South African Youth Awards 2018 (SAYA2018)
There are many issues facing the youth of this country and the most prevalent being youth unemployment. Extremely high youth unemployment numbers have an impact on both the economic and social landscape of a country. The struggles of the youth have changed from those of the youth of 1976 but they remain struggles nonetheless.
Regardless of the many challenges that are faced by our youth today, we are still seeing an incredible zeal and resilience from the young people who are set on making their mark and change their own lives and those around them for the better against all odds. This is what the South African Youth Awards aims to celebrate and showcase to the rest of the country.
For 2018, NYDA is expecting an even greater number of young people to participate in the #SAYA2018. In line with the Youth Month the theme which is Be The Legacy, the NYDA continues in its effort to recognize inspirational youth from rural, peri-urban and urban areas that are not necessarily in the limelight but have shown leadership in their communities and their chosen fields and have excelled in their space against all odds.
There are 11 categories, namely:
• Academia
• Private Sector
• Public Sector
• Entrepreneurship
• Social Cohesion/Civil Society
• Health and Well-being (including Sport)
• The Environment (including Agriculture)
• Science, Technology and Innovation (including Medicine)
• Extraordinary Champions (Differently Abled Individuals)
• Arts & Entertainment (includes Music, Film, Literature and Dance)
• Presidential Award
Winners of each category will walk away with R20 000 at the main awards ceremony while 2nd runner up will receive R5 000 and the 3rd runner up will receive only trophy and certificate. A trophy and certificate will accompany the cash prizes for winner and 2nd runner up.
The overall winner, chosen from the category winners, will receive the Presidential Award and R80 000 prize money, trophy and certificate.  
The main objectives of the South African Youth Awards are to:
     - Identify positive and exceptional stories of South African youth between the ages of 14 – 35 who are doing exceptional work in contributing to their community, the country, continent and/or the world at large;
     - Serve to inspire and motivate other young people by demonstrating that even in the bleakest of situations, there can be extraordinary outcomes and;
     - Serve to challenge and further encourage the public sector, private sector and civil society to make more tangible contributions to youth development in its entirety.