Awards Programme

The Impumelelo Social Innovations Award Centre is a leading awards programme in South Africa, rewarding excellence and 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 21 projects have won international prestigious awards.

The Impumelelo Awards is held every year to acknowledge the hard work of individuals and organisations that make it their mission to improve the lives of South Africans. Our awards programme is independent based on rigorous evaluations. It is one of the few mechanisms that uncovers what is good and what works in SA. Our end goal is to promote public-private partnerships, and we then work towards mainstreaming of effective public service throughout the government at local, provincial and national level.

Apply for an Impumelelo Award now!

For more info contact Chris Mingo – tel: 021 918 4390 or if you require the application form in a different format, please send an email to:

How to Apply

The Applications must consist of Sections A & B:

A. The completed Organisational Information Form

  • Please type or print clearly when filling out the form.
  • The form must clearly indicate the relevant government agencies involved.
  • The signiture or counter-signature of the representative/s of the government, local authority, or other public body involved with the project is mandatory.

B. The completed Project Description

  • Please submit a full description of your project’s details according to the Project Description Guidelines given on page 3.
  • Please include high-resolution recent photos of the project supplied preferably on CD.
  • The description should be typed on white, A4 paper in size 12 font.
  • Keep the length to maximum 3500 words – applications, which exeed this limit, will not be considered.
  • Please include latest Annual Report and additional illustrative materials may be submitted and should be marked as such.
  • Please provide photocopies of media coverage received, evidence of use of facebook and twitter, and copies of your newsletter.

C. General

  • Submit your complete application in DUPLICATE. Photocopy each page and include it with the original submission in the correct order.
  • Use paper clips to attach pages. DO NOT staple, bind or otherwise attach pages together.
  • Faxed copies of the application cannot be accepted due to likely illegibility.


Impumelelo sends out approximately 2000 application forms electronically and by mail, inviting projects to apply for the Impumelelo Award. After the due date, submissions are shortlisted for compliance with Impumelelo’s criteria. Eligible projects are farmed out to a team of sector-based expert evaluators who are required to conduct site evaluations based on Impumelelo’s rigorous guidelines, to submit a report, and to recommend or not recommend the project for an award. Based on their recommendations, Impumelelo’s team shortlists the semi-finalists of 30 projects eligible for the award.

Final Adjudications

The 30 semi-finalists undergo a further assessment with an external evaluator. Based on these discussions, 25 projects are selected for final adjudications to be put forward to an Independent Panel of Judges, consisting of a group of ten prominent South Africans. All the project leaders are convened in a setting where the 25 projects are interviewed for ten minutes each over two days, after which the judges will deliberate over dinner to discuss issues emerging from the interviewed. After engaging and often heated debate, the judges select the winners.

Download Application Form

Please familiarise yourself with the application process before completing the form

Impumelelo Sectors

  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Education in Maths & Science
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Enterprise Development & Youth
  • Environment
  • Food Security
  • Healthcare
  • Justice and Human Rights
  • Maternal Health
  • Models of Public Service Excellence
  • Public Sector Innovation
  • Public Works
  • Sanitation and Waste Management
  • Skills Development & Training
  • Unemployment
  • Water
  • Women Making it Happen
  • Youth Empowerment