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Adjudication Process

Filter and Adjudication Panel

  • The Filter Panel and Adjudication Panel comprise representatives from sponsors Nedbank and Old Mutual, as well as National Treasury, the business sector, academia and external consultants. It must be noted that the judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of their decisions.
  • All essays are initially marked by the Filter Panel, and the top 20 are selected in each category after debate and mutual consent.
  • Thereafter, the Adjudication Panel mark the top 20 in each category and, after debate and mutual consent, the finalists are selected.
  • The finalists are interviewed in a face-to-face situation and the winners and runners up are selected.

General Information

  • 10 postgraduates and 10 undergraduates will be chosen as finalists to attend various activities in Cape Town in February 2018, to coincide with the Budget Speech.
  • All finalists will be hosted by the sponsors and must be available to participate in the activities and functions that occur during their stay in Cape Town.
  • A maximum of five students from any campus will be entitled to be in the top 20 in each category. In the event of their being more than five from one campus, the highest ranking essays will be selected to go through to the Adjudication Panel.

Adjudication Criteria

Primary Criteria

The focus of the competition is on academic excellence and essays will be judged primarily on merit and quality. If there is one essay that is of significantly higher standard than the rest, this will be regarded as the winner. Attention will also be given to the structure of the essay, clarity of thought and presentation of argument.

Secondary Criteria

Essays that are of the same quality will be evaluated further using the following criteria:

  • Empowerment (black students will be given preference).
  • Student’s potential.
  • Student’s needs (students who cannot afford to further their studies in South Africa).
  • Student’s community involvement.
  • Student’s commitment to address the country’s economic issues.

Additional Criteria

The Adjudication Panel will interview the ten postgraduate and ten undergraduate finalists. Finalists must be available to attend interviews in person in Cape Town in February 2018. The panel will evaluate each student in terms of the following criteria:

  • Intellectual sparkle.
  • Ability to formulate and express rational arguments.
  • Understanding and knowledge of topical economic issues.

Virtual Tutors

A team of Virtual Tutors are available to help you. They will provide support and guidance on research methodology, the structure, articulation, referencing principles and general troubleshooting.

Closing Date: 31 May 2017


For queries about the competition, please contact the Budget Speech Competition administrator on:

Email :
Tel : 082 457 0819

* Important: The information provided on this website is provided in good faith and is intended to serve as a guideline only. The organisers and sponsors cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness or validity of the information. Any user relying on the accuracy, completeness or validity of such information, does so at his/her own risk.

The user indemnifies the organisers and sponsors against any liability arising from the use of or reliance on the information. Strict adherence to the resources, tips and guidelines displayed on this web site does not guarantee that your participation in the Budget Speech Competition will be successful.

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