At the beginning of the year, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) sent out a call to interested schools across the country to participate in the 2015 Schools Debates Competition. Due to the popularity of the competition, SAASTA requested schools to write and submit an essay on a given topic. Content specialists in the field of hydrogen fuel cell technology at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research adjudicated the essays and the top 10 performing schools per province were chosen to compete in the 2015 competition.

Essay Topic

Do you think hydrogen fuel can be a competitive alternative to other traditional fuels?

SAASTA would like to congratulate the following schools for producing the best essays:

Province  School  Percentage 
Gauteng Crawford College Pretoria 78
Free State Welkom High School 69
Limpopo Sefoloko Secondary School 76
Eastern Cape Umtata High School 75
Northern Cape Kimberley Girls High School 62
Mpumalanga Sidlamafa Secondary School 76
Mpumalanga Khalipani Secondary School 76
Kwazulu-Natal Verulam Secondary School 69
Western Cape The Settlers High School 75
North West Milner High 63

Provincial Workshops and Tournaments

On 18 April 2015 SAASTA in partnership with Word Wise Media conducted workshops across the country with all the schools that were selected to compete in the competition. The aim of the workshops was to familiarise the learners, coaches and teachers with the debating style as well as to introduce the topic that was debated at provincial tournaments.

The provincial tournaments were held in May 2015. The teams debated fiercely in competition for an opportunity to be crowed as provincial winners so they could represent their respective provinces at the National Competition. Perhaps one of the most common phrases most speakers at the provincial tournaments made reference to when they took the stand to deliver their speeches was “load shedding”. This year’s topic was focused on the electricity crisis that South Africa faces.

Provincial Topic
South Africa is currently facing a large bottleneck in the supply of energy to its citizens. Can biotechnology add value to the required energy mix in order to ensure viable provision of electricity in the country?

The provincial winners

Province  Winners  Runner Up 2nd Runner Up
Gauteng Randfontein High School John Orr High School Crawford College Pretoria
Free State St. Michaels School for Girls Voertrekker Hoerskool Welkom High School
Limpopo Taxila Secondary School Merensky High School Thengwe Secondary School
Eastern Cape Claredon High School Hudson Park High School Khanyisa High School
Northern Cape Kimberly Girls High School EmangMmogo High School Kimberley Boys High School
Mpumalanga Mashishing Secondary School Highveld High School Lowveld High School
Kwazulu-Natal Wingen Heights Secondary School Empangeni High School Port Shepstone High School
Western Cape De Kuilen High School Worcestor Gynasium The Settlers High School
North West Lebone High School Potchefstroom Girls High Hartbeespoort High School

Congratulations to all provincial winners and all the best in the national competition. May the best team win. SAASTA also wants to take this opportunity to commend the educators for their exceptional work in opening the minds of today’s youth to the wonderful world of science. And finally, thank you to all the adjudicators who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the provincial competitions. Without content specialists such as the adjudicators who are willing to give off their time, SAASTA events like these would not be possible.

National Topic 2015

Does a leading edge technology project such as Bloodhound benefit the development of society, national and local economies, beyond as well as through its scientific and engineering achievements?

The winners for 2015 SAASTA National Schools Debates Competition

1st place – Clarendon Girls High School

2nd place- Randfontein High School

3rd place –De Kuilen High School


Lithakazi Lande
Call +27 (0)12 392 9352