A South African government minister was part of delegation to visit Brighton and Hove this week.
Mayor Bill Randall welcomed Zoliswa Kota-Fredericks, the Deputy Minister for Human Settlements.
She was joined by the chief executive of the Southern African Housing Foundation, John Hopkins, and others.
They were in Brighton for the Chartered Institute of Housing conference taking place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.
Councillor Randall and one of his Green colleagues, Councillor Liz Wakefield, who chairs Brighton and Hove City Council’s Housing Committee, showed the South African delegation around the city.
They also took along a Canadian delegation as they toured some of the sites where new homes are being built and visited the housing centre in Moulsecoomb.
Councillor Wakefield told the Housing Committee meeting at Hove Town Hall yesterday: “They were very impressed with our city.”
Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) chief executive Andy Winter, who comes from South Africa, joined the tour as well.
He wrote on his blog: “It is inspiring to hear how our South African colleagues are coping with huge challenges.
“And it was an honour to show them some of BHT’s work tackling addiction and homelessness.
“The delegation toured various development sites including the Open Market and a site in Wellington Road where the first council houses to be built in the city for 20 years are nearing completion.
“Minister Kota-Fredericks was particularly interested in the possibilities of partnerships between the public and private sectors and to learn what works and what problems there have been.
“I liked the concept of ‘human settlements’ that goes above and beyond housing on its own.
“The proposals for Toads Hole Valley is an example of this – what in the UK is referred to as ‘one world living’.”
The conference started on Tuesday (5 March) and ends today (Thursday 7 March).
Guinness South, the housing association, is due to host an end-of-conference reception at the Royal Pavilion this evening.
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