melannie Denise Cunningham (Tacoma-George Sister City Committee), Siphiwe Dladla (GRDM), Jerome Lambaatjeen (Mayco) and Jannie Horn (George Community Leader).