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KZN learners to represent SA at Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe Nhlozi from Buhlebemfundo Secondary School in Durban will represent South Africa in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Annual Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August.

The 15-year-old twins emerged victorious at the 2024 National South African Youth Water Prize Competition (SAYWP) held at the Xylem Water Solutions Offices in Kempton Park, Gauteng on Friday, 7 June 2024.

The South African Youth Water Prize competition is a vital component of the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Education programme, which aims to educate learners and society on water resource management issues including water use efficiency, water quality monitoring, and protection of water resources among others.

The competition, organised in partnership with Xylem Water Solutions, Water Technology, the Water Research Commission, and other key stakeholders in the water sector, aimed to identify a project that would best represent South Africa at the 2024 Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Sweden.

The final competition follows a culmination of months of hard work and dedication from young water and sanitation enthusiasts’ countrywide.

The two learners were announced as the winners of the competition following their impressive presentation on their innovation awareness project “Drop-Drop”, earning them an opportunity to showcase their project on a global platform and compete against other talented learners from around the world.

Prizes

The duo also walked away with prizes including R15,000 each, tickets to Sweden, laptops, a first-place trophy, R10,000 allowance and bursaries to further their education at the university of their choice.

Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe expressed their gratitude and excitement for the opportunity to represent South Africa on the global stage.

“We feel super excited, we are so emotional right now. We are so grateful to the teachers, mentors, and everybody who supported us to this far and our family,” the duo said.

They also pledged to elevate South Africa to new heights and secure the top spot on the global stage of the competition with their awareness approach.

Following closely behind was Kimberly Technical School, whose impactful awareness project secured them second place. The school received prize of R14,000, bursary, laptops, and a second-place trophy.

Middleburg Muslim Secondary School in Mpumalanga also made a strong showing, earning third place for their outstanding awareness project plus R12,500, a laptop, and a bursary.

The learners from all nine provinces who participated in the national finals were also rewarded with bursaries and laptops to support their academic pursuits.

Pumla Ncumshe from the Department of Water and Sanitation said the event served as a testament to the bright future of the youth in South Africa and their commitment to making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

“As we look towards the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August, we cannot help but feel inspired by the dedication and creativity displayed by these young individuals. Their projects serve as a reminder of the importance of water conservation and the role that young people can play in shaping a sustainable future for all.

“Congratulations to all the participants, and best of luck to Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe as they represent South Africa on the international stage. Also, congratulations to the winners of the 2024 national finals, as well as all the participating schools, regional coordinators, media houses, and stakeholders who contributed to the success of the program,” Ncumshe said.

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