Andrew Boraine

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Andrew Boraine, CEO, Cape Town Partnership.

Boraine "thinks of himself as a translator, a person who brings together people who speak different languages. He doesn't mean this literally, but rather in the light of the job he is doing. Business often doesn't talk the language of government or vice versa. 'They talk past each other,' he explains. 'One is about the bottom line, the other about social development and equity. For us to succeed, we have to find opportunities for them to work jointly, to create win-win situations.'

"Only five years old, the Partnership is a force in the city. 'As a model, it's in a robust condition,' Boraine says. 'We call it Coventry City meets Times Square. We studied how Coventry in the UK reversed urban decline and managed the process of central city urban renewal. And we looked at how New York developed its Business Improvement Districts, what we call our City Improvement Districts, or CIDs, in Times Square. We married the two together and now we have cities around the world asking us for our model.'

"Boraine's experience in government and NGOs has been invaluable in making the connections between the different entities. He hails from a family that is a feature of the political landscape. His father, Dr Alex Boraine, was the vice chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Boraine himself was detained without trial in 1980 and 1981 and banned for a number of years. 'Anyone growing up in the ?s and ?s had no choice but to get involved. My family was heavily involved in the struggle so there was no debate; it was what one had to do, from a point of morality.'

"Later, he worked for Johannesburg NGO Planact, became the deputy director general of local government affairs in the Department of Constitutional Development, contributed to the drafting of sections of the constitution that dealt with co-operative local government, and established the South African Cities Network, a knowledge sharing initiative between SA's nine largest cities (see story on page 32). It was while he was working as city manager for Cape Town that he became involved in setting up the Cape Town Partnership. So when he was appointed its CEO, it was like a 'homecoming'.

"But it was while he was working as the city manager, in one of the city's most turbulent times in terms of local government, that Boraine learnt 'the hard way that a job should not consume one. A job should be integrated into other parts of your life, and not the other way around. I enjoy spending time with my family, like walking on the mountain." [1]

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  1. Andrew Boraine, thepropertymag, accessed May 31, 2010.
  2. Directors, Development Bank of Southern Africa, accessed May 31, 2010.