Following a brief welcoming message from Municipal Speaker Msebenzi Gqelosha, Emfuleni’s Deputy Municipal Manager for Economic Development and Planning Dr. Hein Wiese delivered a presentation which included the state of the local economy. Wiese noted that unemployment currently sits at 71.8% in Emfuleni. “We have a dream of a big city with a bridge and a river,” says Wiese, turning the focus on the free land that is available for development in Emfuleni.
Wiese’s presentation also covered ways to grow the local economy including plans for a logistical hub. “We are also looking into the purification of our water and hydro power generation,” says Wiese. The mayor of the Quzhou Municipal People’s Government Shang Qing also spoke on behalf of his delegation which consisted of municipal officials and representatives from corporate companies back home in China. Qing says, “We have a rich cultural background and our people work and study hard and they are friendly as well. I wish for the two cities to work together.” The meeting ended on a high note as members of both delegations exchanged gifts.Emfuleni has strong ties with the Eindhoven Municipality and recently this partnership led to joint programs in the South African municipality. With talks that another Chinese municipality is due in the country on Wednesday, it is safe to say that Emfuleni takes direct foreign investment opportunities seriously.