Cape Town mayor Helen Zille and Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo are among 50 city mayors competing for the 2008 World Mayor Award organised by City Mayors, an international network of professionals working to promote strong and prosperous cities and good governance.
Of the candidates, 11 are from Asia, ten are from north America, 11 are from Latin America, 15 are from Europe and three are from Africa. The other African candidate is Omar El Baharaoui from the Moroccan capital Rabat.
The 50 candidates were chosen on the basis of nominations by citizens and the strength of their supporting statements.
Voting is public and can be done on the website www.worldmayor.com. Voting closes on 30 June and the results will be announced in September.
Established in 2004, the World Mayor Award honours city administrators who have served their communities particularly well. Qualities highlighted by citizens in their nominations include good administrative skills; ability to provide safety and security; and capacity to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds.