“I am the captain of my own ship, the master of my own fate.” — Unknown


Politics & Government


Department of water and sanitation

Luvuyo Jalisa, 29, is one of the youngest policy specialists at the department of water and sanitation.

His job includes conducting water and sanitation services research, public policy development, coordination, implementation and assessment; water management; development facilitation; report writing; project management and planning; monitoring and evaluation.

Luvuyo has worked in reviewing the national norms and standards for drinking water, water and sanitation sector policy on climate change, the review of the National Water Act, Water Services Act, policy research on groundwater management in South Africa, and he was a lead developer of the protocol for policy development at the department of water and sanitation.

Luvuyo is leading the development of the water and sanitation services policy on privately owned land, in which he seeks to provide a framework for municipalities to enable them to provide water and sanitation services to people living on privately owned land.

He holds an MA in anthropology and a PhD in development studies from the University of Johannesburg. Luvuyo is the first and only South African who has completed his PhD by combining evidence mapping and systematic review methodology. He sits on various reference groups and steering committees, providing his expertise in water and sanitation.

  • BA Humanities, University of Johannesburg
  • BA Honours in Anthropology, University of Johannesburg
  • MA in Anthropology, University of Johannesburg
  • DPhil in Development Studies, University of Johannesburg

  • 2011 top achiever at Thaba Jabula Secondary School
  • 2012-2014 recipient of the Gauteng City Region Academy bursary for top three learners in government non-fee paying schools
  • 2015 Recipient of a University of Johannesburg bursary
  • 2016-2017 recipient of National Research Foundation’s Freestanding, Innovation and Scarce Skills Development master’s scholarship  
  • 2018 recipient of the University of Johannesburg doctoral merit bursary 
  • 2019 top achiever certificate for master’s 
  • 2019 member of the Golden Key International Honour Society 
  • 2020 Recipient of National Research Foundation’s Free Standing, Innovation and Scarce Skills Development doctoral scholarship 
  • Published an article in 2017 
  • 2017 till present became and still is the youngest policy specialist at the department of water and sanitation

As a child growing up in a rural area, some of my fondest memories were of ploughing and growing all sorts of vegetation, taking care of the livestock and going to fetch water in the river. Little did I know that I would be in a position where I protect the water resources and provide mechanisms that seek to ensure that everyone has water in their own yard.

Stop being shy, because you are going to lose out on many opportunities. Take chances and it’s okay to fail.

I would like South Africa to be safe for all especially women and children. Additionally, I would like South Africa to be one of the most equal and equitable societies in Africa.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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