IITPSA names 2022 President’s Awards finalists

The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has announced the finalists for this year’s annual IITPSA President’s Awards.

The awards, which have recognised the local IT industry’s leading lights for over 30 years, include the Visionary CIO and IT Personality of the Year awards – the industry’s most coveted titles awarded only to the most outstanding individuals in their fields. Over the years, the awards have grown in scope, and now also include categories for Technology Excellence and Social Responsibility, with a new category – the Dynamism in ICT Youth Award – debuting this year to recognise outstanding achievements by students, IT entrepreneurs or up-and-coming IT professionals under the age of 35.

IITPSA President Admire Gwanzura says this year’s finalists represent a worthy corps of IT professionals to be considered for the IITPSA’s 65th anniversary President’s Awards.

“As the 65th anniversary is a milestone traditionally associated with sapphires, the IITPSA has themed its sapphire anniversary President’s Awards ‘Brilliance in IT’,” he says. “We believe our finalists are all shining examples of brilliance in the profession.”

He notes that the new Dynamism in ICT Youth Award has been introduced to support the IITPSA’s goals of growing the South African IT skills pipeline and broader ecosystem. “We believe our finalists all promise to become exceptional young professionals, and we trust that being named a finalist or winner will encourage them and raise their public profiles,” he says.

This year’s President’s Awards finalists are:

IT Personality Award  

The IT Personality Award recognises a highly respected and outstanding ICT professional who has made a significant technical or academic contribution to the industry, who has been successful in building a highly-respected IT organisation or business, and/or who has made a major contribution to the IT profession over a number of years.

Queen Ndlovu, CEO of QP Drone Tech and MD of South Africa Flying Labs

Queen Ndlovu’s QP Drone Tech offers commercial drone services such as mapping, inspection and surveying to mines, critical infrastructure, security and agriculture. Queen is also Managing Director of South Africa Flying Labs, which offers Tech for Good services such as STEM in an attempt to close the digital divide.

Queen pivoted to the drone tech business four years ago, prior to which she worked in the maritime, agriculture and artisan school fields. She is also a Deputy President of all the YMCAs in Africa. She holds a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from Wits Business School, and a Post grad qualification in Global Entrepreneurship from Peking University, China.

She is currently enrolled with Wits University for her PhD Studies in relation to Drone Economy within the mining space.

Lillian Barnard, CEO of Microsoft South Africa

Lillian Barnard was appointed as CEO of Microsoft South Africa in March 2019. With more than 20 years’ experience in the local and international ICT industry, she has extensive knowledge in technology, sales, operations, business controls, strategy, business transformation and leadership. She has become renowned for building strong, high-performing teams and has been pivotal in re-igniting the local chapter of Women@Microsoft.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Lillian served as Chief Sales Officer for Vodacom’s Enterprise Business, headed LillianB Consulting Services, and held several leadership positions during a 15-year career at IBM.  She sits on the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Advisory Board of the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Johannesburg.  Lillian holds a BCom Honours in Business Economics from the University of the Western Cape.

Nyari Samushonga, CEO of WeThinkCode

WeThinkCode is a South African tech academy that operates in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town. As its CEO, Nyari has driven effective initiatives to scale the impact of the organisation, including doubling the recruitment capacity and launching a home-grown curriculum that caters to the South African market.

Born in Zimbabwe and a Chartered Accountant by training, Nyari has lived and worked in the United States and Tanzania and previously operated as the Managing Director of ThoughtWorks Africa and as a Manager in Deloitte’s audit and assurance division in Harare and New York.

Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET Southern Africa

Carey van Vlaanderen has been with ESET since its inception in 2004 and was instrumental in the company’s growth from garage to global. The organisation develops industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. The company currently employs over 40 people and works with a network of 2500 partners. In addition to driving solid business growth, Carey ensures that ESET Southern Africa enjoys near-perfect workplace parity with a 50/50 gender split, and had a 90% female intern intake this year alone.

Johan Steyn, Research fellow at Stellenbosch University and founder of AI for Business

Johan Steyn is on the faculty at Woxsen University, a research fellow with Stellenbosch University and the founder of AIforBusiness.net. He was recently recognised as one of the top 50 global voices in AI by Swiss Cognitive. He has worked in senior roles for Nedbank, Accenture and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and has collaborated with organisations such as the United Nations, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Johan is a published author who regularly contributes articles on thought-leadership to well-known publications such as Reuters, Business Day, the Sunday Times, Finweek, News24, ITWeb and Brainstorm Magazine. He serves as Chair of the IITPSA’s Gauteng Chapter and of its Robotics and AI special interest group.

Visionary CIO Award  

The Visionary CIO Award honours a CIO who has demonstrated visionary leadership in using IT to support, grow and transform business and/or who has established best practice in implementing technology solutions in an organisation.

Karina Geyser, ICT Executive at SAFRIPOL

Karina Geyser has over 22 years’ experience in the mining industry and focused her career on Strategic Management, Project Management, Service Delivery and Continuous Business Improvement.  She has worked at major stakeholder companies including Anglo Platinum, Anglo American, Glencore, Anglo Gold Ashanti and Royal Bafokeng Platinum. Karina joined Safripol in the capacity of ICT Executive focusing on the Digital Transformation Journey, to reinvent how Safripol operates.

She holds a BCom Hotel and Tourism Management from the University of Pretoria, BA in Health Sciences and Social Services from Unisa, and has completed the Executive Development Programme from UNISA SBL.

Portia Maluleke, Group Executive: Information Technology Services at Telkom Group

Portia Maluleke’s portfolio covers IT Shared Services, Data Governance, Information Security Governance, IT Compliance, IT Risk Management and IT Audit Management.

Prior to joining Telkom, she held IT Executive roles in aviation, technology, financial and public sectors. Portia also serves on various boards and committees, as well as mentoring professionals and small businesses, for which she received the Inspiring Fifty Award in 2019.

Portia holds a National Diploma in IT, BCom Degree in Informatics and Master’s Degree in IT. She has also completed Leadership Development Programmes and holds International Project Management and IT Governance certifications. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pretoria.

Intikhab Shaik, Head: Technology and Solutions Delivery at the South African Revenue Service (SARS)

Intikhab Shaik brings more than 30 years’ professional experience in the Customs, Tax and Technology domains to drive innovation and pursue digital transformation to realise SARS’ Vision 2024.

He was responsible for the implementation of several landmark systems integral to SARS’  modernisation, including the electronic filing, processing, and risk profiling of income tax, VAT, employer and Customs declarations, the successful implementation of digital case workflow systems, and leveraging 3rd party data across various tax processes. Intikhab has also served as the chairperson of the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) Information Management Sub-Committee (IMSC) for three consecutive terms in Brussels.

Terence Govender, Director and Principal Consultant at Phambili IT

Terence commenced his career in Networking as a consultant with qualifications in Novell and Microsoft as a Systems Engineer. He later progressed to management and held roles of Head of IT, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer for some blue chip listed organisations such as Sun International, Discovery Health and Zurich Insurance. In these roles he optimised the IT function and created value for business by aligning strategies and introducing new technologies and concepts that advanced business imperatives.

Terence is currently the Technology Advisory Director and CIO of a boutique Cyber Security and Governance Risk and Compliance outfit. He also speaks at various conferences and events such as the African Governance Conference on Cyber Security and IT Governance, and co-founded a business that helps other businesses manage People Change. He holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University, Post grad in Advanced Strategy from UNISA, in addition to being TOGAF, ITIL and COBIT certified and is currently registering for his DBA.

Phokeng Mogase, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)

Phokeng Mogase has over 20 years’ experience spanning across both public and private sector. As CIO of the FSCA, she is responsible for ICT operations, modernisation and digitalisation.

She was previously the CIO of the Cross Border Road Transport Agency, an Agency of the Department of Transport. She also headed a Software Development & Maintenance portfolio at the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and has worked for EDS, Datacentrix and the CSIR.

Phokeng sits on the Advisory Board of Smart Innovation, and is a member of the E-Commerce Advisory Committee for the financial services industry established by the Minister of Finance.

Technology Excellence Award

The Technology Excellence Award will be presented to a person or team who has made exceptional or innovative use of technology for an organisation and/or who has exhibited technological excellence that has delivered measurable benefit for business/the SA Economy.


AgriKool, founded by Zamokuhle Thwala and Palesa Motaung, is an e-trading platform that connects producers and fresh produce buyers, aiming to transform Africa’s agrifood Systems.

AgriKool both facilitates trade and collates data and insights that are used to inform farmers about market trends, such as pricing.

The platform has on-boarded a number of large commercial buyers and suppliers and over 21 large commercial and 100 small growers.

AgriKool was awarded the SAB Foundation Award during their 2021 Social Innovation Awards and was also a Top 4 finalist for the AlphaCode awards.

Justin Thomas, Head: Strategy, Alliances and Digital Transformation at Standard Bank

Justin Thomas has worked in financial services for over 20 years for some of the biggest banks on the African continent. In his role at Standard Bank Fleet, he is responsible for driving strategic digital transformation initiatives, ecosystem as well as fintech and platform development focused on the B2B payments space.  An advocate for first principles thinking, Justin has successfully implemented a diverse portfolio of digital solutions across multiple markets from transactional payments, insurance to asset-based lending.

Justin holds a Post graduate diploma in Management and is currently completing his Master’s at the Wits Business School, finalising his research paper on B2B digital fleet payments in Sub Saharan Africa.

Riaan D. Mastenbroek, Director at BlackBee Software (Pty) Ltd

Riaan is an entrepreneur and the Director of BlackBee Software that specialises in applications related to weight and fuel solutions, with focus on the internet of things (IoT) and smart farming domain. BlackBee’s flagship products, W8Suite (weighsuite), W8Bridge (weighbridge), W8Bin (weighbin) and W8Fuel (weighfuel) are currently used commercially in the agricultural market to monitor weigh bridges, silos and live broiler stock. Its fuel solution manages fuel usage, job cards and incidents in the agricultural and civil engineering domain.

Founder Riaan Mastenbroek is a qualified MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and Structural Civil Engineering Technician who has more than 20 years’ in-depth experience in software development using the full stack Microsoft Windows and Web technologies. His solutions have been selected among the top three in the MTN Best Commercial IOT Solution in 2019 and he was featured in the LandbouWeekblad for most disruptive solutions in the agricultural space in 2016 when IoT was still relatively new in the sector.

Social Responsibility / Community Award                          

The Social Responsibility/Community Award will be presented to a person, team or project that delivers the benefits of IT on a not-for-profit basis into the community or brings the community into the IT space.

Code for Change – CodeJIKA        

Code for Change is an Ed-Tech non-profit organisation that builds tools and curricula to support digital skills development for teens in under-resourced communities, through their Frontend Web Dev training program – CodeJIKA. Originally created for schools with offline PC labs, it now also offers a free online platform and this year co-launched the world’s first mobile-friendly coding community platform (CodeJIKA.org). The organisation has directly trained 182,000 youths, upskilled trainers and teachers from 1,240 organisations and reached 5.5 million people through coding awareness campaigns.

Siyavula Education (Pty) Ltd

Launched in collaboration with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) and the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) and driven by project manager Nosipho Sithole, the Siyavula online platform makes high-quality learning accessible anywhere, anytime, and with any device, enabling students to practise Mathematics (Grade 8 – 12) or Physical Sciences (Grade 10 – 12). Questions are marked immediately, with step-by-step solutions given. Students work at their own pace, set personal goals, and can track their progress, while participating teachers can access reports, identify problems and remediate them. Since its inception in South Africa, students have answered more than 60 million questions on the platform.

Education without Borders (EwB)           

Education without Borders (EwB) is a non-profit organisation established in 2002 by Cecil and Ruth Hershler. With the help of ESET SA (and later Australian donors), EwB has implemented a tablet based closed internet teaching programme called “School in a Box”, affording students from lower income households in Gugulethu access to a technology that “closes the gap” to help them gain the fundamental building blocks they lack. EwB also recently announced Peerlab, which connects peer tutors from a High School in the USA to learners in South Africa to provide homework assistance, and a Mentoring programme – connecting South African students with mentors from North America.

Vuyo Sigauke, Executive Chairperson at the Nelson Mandela University Computer Science Society

Currently studying a BEngTech, Civil Engineering at NMU, Vuyo Sigauke is the Executive Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela University Computer Science Society. He believes humanity has a critical role to play in advancing innovations in the fourth industrial revolution.

Dynamism in ICT Youth Award

The Dynamism in ICT Youth Award recognises a person younger than 35 for exceptional potential or achievement in ICT. Nominees are nominated by educators, employers, colleagues or mentors and may include students excelling in STEM studies with outstanding bodies of work; young entrepreneurs in the IT sector; and individual up-and-coming IT professionals.

Faith Mokgalaka, CEO & Founder at Puno Greenery (Pty) Ltd

Puno is an agri-tech solution serving as the ‘finance go-to’ for farmers. It enables farmers to crowdsource investment funding for projects and expansion. Puno, and its founder have received widespread recognition including taking 2nd place in the EWSETA Hackathon 2021, winning the 4IR Aquatech Branding competition and National Rising Star Award 2021, and being named among the NSBC Awards Top 20 Small Businesses of SA, and shortlisted for the African Technovate Awards, African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum – Tech Entrepreneur Awards.

Ayanda Kevin Dladla, CEO & Founder of Mowash and Runtime Solutions

Ayanda Kevin Dladla hails from Umlazi and holds a BSc Computer Engineering from UKZN Howard College. He worked at SAB as an Automation Engineer until 2017, when he founded Mowash, a mobile platform that allows clients to book a mobile car wash or other cleaning services  in Gauteng and Durban. Mowash won Best Breakthrough App at the MTN App of the year awards in 2017. He later founded Runtime Solutions, offering Consulting in Automation Engineering and Mobile App Development, providing services to clients such as Office Connexion, CareerzM, AB InBev in SA, Makoro Bricks in Botswana, and RIO Tinto in Madagascar.

Dr Topside Ehleketani Mathonsi, Senior Lecturer and Acting HoD of the IT Department at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

Dr. Topside E. Mathonsi started his research career in 2013 when he enrolled for his Master’s studies at TUT. He completed his Doctor of Computing: Information Technology in March 2020 and is currently a Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of Department: IT Department at TUT. He has successfully supervised and co-supervised five ICT4D Master’s students to completion, and has authored and co-authored several books and book chapters, as well as accredited peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. His awards include Emerging Researcher of the Year 2019-2020, Faculty of ICT, TUT; Lecturer of the Year 2018 (Merit Award), Faculty of ICT, TUT; Younger Research of the Year 2017 & 2018, Faculty of ICT, TUT; and Huawei Excellent Instructor 2017-2018 & 2020.

Moss Marakalala, Administrative Support Intern at the Tomorrow Trust

21-year-old Moss Marakalala was a Tomorrow Trust beneficiary in Tembisa, who went on to excel while studying his IT diploma at Richfield College. After graduation, he applied to be one of the coordinators at their hosting venues, assisting with the administration and logistics of running the programme through Zoom and contact classes offering Digital Literacy, Robotics, Coding and Maths. As the ICT programme grew, he grew with it as an Administrative Support Intern, assisting learners with programmes like the Kibooks online reading programme and Arduino programme.

Minkyum Kim, a Grade 11 learner from Reddam House Durbanville in the Western Cape.

Minkyum has excelled in the IITPSA’s Programming Olympiads, winning a silver in this year’s Programming Olympiad finals and gold in the 2021 Programming Olympiad finals. He was also selected to represent South Africa at the 2022 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in Indonesia, where he was awarded a bronze medal.

The winners will be named at an awards ceremony in Sandton on 29 November 2022. To register to attend the awards click here

To show your support for the finalists, please go to https://www.iitpsa.org.za/annual-presidents-awards-finalists/ and click on those you believe to be most deserving of an award.