Professor Thokozani Majozi of the University of the Witwatersrand has been named as a recipient of the National Order of Mapungubwe.
The prestigious National Orders recognise South Africans and foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.
As the highest awards that our country’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa bestows on citizens and eminent foreign nationals, the 2018 National Orders were issued at an investiture ceremony held on 25 April 2019. They recognise the contributions made by individuals who contributed and continue to contribute towards building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in our Constitution.
Thokozani Majozi was awarded a Bronze Order of Mapungubwe, which recognises South Africans who have accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond. He received the award for his outstanding contribution to science, particularly the development of a novel mathematical technique for near-zero-effluent batch chemical facilities, which enables the better re-use of wastewater.
Majozi’s 2008 research paper on this topic highlights the advantages of reusing wastewater in batch production plants, which can negate much of the effluent produced, thereby enabling a process to operate in an almost zero-effluent manner.
The paper presents a mathematical technique for the simultaneous design and scheduling of batch operations to function with near-zero effluent discharge. The technique determines the number and size of the processing vessels, while ensuring maximum water reuse in the production process.
The principles were applied to an illustrative example and an 80% savings in wastewater was achieved, with a corresponding plant design that achieves the required production.
“As a young scientist, more trailblazing is expected of him in the years ahead,” reads the announcement by the Chancellor of the National Orders.
Majozi is in very good company, with other National Order of Mapungubwe winners including: Silver Order awards for Malik Maaza for his outstanding contribution to the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology; and storyteller, poet and social scientist, Ari Sitas, for his excellent contribution to social science scholarships and progressive policy-making.
A posthumous Gold award was also bestowed on Edna Molewa for her exceptional contribution to the fight to save our planet from the effects of climate change “Through her tireless efforts, South Africa is recognised as one of the global leaders in matters of environment of justice,” reads her citation.