Water challenges compel Gauteng DWS to call on learners to take part in water prize competition



Published May 22, 2024


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in Gauteng has called on learners and their high schools in the province to take part in the South African Youth Water Prize competition.

This comes after the hosting of the District Eskom Expo which took place on Saturday at the Johannesburg Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.

Also, two weeks ago, the National Department of Water and Sanitation hosted its very own Gauteng South African Youth Water Prize competition at City of Johannesburg, City Parks, and Zoo Environment Centre.

According to the provincial department, the South African Youth Water Prize competition was a crucial part of the department’s Water and Sanitation Education programme as it aimed to educate learners and society on various water resource management issues.

These included water use efficiency, water quality monitoring, protection of water resources, public health and hygiene awareness, and identification of invasive species.

The competition, which targets Grade 9, 10, and 11 learners who have the skills and innovative ideas and projects that can help tackle the water and sanitation crisis in their communities, has been hailed as a global game-changer for innovation.

Over the past few years, Gauteng has also seen its fair share of water challenges resulting in protests in some of the affected communities.

For the province to be able to overcome these challenges, it needs all the innovative ideas it can have.

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

According to Mphothulo Eulicia, from the DWS Gauteng Provincial office, out of the 11 schools present at the expo, only five were recognised for the 2025 South African Youth Water Prize.

This, she said, indicated the high level of competition and the need for schools to start planning and working on their projects as soon as possible.

“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,” Eulicia said.

To ensure that the level of competition reflects the standard of the competition, the province has called on schools to take advantage offered by the competitive nature of the water prize competition.

“Therefore, the DWS in Gauteng urges all high schools within the province to actively participate in the competitions provided by the department. By engaging in these competitions, learners 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.

“Gauteng’s call for local high schools to participate in the South African Youth Water Prize competition 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,” she added.

The Star

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