Mayor Herman Mashaba forges strong relations with the US
United States Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard has expressed a positive outlook on South Africa’s democracy, giving recognition to the City of Joburg’s newly formed coalition administration.
Ambassador Gaspard, who’s been visiting Gauteng Metros following the recently held local government elections, paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Mayor, Councillor Herman Mashaba on Thursday, 15 September.
Ambassador Gaspard said that an election in which a coalition administration had to be formed in order to govern Metropolitan Cities is indicative of the strengthening of South Africa’s nascent democracy.
Ambassador Gaspard told Mayor Mashaba that a number of exciting projects that already exist between Johannesburg and USA cities are seen as a benchmark for USA partnerships around the world.
The Executive Mayor shared his vision for Joburg with Gaspard and also discussed his plans to create sustainable jobs, deliver better services and combat corruption in South Africa’s commercial hub.
Mayor Mashaba also emphasised the importance of foreign investment and growing Joburg’s economy in an effort to create permanent jobs for locals. The Executive Mayor said that under his administration, South Africa’s economic heartland will run a responsive, pro-poor and business friendly government.
“While this was a courtesy visit and understanding that the new mayor has been in office for only 24 days; Mayor Mashaba will arrange a follow up meeting with the Ambassador in the coming months,” says Mayoral spokesperson Tony Taverna-Turisan.
The Executive Mayor has outlined the City’s 10 point plan which commits the City to achieve an economic growth rate of 5 percent in the current term of office. Taverna-Turisan says the Mayor believes foreign investment will play a critical role in enabling the City to achieve this target.
Taverna-Turisan says the Mayor is excited to foster strong relations with the USA, adding that the meeting between the two political figures was cordial and upbeat, which showed the good relations that exist between the City and the USA.
He says the ambassador is optimistic about political developments in the City, given that the municipality is run by multiple parties and has hailed the peaceful, smooth transition of power as exemplary.
Taverna-Turisan says the USA is watching political developments in the City with a keen interest.
The United States of America and South Africa already enjoy good relations, with various trade deals and other economic partnerships already in place.
Gaspard is respected locally for his contribution to the esteemed Mandela Washington Fellowship, established by President Barack Obama; his views and awareness work on HIV/Aids and for contributing towards developing the arts and culture sector.