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Economic Development gets attention from the Oudtshoorn and Alphen aan den Rijn twining relationship

Oudtshoorn, 15 November 2017 – Dr. Koos van Arkel, the chairperson of the Stedendband (Business Chamber) in Alphen aan den Rijn, the sister town of Oudtshoorn, visited the town last week on a fact finding mission with the focus on economic development.

The round table discussion between van Arkel and the Oudtshoorn Municipality leadership on Wednesday, 8 November focused on economic development in tourism, Sport, Agriculture and Small Media and Micro-Enterprises (SMME).

This discussion will be followed by the establishment of a joint team between the two towns, which will put together specific plans to make the envisaged economic development a reality. A delegation from Oudtshoorn will also visit the Netherlands in the coming year to explore what opportunities can be of use to Oudtshoorn.

Van Arkel also expressed his thoughts of the Oudtshoorn’s progress of the greater Oudtshoorn. “I’m impressed with the greater Oudtshoorn’s progress so far with both governance and financial management,” he said.

He reacted to an overview report tabled by the Finance Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Cllr. George Kersop during the meeting. 

Cllr. Kersop mentioned the following highlights: 

  • 54 Million Eskom debt been settled
  • Administration is stable with all senior management positions filled
  • Municipality heading to an improved audit outcome
  • Financial recovery plant to continue for the next two years
  • Revenue enhancement strategy approved
  • Debt collection 97% above average in the region

The Oudtshoorn Municipality and its Dutch sister town of Alphen aan den Rijn signed a new five-year agreement aimed at creation of great mutual opportunities of development and trade of horticultural material in November 2016. 

In the photo (fltr):  Cllr. George Kersop (Finance Chairperson), Annie van Arkel (Alphen aan den Rijn), Dr. Koos van Arkel (Chairperson Stedenband), Cllr. Colan Sylvester (Executive Mayor), Cllr. Noluthando Mwati (Executive Deputy Mayor), Cllr. Pieter Luiters (Chairperson Strategic Services) and Cllr. Johan Fourie (Chairperson Technical Services).