With almost 1 million inhabitants, Johannesburg is the most populous city of South Africa. As the economic capital of the country, Johannesburg enjoys high status and, like Birmingham, has a sizable service sector.

Incredibly, Johannesburg’s first ever formal international partnership was with Birmingham. That relationship had been initiated through community and political engagement, which sought to construct a post-apartheid, multi-racial democracy. It culminated in the establishment of a formal city to city relationship in 1997.

Dynamic engagement between Birmingham City Council and the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council of Johannesburg has included extensive practical and academic training and an exchange of expertise, information and experience around local government. The development of school improvement programmes, plus sport and youth more generally, has featured in a joint programme of work between the cities. One area of activity involved Birmingham teachers providing IT training to teachers in Soweto

At a broader level, Johannesburg and Birmingham are both members of the Commonwealth Inclusive Cities Network (ICN). Coordinated by Birmingham City Council, the ICN brings together 16 Commonwealth countries from Vancouver to Brisbane, including Johannesburg to exchange good practice and successful models of service delivery to disadvantaged citizens. Birmingham has implemented ‘deprivation mapping’ (highlighting areas of deprivation in wards according to a set of indicators such as free school meals) in the city as a result of learning made from the ICN.

Information on Johannesburg is available here: City of Johannesburg
Johannesburg tourism office