31 October 2016

It is my pleasure to announce the opening of the nomination process for the 2016 Mkhaya Migrants Awards. The awards ceremony will be held on 11 December 2016. It is the second instalment of this annual event of national importance.

The Department of Home Affairs launched the Mkhaya Migrants Awards on 10 May 2015. This was further to promote the building of a united, democratic and prosperous society where citizens, residents and migrants live together in peace and harmony.

We see the awards as an enabler of tolerance, social cohesion and integration. They are a cultural expression of the national resolve to create communities wherein citizens and migrants work together for peace and friendship.

The awards assist therefore in altering perceptions that negate acceptance and respect for persons. Through the Mkhaya Migrants Awards we recognise outstanding migrants residing in the country, who have contributed immensely to South Africa’s development in various fields.

We honour also South Africans who have contributed selflessly to the development of our continent, in areas of need and strife. These would be citizens working beyond borders, embodying Ubuntu and showing unimpeachable dedication to Africa’s development through exemplary work.

I would like therefore to encourage our people fully to support the Annual Mkhaya Migrants Awards. This can only demonstrate our commitment to the creation of a better society, in a better Africa, and a better world.

We have reconstituted the Mkhaya Migrants Awards Advisory Panel, to cover various areas of specialisation and for representativity. I had the honour to meet with some of the panellists ahead of this year’s ceremony. 

Panellists include: Mr Richard Ots, Chief of Mission at the International Organisation for Migration for Southern Africa Ms Roshan Dadoo, Acting Executive Director at the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa and Mr Bram Hanekom, refugee rights activist leading the People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty. 

Also on the judging panel is Prof Zodwa Motswa, an academic at the University of South Africa currently serving as Country Director at UNISA’s Ethiopia Centre for Graduate Studies in Addis Ababa.

The department will provide the full list of panellists and their areas of specialisation or interest. Nominations are officially open, and will close on Friday, 25 November 2016.
The advisory panel will select three final nominees per category and one winner from each of the six categories, who are to be announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday, 11 December 2016. Attendance to the awards ceremony – to be held in Gauteng – is per invitation.

Last year’s winners include: William Okpara, Orlando Pirates legend and Nigerian goalkeeping hero, in the sport category, and Sephaku Cement, in the business category.

Call for nominations

Accordingly, I invite all persons who love their country and people to nominate individuals and organisations that have made an impactful difference in their fields of expertise in any of the six categories of the awards, namely,

  1. Arts and Culture: Honours individuals who have made a significant contribution in the area of arts and culture in SA, promoting unity, tolerance, integration, and inspiring progressive dialogue enhancing social cohesion.
  2. Business: Celebrates individuals whose businesses are aligned to the South African National Development Plan and encompass key focus areas of economic development and job creation.
  3. Civil society/Non-Government Organizations: Honours individuals who work in civil society to advance the development of fellow migrants, thus contributing to the building of a united and developmental South African state.
  4. Sport: Celebrates individuals who have impactfully used their role in sport to unify communities and significantly contribute to nation building.
  5. OR Tambo: Recognise the prominent role of distinguished South Africans working beyond the country’s borders to provide aid, particularly in areas of need, strife and in times of crisis and disaster, embodying the spirit of Ubuntu.
  6. Most integrated community: Honours communities or individuals who spearhead initiatives that demonstrate the Spirit of Ubuntu towards migrants and foreign nationals, by actively promoting tolerance, integration, unity and social cohesion.

More information regarding this year’s Mkhaya Migrants Awards and how to nominate is available at www.mkhayaawards.co.za

Nominations can alternatively be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The following information should accompany each nomination:
Nominator’s name and surname Nominator’s email address Nomination category Name and surname of the nominee   Reasons why the nominee should be considered as a category winner. (In not more than 250 words, include how the nominee has demonstrated meeting and exceeding category requirements).

The six category winners will each nominate a charity of their choice to receive a cash prize of R100 000 as part of building an integrated, united and caring South African society.

Building on the 2015 Inaugural Mkhaya Migrants Awards, the 2016 awards should show further that immigrants play an enormous, positive and often underappreciated role in South Africa in many walks of life.

For media enquiries contact Thabo Mokgola on 0609624982 or Mayihlome Tshwete