At an upbeat virtual awards event held on Tuesday 12 April 2022, the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) announced the  winners of the 2021 IITPSA President’s Awards. Since 1979, the IITPSA President’s Awards have been a South African industry highlight, and have been bestowed on leaders in the local ICT sector.

The 2021 awards, presented by the IITPSA in partnership with ITWeb, the Gordon Institute of Business Science and EngineerIT, were themed Excellence in the New Normal, acknowledging the important role IT professionals play in helping the world to adapt to a changed environment.

IITPSA President Admire Gwanzura said: “The 2020 awards were themed Excellence in Adversity, recognising IT excellence during the challenging early days of the pandemic. For 2021, we recognise IT professionals playing a pivotal role in helping business and society successfully adapt to a digital ‘new normal’.”

The 2021 winners are:

IT Personality of the Year Award 2021

This award recognises a person who has made an outstanding impact on the SA ICT industry over the past year and a significant contribution to the IT profession.

Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Johannesburg. He was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Engineering at the University. He is a Fellow of The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, a distinguished member of the Association for Computing Machinery, and has received more than 45 awards including the Order of Mapungubwe from the South African Government and the President’s Award from the National Research Foundation. He also served as Deputy Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Visionary CIO of the Year Award 2021

This award recognises a personality on the other side of the IT vendor and service provider sector – an executive in the corporate IT environment who has demonstrated visionary leadership in applying technology to grow and transform business.

Herman Swanepoel, CIO and Innovation Officer at Bestmed. He is credited with building the IT foundation for Bestmed’s success and growth. Bestmed is the largest self-administered medical scheme in South Africa and is ranked highest in employee morale and workplace support and management in the OHBF employee culture and climate survey, and 1st in the Ask Afrika Orange Index Benchmark for the medical aid industry.


Technology Excellence Award 2021

This award recognises a person or team who has made exceptional / innovative use of information technology, or has designed an innovative new technology for an organisation and has exhibited technological excellence that has delivered measurable benefit for business and / or the SA economy

Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe Technologies. Hayward was the founder of over a dozen technology and services businesses including Vidette, a specialist strategic sales and account management methodology and CRM software provider, openVOICE, a pioneer VOIP service and open-source telecommunications provider, and Ukheshe Technologies, which aims to become the dominant B2B fintech enabler on the continent.


Social Responsibility/Community Award 2021

This award recognises a person, team or project delivering the benefits of IT on a not-for-profit basis into the community/or bringing the community into the IT space (addressing the digital divide).

Tomorrow Trust. Tomorrow Trust provides holistic programmes focused on academic, psychosocial, career and digital development to orphaned and vulnerable children and youth.

The Institute (IITPSA) extends its sincerest congratulations to all of the award winners, and to all of the Finalists, who are also all shining stars in the SA ICT community.