01 Jun '24

Forging cross-border ties

door Joris Herpol
A significant number of municipalities in the Rand maintain twinning or sister city relationships with counterparts abroad. How do these relationships come about? And more importantly, how do you maintain the bond between cities and municipalities?

Overijse established its first twinning relationship in 1958 with Bruttig-Fankel. This was followed by four others, most recently with the Slovakian town of Modra in 1994. The Modra partnership came about after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in response to the European call to strengthen ties with countries of the former Eastern Bloc. ‘Twinning relationships like this flourish over time. While the twinning committee encourages associations to maintain close ties, the true bond of friendship is forged between the people themselves.’