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Finalists named for IITPSA President’s Awards 2021

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The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has announced the finalists for the 2021 IITPSA President’s Awards.

The awards have recognised the South African IT industry’s leading lights for over 40 years.

The IITPSA President’s Awards have been an annual South African ICT industry highlight since 1979.

The 2021 awards, presented by the IITPSA in partnership with ITWeb, the Gordon Institute of Business Science and EngineerIT, are themed: “Excellence in the new normal”. The initiative is aimed at acknowledging the important role IT professionals play in helping the world to adapt to a changing digital environment.

Past winners include Dr Stanley Mpofu, CIO of the University of the Witwatersrand, and Nomthi Nelwamondo, CIO of Assupol, as joint Visionary CIOs of the Year (2020); Ntuthuko Shezi as IT Personality of the Year (2020); GirlCode, winner of the Social Responsibility/Community Award (2020); Geekulcha COO Tiyani Nghonyama as IT Personality of the Year; Alexander Forbes former group CIO Sandra La Bella as Visionary CIO (2019); Etion CEO Teddy Daka; Absa CIO for Virtual Channels Jacques Barkhuizen (2018); Entelect CEO Shashi Hansjee; and former Sasol Global CIO Alec Joannou (2017).

IITPSA president Admire Gwanzura says: “The 2020 awards were themed ‘Excellence in adversity’, recognising IT excellence during the challenging early days of the pandemic. For 2021, we recognise IT professionals playing a pivotal role in helping business and society successfully adapt to a digital ‘new normal’.”

The 2021 finalists are:

IT Personality of the Year Award 2021

This award recognises a person who has made an outstanding impact on SA’s ICT industry over the past year and a significant contribution to the IT profession.

  • Michael Cowen, global CEO and co-founder of Teraflow.ai.
  • Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe Technologies.
  • Maeson Maherry, global CTO of Matica Technologies.
  • Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, vice-chancellor and principal at the University of Johannesburg.

Visionary CIO of the Year Award 2021

This award recognises a personality on the other side of the IT vendor and service provider sector – an executive in the corporate IT environment who has demonstrated visionary leadership in applying technology to grow and transform business.

  • Herman Swanepoel, CIO and innovation officer at Bestmed.
  • Khathu Sibanda, CIO of the University of Johannesburg.
  • Mthokozisi Mncwabe, group CIO at Airports Company South Africa.
  • Fikile Sibiya, CIO of e4.
  • Avsharn Bachoo, CIO at Comair Limited.

Technology Excellence Award 2021

This award recognises a person or team who has made exceptional/innovative use of information technology, or has designed an innovative new technology for an organisation and has exhibited technological excellence that has delivered measurable benefit for business and/or the SA economy.

  • Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe Technologies.
  • Professor De Wet Swanepoel, PhD, professor of audiology at the University of Pretoria and co-founder of the hearX Group at the university.
  • Ajay Lalu, CEO and co-founder of Q-Hop.
  • Dr Kathryn Malherbe, lecturer, University of Pretoria Health and Sciences, CEO of Medsol AI Solutions and founder of Breast Cancer Support Pretoria.

Social Responsibility/Community Award 2021

This award recognises a person, team or project delivering the benefits of IT on a not-for-profit basis to the community/or bringing the community into the IT space (addressing the digital divide).

  • Research Connect: Department of Electrical and Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science, University of Johannesburg (UJ).
  • Professor Suné von Solms, associate professor and HODat UJ and professor Johan Meyer, associate professor at UJ. They both run the Research Connect project, which focuses on connecting project-based learning with community engagement.
  • Tomorrow Trust provides holistic programmes focused on academic, psychosocial, career and digital development to orphaned and vulnerable children and youth.Taryn Rae is acting GM at Tomorrow Trust.
  • The Department of National Treasury. Kgopotso Ditshego Magoro, director of learning and innovation at the Department of National Treasury. Her research into new approaches to community-based digital transformation has led to the establishment of Mamaila Community Network, a WiFi project implemented in partnership with the Mamaila Royal Council and the Zuri Foundation, Limpopo.
  • Champagne Sports Resort. Priya Balakisten, finance director at Champagne Sports Resort. She is overseeing the expansion of the resort’s CSI programme, working with Isizwe Projects to roll out internet access to over 30 schools in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg area.

The winners will be named at the gala virtual awards ceremony on 12 April. To register to attend the awards, click here.

To support the nominees, go to Annual President’s Awards 2021 Finalists – IITPSA.

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