This year’s Impumelelo Social Innovations Awards Ceremony was held last month at Cape Town’s Baxter Concert Hall. Twenty-one innovative projects addressing some of South Africa’s biggest challenges in Education, HIV/AIDS prevention, the Environment, and Criminal Justice received a coveted Impumelelo Social Innovations Award.
The projects, representing Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal demonstrated the effectiveness of their intervention to win over an esteemed 13-membered national selection committee. The projects went through Impumelelo’s six-month evaluation and short-listing process in order to get the chance to present their project with some of the best development initiatives in South Africa and eventually win the coveted award.
As the guests and finalists gathered, the excitement and anticipation to find out the results of a year-long application process was contagious.
The awards ceremony was a fantastic event. Since Thursday, emails congratulating Impumelelo have poured in. A former UWC Prof said: “The award ceremony was a wonderful experience-as always! Thank you very much for awarding the most signficant projects and for inspiring more and more people to take remarkable undertakings upon themselves.”
An award-winner wrote: “To be recognised by Impumelelo made me feel both humbled and ver proud.” Another said: “We are delighted and very proud to be recognised by Impumelelo. There has been much celebration through all our organisations and the frontline staff is very encouraged and excited. Thanks very much for the opportunity for us to showcase our work.”
All this goes to show that there are pockets of innovation working hard to improve South Africa.
“Impumelelo unearths the solutions to public problems that are working around the country so government in particular can learn from what others are doing, stop re-inventing the wheel and upscale projects that work” says Impumelelo founder and director, Rhoda Kadalie.
Impumelelo also submits their top award-winners to other international awards such as the United Nations Public Services Awards and the Dubai Awards for Best Practice. Since 2003, Impumelelo has catapulted 10 South African municipal and NGO-driven projects onto the world stage. According to Kadalie, “this track record proves that South Africa has its own solutions to its own problems”.
The Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre, formerly the Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust, is a non-profit organisation, established in 1999, that identifies, rewards, and promotes innovative public-private projects which improve the quality of life of the poor in South Africa.
Click here for the full list of award winners.