Science-tech awards finalists announced

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 25 Aug 2023
The 2023 SAWiSA will honour inspiring women scientists and researchers.
The 2023 SAWiSA will honour inspiring women scientists and researchers.

Following a three-year hiatus, the South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA) are back to honour the country’s leading women in science and technology.

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), which spearheads the awards, has announced the 26 finalists that will be vying for the 2023 SAWiSA.

In a statement, the DSI says this year's awards ceremony will take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), on 8 and 9 September.

Running since 2003, the awards recognise and reward excellence by women scientists and researchers, and profile them as role models for younger women. SAWiSA also awards registered Masters and PhD students.

The theme for the 2023 SAWiSA is: “Harnessing technological change and innovation to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls.”

The categories include awards for Distinguished Young Women Researchers, Distinguished Woman Researchers and the DSI Fellowships, which have been renamed to DSI-Ndoni Mcunu Fellowships to honour the late Ndoni Mcunu’s memory, according to the department.

It states: “The late Ndoni Mcunu was one of South Africa's leading young scientists in climate change, a social entrepreneur and founder of Black Women in Science (BWIS).

“BWIS has provided developmental training to over 400 postgraduate fellows in business, entrepreneurship and research skills, scientific writing, project leadership, science communication skills and research career preparation.

“During her lifetime, Mcunu achieved numerous accolades, including being named a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow, receiving an honorary award at the KZN Young Achievers Awards in the Science Research and Entrepreneurship category, and winning the Gagasi FM Shero award in the Science and Technology category.”

The finalists of the 2023 SAWiSA are:

  • Catherine Ward, University of Cape Town
  • Floretta Boonzaier, University of Cape Town
  • Associate Professor Nomusa Makhubu, University of Cape Town
  • Munira Hoosain, University of Cape Town
  • Lusani Mamushiane, University of Cape Town
  • Nicole Richardson, University of Cape Town
  • Betty Sebati, University of Johannesburg
  • Heidi Abrahamse, University of Johannesburg
  • Janine Adams, Nelson Mandela University
  • Carla Dodd, Nelson Mandela University
  • Shan Simmonds, North-West University
  • Gizelle Roque Van Niekerk, University of Pretoria
  • Usisipho Feleni, University of South Africa
  • Puleng Segalo, University of South Africa
  • Bambesiwe Mbesi May, University of South Africa
  • Nyeleti Precious Mabaso, Stellenbosch University
  • Aletta Nortje, Stellenbosch University
  • Modjadji Rebecca Letsoalo, University of Venda
  • Thendo Gertie Makhado, University of Venda
  • Dr Michelle Lochner, University of the Western Cape
  • Boitumelo Makgabutlane, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Dr Tiisetso Lephoto, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Thashree Marimuthu, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Anastacia Mamabolo, Gordon Institute of Business Science
  • Dr Patience Mthunzi-Kufa, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Liesl Zühlke, South African Medical Research Council