The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) was launched in 2011. The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom, inaugurated twenty leading young scientists as Founder Members of SAYAS at the launch. Subsequently, 10 additional members are elected into the Academy annually. SAYAS was borne out of the need for young scientists to contribute towards solutions to national and global challenges facing society. It represents the voice of young scientists in South Africa and provides a platform for young scientists to influence policy decisions. SAYAS has a very close relationship with the Academy of Science of South Africa and the Department of Science and Technology.