The science community celebrated trailblazers in Science, Technology and Innovation during a gala dinner event hosted by the Black Science Technology Engineering Professionals (BSTEP). The inaugural dinner was organized as a fund raising event towards projects promoting black excellence and also as an award gala to recognize South African black trailblazers in science and engineering.

Former Minister of Science and Technology Dr Mosibudi Mangena and Department of Science and Technology Director-General Dr Phil Mjwara were among the honoured guests.

Five distinguished scientists/engineers were awarded for their contribution over the years to the advancement of their fields.

Award recipients:

Prof Gordon Sibiya (the first black nuclear engineer in 1983 South Africa, and a first in many science projects including being on the first democratic panel to write the SET policy framework)

 Prof Malegapuru Makgoba (a leading South African immunologist, physician, public health advocate, academic and former vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal). 

Prof. Tebello Nyokong (a chemist and professor at Rhodes University, and a recipient Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze. She boasts many awards for her outstanding research career)

 Prof. Phuti Ngoepe (A physicist who has done a lot to lift the state of black scientists, He is the Director of Materials Modelling Centre at the university of Limpopo) 

Ambassador Eddie Funde (has a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineer. He is a former chair of the SABC, and was the ambassador to Germany between 2008 and 2012. He has over the years set up and directed many companies, particularly in the ICT sector. These include the likes of IDT, SATRA (Now ICASA), Kemilinks International (Pty) Ltd, South African Communications Forum (SACF), and Business Process enabling South Africa (BPeSA).

 BSTEP is a non-profit advocacy organization with the aim of advancing black excellence in Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation. It has over the years been involved in development and implementation of support programmes for SET students in both basic and higher education.

BSTEP also organizes regular networking sessions with the view of enhancing its members in professional and entrepreneurship aspects. It currently has a growing presence in local universities through its student chapters.