A high school student from Empangeni has won first prize in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation category in a science fair competition hosted by Eskom.


S’nenhlanhla Dlamini, a 17-year-old Empangeni student from Ongoye High School‚ has invented a smart system that monitors energy use in homes‚ and in turn won an all expenses paid three-year engineering apprenticeship in Germany.

“It’s so overwhelming‚” said Dlamini‚ whose science teacher rushed on stage with her when the announcement was made. “It’s like I’ve been given a whole new life – the next three years will completely change my world.”

She will graduate from high school at the end of the year.

The prizes were awarded at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists‚ according to a statement issued by Siemens on Friday. More than half the participants at the expo this year were girls.

Eskom Acting Group Executive for Sustainability, Transmission and Risk Leo Dlamini said, “Just engaging with these young scientists strengthens my belief in the future of South Africa”.

“All the finalists have got the capacity to inspire their fellow learners in their schools and communities and they should do just that. The fields of science, maths and technology are key to our development as a country.

“Youth unemployment remains our biggest challenge and we need to create opportunities in science and technology for as many young people as we can, because this lays the foundation for innovation,” Dlamini said.

Dlamini will join a training programme at the Werner-von-Siemens Vocational School and the Siemens Professional Education Lab in Berlin. Siemens also presented three engineering bursaries worth R60 000 each for students to study electrical or mechanical engineering at a South African university.

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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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