South East District Council Chairman Phenyo Segokgo and his deputy Thamiso Chabalala are currently in Jerusalem, a city in the Middle East that is currently claimed by Israel and Palestine. The two council leaders have joined mayors from other parts of the world on the American Jewish Congress Mayors’ conference in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from 11th -15th February.
The American Jewish Congress have been hosting world mayors for the past 30 years and this year the delegation met the Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Tuesday, Segokgo and his entourage will have a meeting with Jack Rosen, President of American Jewish Congress where they will also exchange ideas and learn best practices on local authority management with other mayors from all over the world. The conference will culminate with a visit to the Dead Sea. The two civic leaders are accompanied by SEDC Secretary Poloko Mojalemotho and Deputy Council Secretary Baatlhodi Noge. They are expected back home on the 20th of February.
Speaking from Jerusalem on Monday, Segokgo said they hope to learn a lot from the conference. ‘‘Jerusalem is one of the cleanest cities in the world and we hope to learn from their best practices on waste management and just municipal management though advanced information technology methods to expedite service delivery,’’ Segokgo said. He said they also hope to learn about Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with a view to benchmark for the south east district. Segokgo was however uncomfortable to discuss the political standoff between Israel and Palestine regarding Jerusalem. US President Donald Trump recently caused a stir when he declared the city as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv, another city that Segokgo and his team are expected to visit.