Swedish city also battling gangsterism

WORKING TOGETHER: Gothenburg mayor Axel Josefson, left, and Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye among participants at the workshop
WORKING TOGETHER: Gothenburg mayor Axel Josefson, left, and Nelson Mandela Bay deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye among participants at the workshop
Image: Supplied

The Swedish city of Gothenburg is battling a gangsterism epidemic, similar to Nelson Mandela Bay, and the two cities are hoping to learn from each other to tackle the scourge.

Speaking at a workshop between the two cities at the Boardwalk International Convention Centre, Gitte Cous from the Gothenburg delegation said the 20-year partnership between the two cities had been vital for policy development and strengthening democracy.

“Our issues are similar but the scale is different, and when we come here you broaden our minds about how to deal with challenges and we’re given more tools.

“This partnership is very good for the youth and when we’re talking about us working together, they should never be left out,” Cous said.

The meeting was attended by Bay deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye as well as Gothenburg mayor Axel Josefson, along with other politicians from the two cities.

On Tuesday, Buyeye said the two cities had more in common than the partnerships — both governments were run by  minority parties in coalitions.

The cities of Gothenburg and Nelson Mandela Bay have a long-term ongoing partnership that is currently celebrating 20 years.

Within the partnership, the two cities are working together in a mutual learning project around sustainability, justice and accessibility.

The project aims to develop recommendations on how to create more accessible cities from four perspectives such as spatial planning and social and economical planning.

The project is funded by the International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD).

Moderator Anders Falkemo, from the centre,   said their definition of democracy was about equity, participation, transparency and possibility.

“If we can improve one of these, then we can have a better society,” Falkemo said.

Projects that have come about as a result of the partnership include the Helenvale Resource Centre, the award-winning Red Location Museum in New Brighton and a mobile clinic in Joe Slovo.

Gothenburg project co-ordinator Staffan Claeson said they would be making recommendations to their municipalities on fiscal access.

“It might help to improve multifunctional location facilities in communities, area-based house planning and how to follow proper steps before implementing projects.

“In March we’ll submit a booklet that will detail how all this will be done,” Claeson said.

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