High schools called to participate in youth water prize competition

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in Gauteng has called on local high schools to participate in the South African Youth Water Prize (SAYWP) competition. 

The department made the call during a recent District Eskom Expo held at Johannesburg Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.
The South African Youth Water Prize competition is an important part of the department's education programme and it aims to educate learners and society on various water resource management issues, including water use efficiency, water quality monitoring, protection of water resources, public health and hygiene awareness, and identification of invasive species. 

The competition targets Grades 9, 10, and 11 learners who possess innovative ideas and projects that can help tackle the water and sanitation crisis in their communities.

The competition starts at the provincial level to the national level, and then proceeds to the global level in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Mphothulo Eulicia from the department’s Gauteng regional office said taking part in the South African Youth Water Prize is a step towards empowering youth to become future leaders in water resource management. 

“By encouraging innovation and creativity, the department is nurturing a new generation of problem solvers who can help create a sustainable water future for South Africa,” Eulicia said.

During the District Eskom Expo, the department presented the SAYWP to mobilise schools for the 2025 adjudications and encouraged them to start their preparations early. 

Eulicia said that out of the 11 schools who were present at the expo, only five were recognised for the 2025 South African Youth Water Prize, which indicates the high level of competition and the need for schools to immediately start planning and working on their projects.

She said participating in the SAYWP can potentially change the life of a learner for the better, and emphasised the importance of not letting such opportunity slip by. 

“The prizes awarded to winners of the competition are quite substantial, including bursaries, laptops, trophies, and cash prizes, among others. These prizes can serve as a stepping stone for the youth towards a brighter future.

“By engaging in these competitions, students not only have the opportunity to showcase their innovative solutions to water and sanitation challenges but also stand a chance to win valuable prizes that can positively impact their educational and career trajectories,” Eulicia said.

A Grade 10 learner from Greenside High School in Johannesburg earned the top spot in the provincial leg of this year’s National South African Youth Water Prize competition with his innovative approach to water resource management.

Yaseen’s brilliant water and sanitation innovation idea won him a prize of R6000, a first-place trophy, and a bursary.

The second place went to Good Hope Secondary School with an awareness project. The school walked away with a prize of R5 000 and a second-place trophy. 

The Greenside Secondary School also scooped third place with an awareness project and won a prize of R4 000.

Interested schools can access more information at https://www.dws.gov.za/Projects/SAYWP/contact.aspx or contact Reshoketswe Malepe at MalepeM@dws.gov.za or on 083 8643 493. – SAnews.gov.za