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NSTF and SKA SA collaborate on astronomy tour for 2016 top matriculants in mathematics and science

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is proud to announce a new collaboration with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa to reward South Africa’s 2016 top matriculants in mathematics and physical science. The collaboration will see SKA SA support a national astronomy tour from 22-29 June for participants selected for the NSTF Brilliants Programme.

The programme recognises first-year students studying in the fields of science, medicine and engineering. The 2016 top-performing female and male matriculant from each of the nine provinces was selected for the programme, based on their marks in mathematics and physical science in the most recent National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) Examinations.
NSTF and SKA SA celebrate youth: The astronomy tour will conclude with the prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards Gala Dinner to be held at Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng on 29 June. The Brilliants Awardees will be recognised and introduced to the science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation community. Both events were scheduled in Youth Month to celebrate:

Young people are our future innovators: NSTF’s Executive Director, Ms Jansie Niehaus said that top results in Grade 12 do not guarantee success. Many school leavers and even graduates struggle to find appropriate work and direction in their lives. This is a concern for SET industries, professionals and for the NSTF.

“By honouring the Brilliants top performers, these youth feel more encouraged, motivated and inspired to pursue their goals and realise their dreams. They also have a clearer understanding of the many interesting and fulfilling positions and possibilities that the National System of Innovation (which includes scientific research, engineering and industry) can offer” said Ms Niehaus.

Brilliants students to visit astronomy tourism sites: The astronomy tour hosted by SKA SA will see the Brilliants Awardees visit various astronomy sites, including the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory outside Johannesburg, SKA site outside Carnarvon, South African Large Telescope (SALT) outside Sutherland, and South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town. Awardees will also be trained to assist during stargazing outreach events in the Karoo, participate in an introduction to big data workshop by Google, and visits various scientific tourism sites in Cape Town.

The tour will expose students to new fields of study and careers in SETbursary opportunities at SKA SA, and role models in SET and innovation in South Africa. It is hoped that a visit to the various astronomy tourism sites will inspire the students to promote astronomy and astronomy tourism in South Africa.

Eastern Cape Eastern Cape
Ms Athini Mqolora Mr Siyabonga Ntshongela
Wongalethu High School Umtata Technical High School
MBChB (Medicine) BSc (Civil Engineering)
University of Cape Town Durban University of Technology
Bursary: None Bursary: National Youth Development Agency
Free State Free State
Ms Riana Nel Mr Ngakana Lawrence Salemane
C&N Meisieskool Oranje Le Reng Secondary School
MBChB (Medicine) BSc (Electro Mechanical Engineering)
University of the Free State University of Cape Town
Bursary: Free State Department of Education Bursary: Free State Department of Education
Gauteng (There were two individuals in the top place for both men and women)
Ms Margaret Jane Mouton Mr Bafana Mbata
Pretoria High School for Girls Sijabulile Secondary School
BSc (Mechanical Engineering) BSc (General)
University of Pretoria University of the Witwatersrand
Bursary: None Bursary: Ekurhuleni Municipality
and and
Ms Marlie Lente Harris Mr Thembinkosi Johannes Manyeruke
Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool Tsakane Secondary School
BSc (Veterinary Science) BSc (Mathematical Statistics)
University of Pretoria University of Pretoria
Bursary: None Bursary: Peermont Education Trust
(Emperors Palace)
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal
Ms Romal Naidoo Mr Ndumiso Perfect Ndamane
Danville Park Girls’ High School Umlazi Comtech Secondary School
MBChB (Medicine) BSc (Electrical Engineering)
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University University of KwaZulu-Natal
Bursary: None Bursary: Ethekwini Municipality
Limpopo Limpopo
Ms Tovhowani Mulovhedzi Mr Dylan Hlamulo Maluleke
Thohoyandou Secondary Thohoyandou Technical High
MBChB (Medicine) BSc (Civil Engineering)
University of Pretoria University of Cape Town
Bursary: AfroCentric Group Bursary: Sasol
Mpumalanga Mpumalanga
Ms Naheeda Ebrahim Mr Nomaan Shoukat Mulla
Hoërskool Piet Retief Hoërskool Rob Ferreira
BPharm (Pharmacy) MBChB (Medicine)
University of KwaZulu-Natal University of the Witwatersrand
Bursary: Mpumalanga Department of Education Bursary: Mpumalanga Department of Education
North West North West
Ms Adriana Christiena Dodkins Mr Phemelo Ontiretse Nawane
Hoërskool Bergsig Holy Family Combined School
BSc (Veterinary Science) BSc (Mechanical Engineering)
Free State University University of the Witwatersrand
Bursary: None Bursary: Anglo American Platinum
Northern Cape Northern Cape
Ms Danique Visser Mr Gift Neo Smith
Hoërskool Hartswater Thabane High School
MBChB (Medicine) BDS (Dentistry)
University of Pretoria University of the Western Cape
Bursary: None Bursary: None
Western Cape Western Cape
Ms Jacobie Christina Mouton Mr Bronson Luke Rudner
Bloemhof High School SA College High School
BSc (General) BSc (General)
Stellenbosch University University of Cape Town
Bursary: None Bursary: None
Role of the NSTF: The NSTF is a stakeholder forum that includes organisations in state entities, business and communities. The NSTF engages with policy issues across various government departments and promotes collaboration and critical thinking among a broad range of stakeholders.

Objectives and background of the NSTF Awards: The NSTF Awards celebrate, acknowledge and promote excellence in the South African SET and innovation community by cross-cutting sectors, levels, gender, and race while recognising individuals, teams and organisations. These awards celebrate scientific research that is professional, innovative, forward looking and relevant to both South Africa and the rest of the world. The awards effort includes initiatives to raise awareness among the youth and the general public about local research and its relevance, as well as science-related careers.

The NSTF Awards have been held annually since 1998. There are a variety of sponsors, from both the public and private sector. The co-branding sponsor is South32 (the company that took over BHP Billiton’s operations in South Africa. Previously BHP Billiton was the co-branding sponsor).

The winners are announced at the NSTF-South32 Awards Gala Dinner, where 500-600 guests attend and the “who’s who” of SET and innovation can be found. The list of 17 winnersis strictly embargoed until the night of the Awards Gala  Dinner.

For more information on the NSTF initiatives: Visit and or contact us at the contact details below.

NSTF spokesperson: Ms Jansie Niehaus, Executive Director
SKA SA spokesperson: Mr Lorenzo Raynard, SKA SA General Manager: Communications & Stakeholder Relations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

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About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

The process of reconstituting the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions has been completed. View the new Council.
If you are final year Natural Science student, you can enroll at SACNASP. View more information.