Limpopo province forms the backdrop for this year's South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA), which will be hosted by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.


Minister Kubayi-Ngubane will be joined by the Director-General of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara, former First Lady, Dr Bongi Ngema-Zuma, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Buti Manamela, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other invited guests.


The 2018 edition of SAWiSA is being held under the theme, "100 years of Mama Albertina Sisulu: Women united in moving South Africa forward". The theme epitomises Mama Sisulu's great courage as a unifying leader during the apartheid era. In 1956, Mama Sisulu was instrumental in leading about 20 000 women from across South Africa to march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria against the carrying of passes.


The prestigious event, which has been hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) since 2003, recognises the achievements of women scientists and provides motivation for the increased participation of women in research. The awards profile women scientists and researchers, and encourage and reward the next generation of young women who are starting their careers as researchers and scientists.


The DST alternates the Distinguished Woman Scientists and Distinguished Young Woman Scientists award categories between Life Sciences in one year, and Physical and Engineering Sciences in the next year. The Social Sciences remains a standing category.


This year the DST has introduced an Astronomy category, and kick-starting this category will be the presentation of a Minister's Special Award, the Commemorative MeerKAT Award. This special award celebrates the launch of the completed 64-dish MeerKAT telescope array in the Northern Cape on 13 July, and the significant achievements of women in the field of astronomy.


In honour of Mama Sisulu, the DST has also renamed its Fellowships category for Master's and Doctoral students to the DST-Albertina Sisulu Fellowships.


The guest speaker at this year's SAWiSA is Dr Seipati Makunyane, Chief Specialist and Head of the Clinical Department of Ophthalmology at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria. A qualified ophthalmic surgeon with a special interest in colour vision, Dr Makunyane is a panel member of the SA Civil Aviation Authority Aeromedical Committee and a member of the International Colour Group, an advocacy group for occupations with colour vision-related tasks.


This flagship event promises to be a spectacular showcase of the best in South African female talent in science, technology and innovation.


The media are invited as follows:


SAWiSA 2018 Gala Dinner event

Date:       Thursday, 23 August 2018

Venue:   The Ranch Hotel, Polokwane

Time:      18:00 for 19:00


SABC 2 Morning Live Broadcast Media Breakfast

Date:       Friday, 24 August

Venue:   The Ranch Hotel, Polokwane

Time:      06:00-08:00


RSVP:  Thabang Setlhare at 072 659 9690, Zama Mthethwa at 082 808 3956, or Julian Leshilo-Sebake at 060 961 2194



Hlengiwe Nhlabathi

Ministerial Media Liaison Officer

064 754 8426

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Issued by the Department of Science and Technology