In 2008, the
former Cacadu District Municipality entered into a partnership agreement with
Jincheng City Municipality, Shanxi Province, Republic of China. The purpose of
the agreement was to find ways of alleviating three major challenges within the
District, namely unemployment, poverty and inequality. A number of areas were
identified for cooperation between the two entities, including economic
development, technology, skills development, health care, education, sports and
In 2009, a further agreement was entered into between the two entities, leading to enhanced cooperation and exchange of experiences and expertise for mutual benefit. In the interest of better health care provision, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 2011 between the Health Department of Shanxi Province and the Cacadu District Municipality Department of Health. The MOU agreed on the establishment of strategic frameworks on medical and health management, medical science and technology, medical education and training.
In April 2013, a business delegation from Jincheng City visited the Cacadu District to explore business and investment opportunities within the District, specifically the Mohair and Citrus industry. In order to further engage in discussions in this regard, a delegation from the Cacadu District Municipality visited Jincheng City from the 28th of July to the 1st of August 2013. The delegation was included representatives from Mohair SA and the Coega Development Corporation.
On the 1st of September 2014, it was formally gazetted that the Cacadu District Municipality would be renamed as the Sarah Baartman District Municipality (SBDM). Shortly after, on the 1st of October 2014, a delegation comprised of six Doctors from the Shanxi Provincial Health Department visited SBDM. The intention of the Doctors, specialists in the field of Orthopaedics, was to exchange experiences and ideas about the medical and health conditions of Shanxi Province and the Eastern Cape Province. The delegation was led by Professor Wei Xiaochun, Director-General, Shanxi Provincial Health Department.
In 2015, the Sarah Baartman District Municipality hosted a Chinese delegation comprised mainly of members from a musical Chinese group, known as the Ba Yinhui. With the assistance of SBDM, the group successfully performed at the 41st National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
Another delegation visited the Sarah Baartman District in June 2016, bringing with it much needed technological equipment and teaching materials in support of the schools within the District. During this visit, another MOU was signed, committing the parties to the facilitation of a mutually beneficial learner/student exchange programme. In August 2016, a delegation of 20 from Jincheng City arrived, comprised of 15 students, 2 teachers and 3 municipal officials.
Subsequently, the Sarah Baartman District Municipality received an invitation from the City of Jincheng to identify a suitable cultural music group from the District to perform in the Chinese New Year festival in February 2017. A delegation, consisting of two officials, a councillor and 8 band members of a marimba and steel band, departed for China on 25 January 2017. The musical group, originally from Sea Vista in St Francis Bay, in the Kouga Local Municipality, successfully performed in the festival and returned on the 15th of February 2017.
Ultimately, as a result of our agreements with the City of Jincheng, the aim is to allow access of products from the Sarah Baartman District to enter markets in China, to stimulate foreign investment by Jincheng into businesses in the Sarah Baartman District and to increase the number of tourists from Jincheng to the District.
ABOUT JINCHENG CITY
The City of Jincheng is located in the southeast of Shanxi Province, in the north of China. It is an industrial city, with coal mining being an important industry. The population is approximately 2.2 million strong. The presence of such a large coal industry has given Jincheng a reputation for air pollution and in recent years the local government has invested heavily to promote better air quality in the city. This includes tree-planting, establishing and maintaining large parks and ecological reserves, shutting down or relocating some of the worst-polluting factories, and the generalized use of coalbed methane, which burns much cleaner than coal.
Notwithstanding the description of Jincheng as an industrial city, there are a number of similarities between it and the Sarah Baartman District. A major one being that it has a vast rural area, which is intensively agricultural in nature, and is characterised by a rural population living in scattered towns and villages. Crops include grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs and cotton. As for mineral resources, coal-beds account for more than 56% of the total land area. Most of this is anthracite, a very valuable type of coal with few impurities. The anthracite in Jincheng makes up more than a quarter of the total in China and half of the total for Shanxi Province.