November 30, 2016

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has launched a $5.8 million, five-year initiative to support green infrastructure, trade and economic growth in South Africa's municipalities.

Implemented in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Building Inclusive and Green Municipalities initiative bolsters ongoing efforts to stimulate local economies and modernize infrastructure. Activities will focus on the Eastern Cape province, which suffers from some of the highest poverty levels in South Africa.

"This important initiative comes at a time when South African municipalities are working hard to build sustainable infrastructure and generate inclusive growth," said FCM President Clark Somerville. "Just like here at home where we are also investing in infrastructure, I am proud that Canadian municipalities will be making a difference in the lives of so many South Africans."

Funding for this initiative includes a $4.9 million contribution from Global Affairs Canada as well as in-kind contributions from Canadian municipalities and SALGA.

"Through this initiative, Canada and Canadian municipalities are partnering to support South African communities to build more inclusive and greener communities. Local grassroots groups that put the interests of their communities first, especially women and girls, are key players in tackling inequalities and reducing poverty," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

After 22 years of democracy, South Africa continues to seek pathways to more inclusive growth and sustainable development. Despite sustained economic growth, inequality remains an important challenge. In a country that is now 70 per cent urbanized, South African municipalities are at the heart of the policy and implementation response to national challenges.

"FCM and our member municipalities have a reputation for delivering local solutions to national challenges. That's why we'll be at the heart of delivering Canada's historic infrastructure program. And we welcome this opportunity to share that expertise in South Africa, and to learn from our counterparts there as well," said Somerville.

FCM is the national voice of municipal government in Canada. Its international programs are undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.

Michael FitzPatrick, Media Relations Advisor, or 613 907-6346

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