Rewarding Social Innovation Projects
Impumelelo - The Stellenbosch Academy for Social Innovation

Rewarding Social Innovations that Improve the Quality of Life of the Poor Since 1999

Sponsored by Distell


Creating Ripples of Change

The Impumelelo Social Innovations Award Centre is a leading awards programme in South Africa, rewarding innovators who find creative solutions to public problems. Impumelelo also regularly submits the work of its award winners to the UN Public Service Awards and the Dubai International Awards for Best Practice, and since 1999, 21 projects have won international prestigious awards. Our Master Classes are unique training opportunities where award-winners train their peers to replicate their success story in sectors. Impumelelo’s Best-Practice Case Study Series demonstrates how our award-winning social innovations address key policy mandates locally and internationally.

Impumelelo, like most Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), is undergoing its most significant transformation since its inception. Dependence on donors often hinders sustainability, distracts from its mission, and encourages a short-term strategy of chasing funds. With SA defined as a middle income country, donor funding has declined and is being diverted elsewhere in Africa. The issues of sustainability, therefore has become more urgent.

In this context we have adopted a plan that focuses on new growth strategies that will enhance our current services and products with the aim of generating new revenue streams that will sustain the organisation in the longer term and slowly diminish donor dependence over the longer term.

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The Impumelelo Hybrid Structure
The Impumelelo Hybrid Model

In the News

Impumelelo Restructuring Strategy 2016 – 2018

Impumelelo, like most Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), is undergoing its most significant transformation since its inception. Dependence on donors often hinders sustainability, distracts from its mission, and encourages a short-term strategy of chasing funds. With SA defined as a middle […]


Marianhill Landfill Conservancy

When people think about landfills and waste management, what springs to mind are bad odours and poisons detrimental to the eco-system. Not much is done to change this other than citizens holding their breath as they drive past sites or […]


Tutu Tester Mobile Clinic – Gold, sponsored by Annie Lennox Foundation

South Africa has an estimated 5.7 million people living with HIV or AIDS, which is the largest population of infected people in the world. The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) has been central in the fight against the HIV and […]


ISN & CORC: Mtshini Wam Partnerships – Gold, sponsored by Lafarge Trust

“This project will go down in the history books of human settlements. It shows what can be done when the community works with partners in government. In order to make government work for informal settlements, we have to fuse the […]


Mamma Zamma, Pretoria, Gauteng

In South Africa, poor and vulnerable children lack access to Early Learning Development (ECD) facilities. Cognitive stimulation at home is generally poor, resulting in low school-readiness and delayed learning. Primary caregivers need support to develop parenting skills and to build […]


DONE Lawhill Maritime Centre – Platinum, sponsored by Zenex Foundation

“Many schools do a good job of educating the youth, but few schools prepare young learners for a career. A school such as the Simons Town High Maritime Studies programme is exactly what South Africa needs considering the country’s high […]


8M/day Meulwater Treatment Works – shared Gold, sponsored by Aurecon

Paarl is the largest town in the Drakenstein Municipality, Western Cape. The area also includes that also encompasses Wellington, Gouda and Saron. The town is situated at the foot of the Paarl Mountain, 60kms outside Cape Town, and is cut […]


Quality early childhood development, a prerequisite for addressing the national burden of unemployment

I recently attended a seminar on the South African labour market at the Investec headquarters in Cape Town, to listen to the conflicting viewpoints of two prominent figures in this area. Loan Sharpe of Adcorp argued that unemployment rates in […]


SAEP Early Childhood Development

Nokhaya Manxiwa-Nqeza established Qhamani Educare because something had to be done. “There were only a few crèches in my area. I saw parents not knowing where to leave their children safely,” Nokhaya says. “Sometimes children were left with neighbours where […]


Hope for those on the Margins

Known as one of the oldest professions in the world, prostitution has always presented the state with enormous challenges. In this regard, the tension between state officials and feminists has always been contradictory. The debate regarding sex work in South […]


TB/HIV Care Association: Project Integrate

South Africa is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with one of the greatest burdens of HIV/AIDS infections (5.7 million) and the second highest estimated TB incidence per capita worldwide.  In 2009, the World Health Organisation estimated that there […]


Marrying Artistic Craft with Entrepreneurship

According to the Department of Labour, commercial craft-making contributes an estimated R2 billion to the economy annually. As this sector provides a gateway into the mainstream economy, the commercial craft-making sector can be an important catalyst for increasing the rate […]


Celebrating a green world

The Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust invites all Cape Town-based projects from provincial government, municipalities, and civil society to apply for the 2010 Sustainability Awards.


Finding African solutions to African problems

Former anti-apartheid acti- vist, columnist and former Human Rights Commis- sioner, Rhoda Kadalie of University Estate is “finding African solutions to African problems”.


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