Home Affairs launched the Mkhaya Migrants Awards on 10 May 2015 to promote the building of a united, democratic and prosperous society where citizens, residents and migrants live together in peace and harmony.
“We see the awards as an enabler of tolerance, social cohesion and integration. They are a cultural expression of the national resolve to create communities wherein citizens and migrants work together for peace and friendship,” Minister Gigaba said.
Minister Gigaba said the awards help to shape attitudes and promote respect for people of different nationalities.
“Through the Mkhaya Migrants Awards, we recognise outstanding migrants residing in the country, who have contributed immensely to South Africa’s development in various fields.
“We honour also South Africans who have contributed selflessly to the development of our continent in areas of need and strife. These would be citizens working beyond borders, embodying ubuntu and showing unimpeachable dedication to Africa’s development through exemplary work,” Minister Gigaba said.
Minister Gigaba said they have reconstituted the Mkhaya Migrants Awards Advisory Panel to cover various areas of specialisation and to improve representivity.
Panellists include Mr Richard Ots, Chief of Mission at the International Organisation for Migration for Southern Africa; Ms Roshan Dadoo, Acting Executive Director at the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa and Mr Bram Hanekom, refugee rights activist leading People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty.
Also on the judging panel is Professor Zodwa Motswa, an academic at the University of South Africa currently serving as Country Director at UNISA’s Ethiopia Centre for Graduate Studies in Addis Ababa.
Last year’s winners were William Okpara, Orlando Pirates legend and Nigerian goalkeeping hero in the sport category, and Sephaku Cement in the business category.
In this year’s awards, there will be six categories which include arts and culture; business; civil society; sport; the OR Tambo Award (to recognise the prominent role of distinguished South Africans working beyond the country’s borders to provide aid, particularly in areas of need, strife and in times of crisis and disaster); and the Most Integrated Community Award.
The six category winners will each nominate a charity of their choice to receive a cash prize of R100 000 as part of building an integrated, united and caring South African society.