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Working Visit of the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Mr. Parks Tau to New York City

On 3 August 2011, the Mayor of the City of Johannesburg in South Africa, Parks Tau undertook a working visit to the City of New York. The Johannesburg Mayor held a meeting with the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg to discuss strengthening of good bilateral relations enjoyed by the two largest cities in both countries.  The City of Johannesburg has identified New York City as a strategic partner in the implementation of its programme of action with the long term objective of improving service delivery to the people.

Mayors Tau and Bloomberg with Consul General Monyemangene

During the meeting, the two Mayors agreed in principle to renew the cordial relationship and to work on joint programmes. Mr. Tau underscored the fact that the City of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy, launched on 2 August 2011, has much to gain from initiatives planned to be undertaken by the City of New York. Mayor Tau revealed that there are three main issues that were discussed during their meeting with Mayor Bloomberg. These include long-term planning and strategy development, economic development and crime intervention. 

Mayor Tau informed the local media that the idea behind the city’s new growth plan is to find ways of involving residents to help improve working and living conditions in the city. “The plan is to have extensive consultation with the communities to arrive at the common vision for the city, and to mobilise the relevant role players in doing this”.

The City of Johannesburg would like to work on the modalities for establishing working relationships with economic development agencies in New York. The Johannesburg Mayor also noted the good practices adopted by the City of New York in the fight against crime. According to the Mayor, South Africa in general and Johannesburg in particular can learn from New York on working strategies they have implemented to police their city, and how partnership with the local communities has improved policing. It is critical that when dealing with the issue of crime, you need to be able to get the appropriate witnesses, have witness protection programmes and ensure that communities are able to help police in identifying criminals.

Improved policing has a direct impact on the increase in the number of tourists visiting the City of New York. This is a sector that the City of Johannesburg would like to grow as it has a positive contribution to the creation of jobs which is one of the high level priorities for the city and the Government of the Republic of South Africa at large. 

Mayor Tau used his working visit to New York as an opportunity to lobby the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg and other role players to support Johannesburg’s bid to host the World Mayor’s Meeting schedule for 2013. Contesting countries to host this prestigious event are located in Africa and Asia.

Gauteng Mayor and Consul General George Monyemangene