10 February 2014

If you are or know a student between grade 9-11, studying maths and science of looking to pursue water related careers in sciences, engineering, water utilization and management, geography and/or environmental law, then please do continue reading for some awesome easy competitions for a chance to win a full tertiary bursary, laptops, cash prizes and other cool stuff.
Every year, the Department of water affairs runs a series of competitions to identify students with lots of potential and would become a valuable investment to them in order to address the issue of skills shortage in the water sector. They are open to all South African students and are truly an eye opener.

Lets start with the relatively easier ones. First up, the speech contest. A certain topic of interest is chosen every year. Its always related to water and the environment. Here students are required to research a topic, analyse finding, give practical solutions or suggestions in an essay. . . that's right, just an essay. The topics aren't that difficult. I've been looking at the brochures over the past few years. You get topics like how global warming affects water quality and quantity, alien invasive plants and so on. Here the winning essays are invited to Boksburg for the S.A Youth Water Summit to not present their essays as speeches on the same year of entry. The top 3 essays/public speakers are awarded trophies and full bursaries to study water related careers (chill, they're quite broad. . .I'll list them below). Entries run until around may every year.

Then there's aqua enduro. 

This one is a bit similar to the the speech contest however, you will require an artistic side . Again, you are given a topic to research, analyse,discuss and offer solutions where applicable. You are also required to make a cool poster to represent whats in your essay. Then you send it along with your June report,photo of yourself and I.D copy. The entry is then shortlisted to make a presentations and then go so a summer camp in December where you are taken on excursions, some fun activities like swimming, horse riding, biking and all that other good stuff. You also get formal exercises such as quiz's, exercises and questionnaires. I don't know which criteria they use to determine the winner but my guess is its got something to do with how social you are, participating in the games and quizzes and your behavior. The following year, the winners also go to Boksburg for the Youth Water Summit.They take you on some really informative seminars and excursions which could help you with your career choices. I wish i had some pictures to show you how cool it was back when i was there but alas, I was using a brick for a cellphone and did not own a camera. My highlight was the  Mintek tour. Thats where my love for science was reaffirmed.  I saw so many potential careers i could pursue that I still don't know which to choose.They also have some bursary programmes there so go ahead and google them to find out about them. Entries for this competition close on The 30th of August which means the 2015 intake is still open!!!

Up next is my personal favorite; the South African Youth Water Prize competition. This one right here need a true scientist. A logical yet creative thinker. A problem solver. You are required to identify a water related problem within your community, country or any other part of the globe. Here you can either come up with a scientific invention/innovation or awareness campaign. You can research past national winners to get an idea of the standard of the competition. I'm talking making digital cellphone games/programmes as an awareness campaign,  using UV rays to clean water. . .nanotechnology to monitor water quality after rains, chemistry and biotech to recycle flue gases into useful energy using algae (that was me) the works. Here you would need the assistance of a few professionals which is allowed. The best from this province competes nationally, then internationally. Make it to the provincials and you get a laptop,bursary, and some cash. (#whispers win nationally, and you fly business class). . . TO SWEDEN EKSE!!! A cool 4 day stay with kids from more that 30 other countries, Awesome isn't it?!! 

Don't underestimate yourself. This is also a platform to introduce you to a new world of science/water related careers so you can make informed choices about your future and career. Its almost like job shadowing for a few hours, question and answer sessions. You can get yourself some good mentors too there.  Like see me, I'm tight with Professor Faizel bux from DUT and Heinz from UKZN. They are my homies yo. . . .okay. . .maybe I'm over exaggerating a bit, but you get the point. Trust me. So go ahead,take the plunge and try it. You've  got nothing to lose mos. Entries for this particular competition close around March so it would be wise to start with any project you have in mind now!!

You can go ahead and contact the regional coordinators of your respective provinces for application forms for each competition as they aren't available for download and print yet.
Bursaries offered include studies in
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Aquatic Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Cartography
  • Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering (Heavy Current)
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Geo-chemistry
  • Geographical information Systems
  • Geo-hydrology
  • Geology
  • Hydrology
  • Limnology
  • Microbiology
  • Surveying
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Water Care
  • Water Resource Management
  • Water Utilisation

    universities supported by bursary inlcude:
    • University of Pretoria
    • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
    • University of the Free State
    • University of Cape Town
    • University of Stellenbosch
    • University of the Western Cape
    • University of Limpopo
    • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
    • Walter Sisulu University
    • Tshwane University of Technology
    • Durban University of Technology
    • Central University of Technology
    • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
    • Vaal University of Technology
    • University of Venda
    • University of Witwatersrand
    • University of Johannesburg
    • University of Zululand
    • Rhodes University
Contact list for Ntional coodinators who will refer you to provincial/district coordinators:

Programme Manager
Mr V Mtya

Tel: 012 336 7587
Email: MtyaV@dwa.gov.za

Baswa le Meetse
Monyela Nthuse

Tel: 012 336 7348 Email: MonyelaN@dwa.gov.za

Aqua Enduro
Gerrald Molley

Tel: 012 336 6794
Email: MolleyG@dwa.gov.za

SA Youth Water Prize
P Ntsaluba

Tel: 012 336 7351
Email: NtsalubaN@dwa.gov.za


Region Regional Coordinator Telephone Fax number e-mail
Eastern Cape Bulelwa Phato 043 604 5531
082 908 4034
043 604 5531 phatob@dwa.gov.za
Free State Tshilidzi Netshisaulu 051 405 9000
073 163 1400
051 405 9133
086 6217958
Gauteng Sicelo Pongoma 012 392 1395
084 957 6860
086 691 5925 pongomas@dwa.gov.za
Kwa-Zulu Natal Nathi Zwane 031 336 2848
082 889 6872
031 305 9915 zwanen@dwa.gov.za
Mpumalanga Thami Mndawe 013 759 7451
082 874 8701
082 671 1484
013 759 7530
086 720 4063
Limpopo Matsie Molapisane 015 290 1415
083 528 6173
015 295 3215 molapisanem@dwa.gov.za
Northern Cape Jerry Moletsane 053 830 8800
082 652 5434
053 831 5682 moletsanej@dwa.gov.za
North West Mapela Matlhabegoane 018 387 9500
018 387 9523
082 805 7649
018 392 2998 mathlm@dwa.gov.za
Western Cape Sabelo Magaqana 021 941 6153
082 801 5622
021 9507149/50 magaqanas@dwa.gov.za
 (by the way, Baswa le metsi is for the khuthsununuz, so if you got a little sis/bro or know a teacher. . .tell them about it)
If you got any questions or need some help with the competition, hit me up in the comment box up and I'll see what I can do.
There you have it. You nothing to lose lose and a lot to gain. This stuff is sooo totally easy! Please do share this post so it can get to as many potential applicants as possible. I wish you all the best of luck to all of you. Don't forget to subscribe for more posts coming up directly into your e-mail.

Stay tuned and stay blessed

ehem. . . 
Water is life,  respect it, conserve it, enjoy it.


  1. This is a test comment for the link below

    Urban Mnguni

  2. Hi
    I've been selected for the aqua enduro competition I was wondering ifyou can be able to help me regarding the presentation


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