Council gave approval in principle at its monthly meeting on 27 September 2012 for international co-operation and that a process for a twinning arrangement with the town of Cascais in Portugal could commence.
Twinning is based on the principle that there should be areas for possible co-operation between the twinning partners. It is envisaged that Mossel Bay and Cascais could co-operate in the fields of public administration, education, culture and sport and also economically.
Cascais was identified as a possible twinning partner because of Mossel Bay’s historic links with Portugal. commencing with the landing of Bartolomeu Dias in Mossel Bay on 4 February 1488 and the subsequent visits by other Portuguese seafarers, the fact that Cascais also has a small harbour, that much of its economy centres around tourism and that it also depends a lot on golfing tourism. The municipality of Cascais is financially strong and as it already has several twinning arrangements with other cities, it should have the necessary experience to conclude a meaningful arrangement with Mossel Bay.
The next step will now be to engage the South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation to facilitate the process of twinning with Cascais. Once mutual contact has been made between Cascais and Mossel Bay the matter will be referred back to Council for a decision before further negotiations take place.
Cascais is situated 30 kilometres west of Lisbon, with about 35 000 residents. It is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. The former fishing village gained fame as a resort for Portugal's royal family in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Nowadays, it is a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists and is located on the Estoril Coast of Portugal.