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10 February 2024 Media Release: Tacoma Sister Cities representatives from the USA have arrived

Media Release: Tacoma Sister Cities representatives from the USA have arrived

10 February 2024

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and domestic stakeholders hosted a meet-and-greet event today, 10 February 2024, at the Apprentice Restaurant within the Francois Ferreira Academy premises. This event marks a significant moment in the partnership between GRDM, local municipalities, the George Business Chamber, and many more with the Tacoma City Sisters.

The partnership between Tacoma and the Garden Route district seeks to support a wide range of cultural, educational, professional, and civic exchanges to improve trade and commercial activities. It encourages collaborative learning, working, and problem-solving, while also nurturing community bonds through cultural appreciation and joint endeavours.

Melannie Denise Cunningham, in her interim chairperson position of the formational phase of the Tacoma Garden Route Sister Committee, emphasised the importance of finding common ground to establish a foundation for impactful initiatives.

The Tacoma Sister Cities are embarking on this reconnaissance journey, while they are already aware of several opportunities that lie ahead. Their shared commitment allows them to explore avenues like golf with equal enthusiasm, and many more.

Ald. Memory Booysen, GRDM Executive Mayor thanked the George Municipality and Pastor Horne for their initial partnering with the Tacoma Sister Cities. “The experience around the tables here makes today a perfect gathering,” said Booysen. Ald. Booysen also explained that he sees the partnership as a conduit to make a meaningful difference to people at the grassroots level.

The George Business Chamber and George Municipality’s Cllr Dirk Wessels provide insights and contributions to the discussions. Cllr Wessels highlighted that he sees the Tacoma City Sisters as being here to uplift communities and to create a positive environment.

“It is fitting for us to be at the premises of the Francois Ferreira Academy where dozens of previously disadvantaged youth have been allowed to become the breadwinners of their families,” said Cllr Wessels. “Perhaps practical experience can be gained by some aspiring chefs in Tacoma in the future – that’s just one of many ideas for future collaboration”.

Keith Sharp from the George Business Chamber touched on the George Business Chamber and stated that one of their philosophies is to help businesses to employ more people. “Joblessness is the root cause of our social ills”. “We provide a platform for businesses to network more with one another and we are open for business with the Tacoma Sister Cities,” Sharp concluded.

An engaging week ahead lies ahead. The program, spanning until next Friday, includes various activities aimed at fostering closer ties and mutual understanding between all stakeholders. Starting with the GRDM will 11 February 2024 present its Growth and Development Strategy and the Garden Route Skills Mecca, local municipal areas will also be visited to discuss economic opportunities and community programmes and projects.

GRDM looks forward to fruitful discussions that will enhance partnerships and yield benefits to communities that are most in need of support.

Read about the previous engagement here

Feature image caption: The Meet-and-Greet attended by the City of Tacoma Sister City representatives, Garden Route District Municipality, George Municipality, the South Cape Economic Development Partnership, George Business Chambers and Eagle’s Nest Ministries.