Welcome to the 28th Annual SAB Environmental Media and Environmentalist of the Year Awards.

The SAB Environmental Media Awards seek out to continuously acknowledge and recognise the work of dedicated members of the South African Environmental Media who excel in their reportage of all current environmental matters.

Over the years, SAB has made a commitment to keep these awards in line with best global practice, listening in earnest to the feedback received from the environment media in South Africa at large and ensuring the Awards are reflective of both the local and global media landscape.

The categories for the 2016 are divided as follows:

  • Written Media Award (Print and Online)
  • Photography Award (Print and Online)
  • Video Media Award (Television and Online)
  • Audio Media Award (Radio and Online)
  • The Macqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award for environmental journalists with less than two years' experience in the Industry.
  • Nick Steele Memorial Award for the Environmentalist of the Year.

Entrants for the SAB Environmental Media Awards and Environmentalist of the Year 2016 should submit work produced between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2016.

Please Note: You need to register to either enter the SAB Environmental Media Awards or nominate someone for the SAB Environmentalist of the Year 2016.

Entries open at 08:00 on Monday, 15th August 2016 and close at 17:00 on Friday, 2nd September 2016.

Winners will be announced at an awards breakfast on Tuesday, 18th October at Summer Place in Sandton.




The Judges for the SAB Environmental Media Awards 2016 have been selected based on their expertise and experience in the media as well as their commitment to and knowledge of the environment and environmental issues.

Each judge has been selected to judge a specific category with the exception of The Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub and Nick Steele Environmentalist of the Year Awards which are judged by the entire judging panel.

Convenor: Katy Katopodis

Katy Katopodis Katy Katopodis is currently Group Editor-in-chief of Eyewitness News at Primedia Broadcasting. Katopodis is also the Deputy Chairperson of the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef).

Jonathan Fairbairn
Audio Media Judge

Jonathan Fairbairn is the executive producer of the Afternoon Drive with Xolani Gwala on 702 and has over 13 years’ experience in the media industry across radio, TV and media sales. He has an on air role on the show where he looks at all things trending across social media, and goes by the name Khabazela. Jonathan was the youngest executive producer on the John Robbie Show, where he spent six years. Prior to that he worked with other 702 presenters including Gareth Cliff, John Berks and David O’Sullivan.

Lance Classen
Audio Media Judge

Lance Classen is an 18 year veteran of journalism, having started out as a radio producer. He has worked at Cape Talk, 702 and Kaya FM. Till recently headed up their news and talk teams. He has also written for the Sowetan and The Daily Maverick. He is currently completing his MBA with Henley Business, where is looking at the business model for traditional media in a digital world.

Melini Moses
Audio Media Judge

Melini Moses is a News Editor at SABC Radio News in Johannesburg. The Rhodes University graduate has 15 years of broadcasting experience in community, commercial and public broadcasting. Melini is a World Press Institute and Dag Hammarskjold Fellow and has covered several stories across the globe. Specialising in investigative and feature reporting, she’s won several awards including CNN/Multichoice African Radio Journalist of the Year. She’s been recognized as one of the Top 40 most influential people under 40 in the SA media industry and previously made the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 Young South Africans who’ll play an important role in the future of SA. Melini loves travelling and thrives on the thrill of a breaking story.

Lisa Skinner
Photography Judge

Lisa Skinner is a freelance photographer who has covered everything from reality TV in South America to a music festival in the Sahara desert. She has won numerous awards, has had her work published extensively nationally and internationally and has worked in Panama, Malaysia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Kenya, the Maldives, Mali, Swaziland and her native South Africa.

Steve Lawrence
Photography Judge

Steve Lawrence has been involved in photography for 25 years. He completed a National Diploma in photography at the Cape Peninsular University of Technology in 1992 after which he entered the realms of print media working for leading publications in the Northern Cape and in Johannesburg. Steve has garnered many accolades over the years for his photography including Fuji Press awards, Mondi Shanduka photographer of the year as well as Vodacom Photographer of the year. His work has been widely published internationally, Among these Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Time Magazine to mention a few. He now runs a successfu

Darryl Hammond
Photography Judge

Darryl Hammond has worked as a photographer and picture editor at most of the major daily and weekly newspapers in the country for over twenty years. He is fanatical about diving and has a keen interest in ocean conservation. When not in the newsroom you can find him with a camera under water. He is currently the Picture Editor at Sunday World.

Derek Watts
Video Media Judge

Derek Watts has been a journalist for 40 years, presenting on South African television since 1985 as a sports anchor on SABC News and starting TopSport. Derek has been an anchor and presenter on M-Net’s Carte Blanche since the programme's inception in 1988. During that time he has presented more than a thousand stories in the field and interviewed a cross section of society across the world.

Lance Witten
Video Media Judge

Lance Witten heads up the News and Talk Division at Kaya FM. He cut his teeth as a trainee producer at Cape Talk during its first year of broadcast back in 1998. He moved to 702 to co-produce The Tim Modise Network in 2004 and found his home at Kaya FM in 2005 when drafted in to be their Executive Producer for their then breakfast show. He is now Head of the News and Talk departments. On occasion he writes opinion pieces for the Daily Maverick.

Ntokozo Mbuli
Video Media Judge

Ntokozo Mbuli Producer, screenwriter, presenter and youth mentor, Ntokozo Mbuli is dynamic, passionate and ambitious. Ntokozo is living her career dream and making waves in South African Television industry. With just over 16 years of television production experience under her belt, within which she has spent 8 years presenting and hosting Television programmes and events for broadcast, Ntokozo’s on-screen career has been accompanied by her equally successful off-screen career.

Fiona Macleod
Written Media Judge

Fiona Macleod FIONA MACLEOD is founding editor of Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism, Africa's first journalistic investigation unit focusing on environmental issues. Oxpeckers combines traditional investigative reporting with data analysis and geo-mapping tools to expose eco-offences in Southern Africa. Macleod is a finalist in the 2016 CNN African Journalist of the Year Award for Oxpeckers’ pioneering reportage on rhino poaching in Namibia. She is recipient of the 2014 SAB EnviroMedia Award, and the prestigious Nick Steele award for her contributions to environmental conservation through her pioneering reportage. Prior to founding Oxpeckers, she served as environmental editor at the Mail & Guardian newspaper for 10 years. She is also editor of the M&G Greening the Future and the M&G Investing in the Future CSI/R programmes.

Lucas Ledwaba
Written Media Judge

Lucas Ledwaba is a freelance journalist, photographer, author and director of the media agency Mukurukuru Media Enterprise. His latest book Broke & Broken - The Shameful Legacy of Gold Mining in South Africa was published by BlackBird Jacana in August 2016. Ledwaba is a two time category winner of the prestigious CNN African Journalist Award, the Public Interest Writer of the Year Award by the association of SA magazines PICA, Vodacom Journalist Award for Feature Writing and is also the recepient of the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Award for Feature Writing. He is co-author of the book We Are Going to Kill Each Other Today - The Marikana Story. His work has been published in a number of national newspapers including City Press, Sunday Times, DRUM magazine and Sowetan among others. He has freelanced locally for a wide range of publications including Joburg Style, Musiq Mag, YOU, Sports Focus, ITWeb, and the SA Tourism website [www.southafrica.net] His works of fiction and poetry have been published in the literary journals Botsotso and Litnet.

Darren Smith
Written Media Judge

Darren Smith After obtaining a Masters Degree in Electronic Engineering from the University Of Natal (Durban) in 1989, Darren worked for some years in the sales and marketing of technology solutions to engineers throughout Southern Africa. Seeing opportunities to capitalise on gaps in the business-to-business trade publishing sector, Darren launched Hi-Tech Security Solutions in 1995, in partnership with Technews. He has since earned his media spurs and boasts nearly 20 years of experience in the technical B2B arena, leading a team of professionals, first at Technews Publishing, and latterly at Brooke Pattrick Publications. A businessman & strategist specialising in business to business (B2B) media, marketing & communications, Darren has focused on the B2B community, providing media, marketing, communications, & strategic insight. “Content. Communication. Conversation. Commerce.”

Judging Process


Once the competition has closed, each judge has the opportunity to score the submitted entries for their specific category. These entries are judged according to scorecards that are provided to each judge.

Once this process is complete, all judges meet with auditing firm Grant Thornton where the final scores are tallied.

The top finalists are then discussed in an open forum and then voting for the overall winners and merit winners is decided upon.

This is done by private ballot.

In the event of a tie a second round of voting will take place with the auditors present.

In the event of a second tie, the convenor gets the casting vote.

If the judges believe none of the entries in a category are of a sufficiently high standard, no award will be given.

The entire process is audited by Grant Thornton to ensure it is fair and transparent.

Judging Critera


The Judges: Selection Process

The Judges for the SAB Environmental Media Awards 2016 have been selected based on their expertise and experience in the media as well as their commitment to and knowledge of the Environment.

The judges will look at:

  • The overall quality, impact and integrity of the work
  • Tailoring the work for the target audience
  • Creative flare
  • Originality

All entries will be judged in the original language in which they were published or broadcast, where appropriate.



The Categories and Sub-Categories for the SAB Environmental Media Awards 2016 are listed below along with the prize monies for the overall winner in each category. All Main category winners receive a cash prize of R25,000 while merit winners each receive R3,000. The winner of the Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award will receive R15,000 prize money.

Audio Media (Includes Radio and Online)

The winner is the person who has made the biggest contribution to the field of environmental journalism over the past year in the Audio Media category.

Nick Steele Memorial Award

This award is for the person/s who has/have made a significant positive contribution to the South African Environment.


The photographer who has consistently produced excellent photographic work over the course of the year either in print or online.

Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award - Sub Category – Audio Media

This award honours environmental journalists with less than two years experience in the Industry. The overall winner is voted from the finalists in each sub-category.

Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award - Sub Category – Photography

This award honours environmental journalists with less than two years experience in the Industry. The overall winner is voted from the finalists in each sub- category.

Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award - Sub Category – Video Media

This award honours environmental journalists with less than two years experience in the Industry. The overall winner is voted from the finalists in each sub- category.

Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award - Sub Category – Written Media

This award honours environmental journalists with less than two years experience in the Industry. The overall winner is voted from the finalists in each sub-category.

Video Media (Includes Television and Online)

The winner is the journalist who the judges feel has made the largest contribution to Environmental Journalism over the past year in the Video Media category.

Written Media (Includes Print and Online)

The winner is the environmental journalist who is judged to have contributed the most in terms of consistent and excellent environmental journalism over the eligibility period in the Written Media Category.

Past Winners


The SAB Environmental Media Award Winners 2015 were:


Audio Media (Includes Radio and Online)

Minoshni Pillay (SABC News)


Stefan Heunis (freelance photographer)

Special Mention:
Susan Scott

Video Media (Includes Television and Online)

Hermien Roelvert (independent wildlife film maker)

Merit Winner:
Joy Summers (television producer)

Special Mention:
Monique Mortlock (Eyewitness News)

Written Media (Includes Print and Online)

Sheree Bega (Saturday Star)

Merit Winner:
Leonie Joubert (freelance science writer and author)

Special Mention:
Jeffrey Barbee (Linktv)

Nick Steele Memorial Award

John Masson (founder and CEO of the Local Biodiversity Solutions)

Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award

Bertus Louw (independent consultant, film maker and field presenter for 50/50)