Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town and winner of the 2008 World Mayor Prize

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The 2008 results
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Mayors of Melbourne and Cape Town exchange letters

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The 2005 results
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The 2004 contest
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Edi Rama wins 2004 award
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Helen Zille
says thank you

Dear Friends

I am honoured and humbled to have been selected for the World Mayor Award 2008 by the panellists and voters who participated in the City Mayors poll. The news has brought a lot of positive momentum to Cape Town, and to all colleagues in the city’s local government.

The competition team has informed me that the decision was based on the number of votes cast and the credibility of the motivation given in support of these votes. I would therefore like to thank everyone who expressed their confidence in me and my team, and who put so much effort into their submissions.

I owe this honour to you, just as I owe my position as Mayor of Cape Town to the people of Cape Town who put me here. Winning this award has once again impressed upon me the great responsibility I carry as a representative of my city and its citizens. It has encouraged me to renew my efforts to serve this great city to the best of my ability. This award really acknowledges a team effort. It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of my colleagues in the mayor’s office, in our party caucus, in my parliamentary office, among the officials of the municipality, and, most of all, my family, who have supported me through every challenge I have faced.

I would like to extend my greetings and congratulations to the other mayors who have also been nominated in this competition, especially the Honourable Elmar Ledergerber of Zurich, who received the World Mayor Commendation, my colleague in Johannesburg, South Africa, Amos Masondo, and other finalists. During my time in office, I have come to know some of these city leaders, and have benefited greatly from our interaction. In the years to come I look forward to meeting many more of you in order to share ideas and experiences in local government.

I would like to thank Tann vom Hove and his team for all the organization that lies behind this wonderful initiative. These awards motivate city leaders to aspire to implement – and create – international best practices of urban governance, for the benefit of the citizens they serve.

Helen Zille
Mayor of Cape Town

October 2008

Cape Town City Hall from where Nelson Mandela addressed the nation after his release from prison

World Mayor

The World Mayor Project, organised by City Mayors, seeks out mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places to live in, work in and visit.

The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve as well as raise their profiles nationally and internationally. It honours those who have served their communities selflessly and courageously and who have made significant contributions to the well-being of cities.

Winners and runner-ups
In 2008
Winner: Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town (South Africa)
Runner-up: Elmar Ledergerber (Mayor of Zurich) Switzerland
In 2006
Winner: John So, Lord Mayor of Melbourne (Australia)
Runner-up: Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
In 2005:
Winner: Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens (Greece)
Runner-up: Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga (Canada)
In 2004:
Winner: Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana (Albania)
Runner-up: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mayor of Mexico City (Mexico)