International Firefighters visit CWDM with a view to partnership

“Firefighting is the same all over the world, but the systems are a little different,” stated Chief Fire Officer Kai-Uwe Lohse of Saxon-Anhalt, Germany during a recent a visit. “It has been very interesting to visit with our Cape Winelands firefighting brothers. In Germany, we are also experiencing the effects of climate change.  We have seen a marked increase in forest fires due to the high fuel load caused by the hotter, drier summers we have been experiencing.  We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”   

The Cape Winelands District Municipality, (CWDM) has a long-standing partnership with the German NGO, Landesverband Kinder-Und Jungerholungszentren (KIEZ).  This foundation’s core business is to develop youth through cultural exchange and leadership programmes.   As a result of the existing programme of annual youth exchange, KIEZ became aware of the CWDM Fire Services and the nature of wildland fires.

Due to the high number of wildfires and our fire driven eco-system the CWDM has, one of the best records in the world for wildfire management.   While in the rural areas of Saxony-Anhalt, wildfires are virtually unknown, despite the many forests in the area.  The existing partnership created an opportunity for the development of a partnership that includes mutual learning opportunities.

The first phase of the agreement was undertaken in August last year, when a group of fire fighters from the CWDM, Langeberg and Stellenbosch Fire Services visited in Saxon-Anhalt last year.  During the visit the fire fighters were surprised to find that much of the rural firefighting is undertaken by volunteers and that only certain fire and rescue functions were state subsidised. The next phase of the partnership is the current visit undertaken by Fire and Rescue Officials of the Saxon-Anhalt District Municipality. 

The aim of the partnership is to grow and encourage on-going learning and development of firefighting skills and knowledge that will benefit fire fighters and the environment. The group will develop a memorandum of understanding to help cement the process of knowledge exchange between parties.

“The CWDM strives to build partnerships which will benefit our citizens, it is so exciting to see this wonderful relationship, built over seven years, grow into new projects that will have a positive effect in both our districts.” Stated the Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands, Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht when she met with the visitors.

Previous Honest discussions on private public partnerships at the Mayoral Business Cocktails

Cape Winelands News & Updates

Click Here to view our newsletter or subscribe below:

Subscribe to our free Newsletter

Cape Winelands District Municipality © 2023. All Rights Reserved