Cape Town Named Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge
The City of Cape Town has been selected from 630 applications, from 99 countries, as one of 50 Champion Cities to Advance in the Global Innovation Competition. The Comp is aimed at identifying the Most Transformative Urban Solutions during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Cape Town was named as one of the 50 finalists in the 2021 Global […]
The City of Cape Town has been selected from 630 applications, from 99 countries, as one of 50 Champion Cities to Advance in the Global Innovation Competition. The Comp is aimed at identifying the Most Transformative Urban Solutions during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Cape Town was named as one of the 50 finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, the first ever. The Mother City now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition.
From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize winners will be announced early next year.
‘These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas. By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programmes that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just,’ said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City.
Witnessing nation-wide sudden job losses (South Africa’s economy shed 2,2 million jobs in Q2 of 2020) and school closures (where many youth formerly received their only daily meal), as a result of the national Coronavirus lockdown, Mayor Plato used his decades of activist experience. Having run a soup kitchen for many years, he came up with the quickest and most efficient way to address the urgent food-aid crisis developing in Cape Town.
The potential of empowering existing community-run soup kitchens across the City and helping others start new soup kitchens meant that these small, informal havens of nourishment were best positioned to reach as many residents in need as possible. Three plate gas stoves, as well as a gas cylinder of 19kg, plus two cooking pots – of 100 L and 80 L, and dry ingredients were provided to over 250 existing and newly established soup kitchens to significantly increase their reach.
‘Our response to a significant challenge was based on an urgent humanitarian need: we saw the need for assistance by those impacted financially by Covid-19 and capacitating soup kitchens and providing a large-scale food-relief programme was the most effective and meaningful way we could ensure that residents were not further impacted by Covid-19. In line with various social relief initiatives implemented by the City, we strive to live up to the mandate of being a Caring City.
“I am very pleased to see the difference this programme has made in the lives of so many. We are grateful for the acknowledgement of this campaign and also the real-life positive impact it has had on communities in need. Through the input of the team from the Bloomberg Global Mayor’s Challenge, we can look at improving our project and providing even more assistance to the many residents who continue to need our support,” said Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato.
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016).
For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.