"The awards are well-deserved and reflect the journalists' dedication and commitment to delivering top-quality journalism," says Andy Gill, managing director of Arena Holdings.

"Their jobs are challenging and require a level of commitment to the truth that may often put them in harm's way — yet they carry on regardless. They embody journalistic integrity, and we congratulate all our winners for their outstanding work," adds Gill.

National winners

Karabo Ledwaba of Sowetan was announced as the national Young Journalist of the Year. The Vodacom adjudication panel described her as showing "commitment to the vocation of news well above the norm".

Ledwaba has won an opportunity to further develop her professional and personal development through an all-expenses-paid trip to follow training overseas, both at the renowned Thomson Foundation in the United Kingdom and in a newsroom context, according to Vodacom.

The Financial Mail's Lisa Steyn received the Overall National Award in the Financial / Economic category for a body of work The Death of Gold Mining. Steyn previously won the National Award in 2016, and the Gauteng Regional Award in 2018.

Both national winners were also the Gauteng regional winners in their respective categories in 2019.

Regional winners

In the Eastern Cape, Malibongwe Dayimani of Daily Dispatch was the regional winner in three categories, including:
  • Investigative for his articles on Frere Hospital's beds of horror 
  • Multi-platform for The Siege of Stutterheim 
  • Financial/Economics for The Great Eastern Cape ATM Scam
Mamela Ndamase, also from Daily Dispatch, was the Eastern Cape regional winner in the Politics category for Councillor Accused of Dodgy Home Sales, which exposed a councilor and her husband for selling houses that did not belong to them.

Naziziphiwo Buso of The Herald was Vodacom's Young Journalist of the Year nominee for the Eastern Cape.

The Western Cape regional winner in the Live Reporting/Breaking News category was Aron Hyman of Sunday Times and TimesLIVE for a body of work that covered:
  • the murder of Cape Town lawyer Pete Mihalik
  • the gang-related shooting of a Gift of the Givers volunteer
  • an analysis of why Cape Town is regarded as the world's most dangerous city
Nivashni Nair of Times Select was recognised as the Kwazulu Natal regional winner in the Opinion category for Penny for my Thoughts. Nair was also part of the Sunday Times and TimesLIVE team — comprising Orrin Singh, Lwandile Bhengu and Suthentira Govender — that won the Kwazulu Natal Regional Multi-platform for their body of work titled Durban's Easter rain of terror.

For more information, visit www.journalist.vodacom.co.za.