Scientist’s work recognised by President Ramaphosa
ZELDA VENTER firstname.lastname@example.org
African News Agency
UNISA scientist, Professor Vhahangwele Masindi, was recently bestowed the Award of the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze by President Cyril Ramaphosa. This was for his exceptional contribution to the field of environmental sciences, focusing on water issues in South Africa and globally. Masindi, a research associate at Unisa’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, is ranked among the top 2% of scientists in the world, according to scientific reports. He is also the subject editor for the Water SA journal. This award is named after the Mapungubwe ancient African nation that existed a thousand years ago in the northern part of the Limpopo Province. It is bestowed to notable South Africans for achievements that confidently impact the local and global communities. The late former president and Unisa alumnus, Nelson Mandela, was the first recipient of the order in platinum class. Masindi said about his research work that secured this award: “It seeks to find much-needed solutions towards the challenges of water scarcity in South Africa and further afield.” Masindi acknowledges that it is rare to receive awards from the president. Therefore, he remarks that he is ecstatic to be among the few recipients of this prestigious and highest award for scientists in South Africa. “As a researcher, I am motivated and humbled that my work and impact is recognised at a presidential level.” Masindi added that researchers do not work for awards but to uplift and make a difference in societies through scientific interventions. According to Masindi, the award also indicates the standard and quality of researchers and research conducted at Unisa. “This confirms that Unisa is the best university in Africa and abroad. Results and outputs attest to that.” Masinsi’s research interests are water security, ecological sustainability, water resource management, waste (water) valorisation and beneficiation, environmental management, and circular economy in water and wastewater treatment. His recent research focuses on developing water treatment solutions for marginalised communities in South Africa. His topical projects include mapping and profiling emerging contaminants in rivers, dams and drinking water and their eco-toxicity determination, as well as the development of point-of-use drinking water treatment systems for schools and marginalised communities. The projects also include recovering valuable minerals from municipal wastewater and acid mine drainage using innovative and benign technologies, and modelling the chlorine decay and demand in water supply systems in South Africa.