15 October 2008
Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille has been named the world’s number one mayor by urban affairs think-tank City Mayors, coming tops out of a group of 820 mayors nominated by more than 74 000 voters worldwide.
City Mayors Editor Tann vom Hove said Zille was the judging panel’s unanimous choice for the 2008 World Mayor Prize.
“The Mayor of Cape Town has dedicated all her professional life to further the well-being of all sections of South African society,” Vom Hove said in a statement on Tuesday. “She has done so with courage, tenacity and, above all, a deep-felt love for Cape Town, her country and its people.”
“It is a great honour to have been awarded the World Mayor award,” Zille said on Tuesday. “It is a tribute to the teams, in the mayor’s office, the city officials, my caucus colleagues, the team in Parliament and my family, who work tirelessly to support me in everything I do.
“It is a great incentive for us to keep working to build democracy in South Africa, with opportunities for all.”
The top 10 mayors of World Mayor 2008 are:
- Helen Zille, Mayor Cape Town, South Africa
- Elmar Ledergerber, Mayor of Zurich, Switzerland
- Leopoldo Eduardo Lopez, Mayor of Chacao, Venezuela
- Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix, USA
- Ulrich Maly, Mayor of Nuremberg, Germany
- Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Marides Fernando, Mayor of Marikina City, Philippines
- Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, Mayor of Tehran, Iran
- Goran Johansson, Mayor of Gothenburg, Sweden
- Salvador Gandara, Mayor of Villa Nueva, Guatemala
The World Mayor competition, first held in 2004, aims to raise the profile of mayors worldwide and to honour those who have made lasting contributions to their communities and are committed to the well-being of cities nationally and internationally.
City Mayors describes an outstanding mayor as someone who possesses the qualities of greatness, leadership and vision, has good management abilities, is socially and economically aware, and has the ability to provide security and to protect the environment.
An excellent mayor, according to City Mayors, also has the ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds.