Lawaaikamp, South Africa
Relationship established 1988
Lawaaikamp is located within the city of George in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. Lawaaikamp is situated on a ten-kilometer plateau between the Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. George is the administrative and commercial hub of the Garden Route and is also a popular holiday and conference center.
In 1988, under the apartheid government, the citizens of Lawaaikamp were ordered from their homes, as the predominantly white city of George was going to evict them forcibly.
The citizens of Lawaaikamp were given until May 31, 1988 to leave, or they would be removed and all houses would be leveled. May 31, 1988 passed without incident. The tiny community had won and, until the fall of the apartheid government, remained defiantly, a rock against the tide of racism.
After the fall of the apartheid, Lawaaikamp integrated itself into George, on their own terms.
Sister City Structure/History
St. Paul has been Sister City to Lawaaikamp since 1988, when the community sent out an international cry for help during the apartheid government’s threats of eviction. The St. Paul Lawaaikamp Sister Communities Board of Directors communicates frequently with Melford Notshokovu, former Mayor of Lawaaikamp. In 1996, Notshokovu visited St. Paul City Hall and learned much from those in office.
Additionally the Board maintains a relationship with Lawaaikamp Mzoxolo School. The school has 1057 students, and the children are positive and forward thinking, with aspirations to become doctors, lawyers, pilots, policemen, entrepreneurs, social workers, and teachers. In April 2002, two teachers from Lawaaikamp came to St. Paul to observe and teach at Hancock Elementary school for seven weeks. Recently, the Board leased sixteen XP computers with a maintenance contract to the school.