Nozizwe Ncayiyana, Pro Bono Coordinator at leading commercial law firm ENSafrica, has been crowned the Young Law Professional of the Year for the 2019/2020 period. The accolade was granted by the SA Professional Services Awards sponsored by Sanlam and W. Consulting.

Professionals from various organisations were set to gather at a gala dinner in Montecasino Ball Room on the evening of 19 March 2020 to honour the best amongst them. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SAPSA Awards were indefinitely postponed. The organisers of the event have subsequently undertaken to progressively announce the winners for the 2019/2020 edition prior to hosting a gathering for all finalists and guests. This marks the fifth edition of the Awards following a rigorous process of determining winners through strict criteria.

Janette Minnaar, the chair of the adjudication panel explained how the winners were determined.

“Individuals were judged based on a host of attributes including demonstration of leadership skills, changing of paradigms and innovation within the bounds of available resources. We also conferred a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards to deserving recipients who had served their professions faithfully for many years,” said Minnaar.

The firm awards were based on the following criteria – business growth, customer service, technical excellence, contribution to the community, contribution to the profession, transformation record and commitment to ethics and professionalism. The criteria were not equally weighted, a strong showing in one category was sufficient to put the firm above the rest.

“Nozizwe is a young pillar of the community given her passion for social justice and human rights,”the judges remarked. “Based in Alexandra township, her role is to ensure that a firm the size of ENSafrica fulfils its responsibility of being a good corporate citizen. She is the glue between the partnership and the people ensuring that the vast talent pool is utilised to benefit the underprivileged. She represents the Johannesburg office in stakeholder engagement and CSI. SAPSA wishes to see professionals driving such an important agenda recognised in order to encourage them to keep on doing the work necessary to ensure big organisations engage in sustainable programmes to uplift the less fortunate.”

Watch Nozizwe Ncayiyana’s acceptance speech below: