Professor Chabani Manganyi from the University of Pretoria has been awarded the 2016 National Research Foundation (NRF) Lifetime Achievement Award.
The yearly NRF Awards recognise and celebrate South African research excellence.
“It is without question that countries that excel in terms of research output go on to become powerful players in the global economy and are, therefore, able to provide a better quality of life for their citizens,” Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said at the awards ceremony.
She added that the propensity for sustainable production of new knowledge that would make South African globally competitive was dependent on the country's ability to bring more people into the sciences and to have more diversity in that knowledge workforce.
“Another necessary precondition for our progress to a knowledge economy is transformation, and the expansion of opportunities so that more women and black people can enter the cohort of knowledge workers,” Pandor noted.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, which is at the apex of the NRF Awards, is conferred on someone who is considered to have made extraordinary contributions, of international standard and impact, to the development of science in and for South Africa over an extended period of time. The award also recognises the manner in which the work of the candidate has touched and shaped the lives and views of South Africans.