Strategic alliances between communities, with special reference to the twinning of South African provinces, cities and towns with international partners

De Villiers, J. C. (Jacobus Christiaan) (2011-10)

Dissertation (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The international relations of regions, cities and towns include a variety of activities of which the phenomenon of twinning, or the establishment of a relationship with a community in a foreign country, is normally the most prominent and long lasting. Twinning originated in the aftermath of World War Two in Europe and the concept soon spread to America, where it was defined as a new form of “citizen-to-citizen” diplomacy. Twinning has since evolved through three distinct phases: the reciprocal phase; the associative phase; and the commercial exchange phase, and an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 cities and towns globally are involved in such relationships. This study, which aimed to identify and assess the extent of international twinning relations of South African provinces (regions) and local communities (in cities and towns) and to establish guidelines for twinning success, was conducted in an interdisciplinary manner and had to cover a wide terrain as the field of twinning worldwide is under-researched. The twinning between two communities in different countries was defined as a strategic alliance, and the bodies of literature on strategic alliances in the private sector as well as on the factors that lead to twinning success were investigated. A systems approach was followed and the twinning phenomenon was investigated from a macro perspective by investigating the context, content and process of the phenomenon worldwide; from a meso perspective by investigating the context of twinning in South Africa; and from a micro perspective by investigating the content and process of South African twinnings. The literature study revealed duplication and confusion in the terminology used to describe twinning and its related concepts, and conceptual clarification was necessary to develop a common terminology for the future. In this study, therefore, an important distinction is also made between the twinning of municipalities, and the twinning of communities. From the literature study, success factors for twinning were identified. Based on these, a conceptual model of twinning was developed which embodies the best-practices content and process elements of twinning, and this model was used to construct the primary research questionnaire. Elements of the conceptual twinning model were subjected to significance testing. It was confirmed that similarities of the personalities on both sides, partner commitment, understanding, cultural sensitivity, positive partner attitude, community awareness of the twinning, existence of a business plan, quality of management, management commitment and active marketing relate significantly positively to alliance success. The primary research conducted amongst all provinces and municipalities in South Africa, combined with secondary research sources, revealed the number and extent of the twinnings of South African communities and municipalities with foreign partners. Altogether 35 relationships were identified that have lapsed, 130 current relationships exist, and 41 new ones are in the process of being concluded. Another 60 relationships exist on the provincial level. These twinnings represent non-central-government-level linkages with 45 foreign countries, but only a few of these relationships are successful in meeting their original objectives. Some of the key findings of the study are that twinning is becoming more important globally as multilateral organisations acknowledge the importance of international relations at the local level and that twinning can play a big part in local economic development and promoting unity on the African continent, but is lacking in South Africa due to an absence of back-up and support, a lack of coordination and synergies between the three spheres of government, a lack of marketing, a lack of municipal capacity at local level, and the non-compliance of municipalities with official policy. The main positive outcomes of South African relationships were reported in the areas of knowledge sharing and training, and financial benefits. Key recommendations are that on the macro level, global coordination and assistance schemes for twinning be improved and that community ownership of twinning be put back at the centre of the focus of twinning; on the meso level, an organisation be formed to facilitate South African twinnings and to provide support; and at the micro level, alternative sources of funding be sought and that the process model developed in the study be used to increase the possibility of twinning success.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die internasionale verhoudinge van streke, stede en dorpe sluit ‘n groot verskeidenheid aktiwiteite in waarvan die verskynsel van tweelingbande (“twinning”), of die vestiging van ‘n verhouding met ‘n gemeenskap in ‘n vreemde land, normaalweg die prominentste en langslewende is. Die vestiging van tweelingbande het sy oorsprong in die nagevolge van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in Europa, waarna die konsep spoedig versprei het na Amerika waar dit gedefinieer is as ‘n nuwe vorm van “burger-tot-burger”-diplomasie. Tweelingvorming het intussen ontwikkel deur drie duidelike fases: die wederkerige fase; die assosiatiewe fase; en die kommersiële-uitruilfase, en ‘n geraamde 15,000 tot 20,000 stede en dorpe wêreldwyd is betrokke in sulke verhoudinge. Hierdie studie, wat ten doel gehad het om die internasionale tweelingbande van Suid- Afrikaanse provinsies (streke) en plaaslike gemeenskappe (in dorpe en stede) te identifiseer en die omvang daarvan te bepaal en om riglyne vir tweelingbandsukses vas te stel, is onderneem op ‘n interdisiplinêre wyse en moes ‘n wye terrein dek aangesien daar min navorsing oor tweelingbande wêreldwyd bestaan. Die tweelingvorming van twee gemeenskappe in verskillende lande is gedefinieer as ‘n strategiese alliansie en die literatuur oor strategiese alliansies in die privaat sektor, sowel as die literatuur oor faktore wat lei tot tweelingbandsukses, is ondersoek. ‘n Stelselbenadering is gevolg en die tweelingverskynsel is ondersoek vanuit ‘n makroperspektief deur ‘n ondersoek na die konteks, inhoud en proses van die verskynsel wêreldwyd; vanuit ‘n mesoperspektief deur ‘n ondersoek na die konteks van tweelingbande in Suid Afrika; en vanuit ‘n mikroperspektief deur ‘n ondersoek na die inhoud en proses van Suid-Afrikaanse tweelingbande. Die literatuurstudie het duplikasie en verwarring ontbloot in die terminologie wat gebruik word om tweelingbande en verwante konsepte te beskryf, en konseptuele verheldering was nodig om ‘n gemeenskaplike terminologie vir die toekoms te ontwikkel. ‘n Belangrike onderskeid is gevolglik ook getref tussen die tweelingbande van munisipaliteite en die tweelingbande van gemeenskappe. Vanuit die literatuurstudie is suksesfaktore vir tweelingbande geïdentifiseer. Op grond hiervan is ‘n konseptuele model van tweelingvorming ontwikkel wat die bestepraktyk-inhoud en -prosesse omvat, en hierdie model is gebruik om die primêre navorsingsvraelys saam te stel. Elemente van die konseptuele model is daarna onderwerp aan beduidendheidstoetsing en dit is bevestig dat ooreenkomste in die persoonlikhede aan beide kante, vennootverbintenis, begrip, kulturele sensiwiteit, positiewe vennoothouding, gemeenskapsbewustheid van die tweelingband, bestaan van ‘n sakeplan, gehalte van bestuur, bestuursverbintenis, en aktiewe bemarking ‘n beduidende positiewe verhouding met alliansiesukses het. Die primêre navorsing wat onderneem is onder alle provinsies en munisipaliteite in Suid- Afrika, gekombineer met sekondêre navorsingsbronne, het die aantal en omvang van tweelingbande van Suid-Afrikaanse munisipaliteite en gemeenskappe met vennote uit vreemde lande blootgelê. Altesame 35 verhoudings is geïdentifiseer wat verval het, 130 huidige verhoudings bestaan, en 41 nuwes is in die proses van finalisering. ‘n Verdere 60 verhoudings bestaan op die provinsiale vlak. Hierdie tweelingbande verteenwoordig niesentraleregeringsvlakbande met 45 vreemde lande, maar net ‘n aantal van hierdie verhoudinge is suksesvol wat die bereiking van oorspronklike doelwitte betref. Van die sleutelbevindinge van die studie is dat tweelingvorming wêreldwyd meer belangrik word aangesien multilaterale organisasies die belangrikheid van internasionale verhoudings op die plaaslike vlak erken en dat tweelingbande ‘n groot rol kan speel in plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die bevordering van eenheid op die Afrika-kontinent, maar dat tweelingvorming in Suid-Afrika te kort skiet as gevolg van ‘n tekort aan ondersteuning, ‘n tekort aan koördinasie en sinergie tussen die drie regeringsfere, ‘n tekort aan bemarking, ‘n tekort aan munisipale kapasiteit op plaaslike vlak, en die nie-nakoming van amptelike beleid deur munisipaliteite. Die belangrikste positiewe uitkomste van Suid-Afrikaanse verhoudinge is gerapporteer in die areas van kennisdeling en opleiding, en finansiële voordele. Sleutelaanbevelings is dat op die makrovlak, wêreldwye koördinasie van en hulpskemas vir tweelingvorming verbeter word en dat gemeenskapseienaarskap van tweelingbande weer die fokus van tweelingvorming word; op die mesovlak, dat ‘n organisasie in Suid-Afrika gevorm word om Suid-Afrikaanse tweelingbande te fasiliteer en om ondersteuning te verskaf; en op die mikrovlak, dat alternatiewe befondsingsbronne gesoek word en dat die prosesmodel wat in die studie ontwikkel is, gebruik word om die moontlikheid van tweelingbandsukses te verhoog.

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