National Schools Debates

  1. All debaters must be registered pupils in grade 9, 10 or 11 at a recognised high school.
  2. The provincial contest is restricted to 10 high schools per province and only five debaters per school may enter the contest as a team.
  3. Dress code for the debaters is strictly school uniform.
  4. Debating Teams should be at the contest venue 30 minutes before the contest is due to begin. Late arrival may result in the debaters’ disqualification.
  5. Each contestant must participate in a plenary session in line with the rules of the style of debate set out in this manual in order to be considered for participation at the national competition.
  6. All content presented by the debaters must be original, and the debaters’ own work.
  7. Debaters are required to participate in English in a plenary session on a given subject. The workshop facilitators will advise the debaters of the topic, where after the debaters will be given until the provincial competition to collect his/her thoughts on the topic and research their position thoroughly. The contestants are allowed to prepare written speeches for the competition where necessary.
  8. There will be more than one debate at the National Competition. A different speaker must deliver the Opening Statement for each debate. A different speaker must also deliver the Closing Statement for each debate. Furthermore, speakers who deliver the Opening Statement may not deliver the Closing Statement in any of the debates. This is to ensure that all members of the team receive speaking time.
  9. Each provincial winning team will advance to the National Finals in Johannesburg.
  10. The organisers may arrange for the transportation of each school team and one accompanying teacher/parent, if deemed necessary by the organisers, to the venue where the National Finals will take place.
  11. Previous national prize winners (i.e. 1st, 2nd and 3rd) may not reenter the competition. This specifically applies to the team members. Winning schools may re-enter with different teams.
  12. The judging panel’s decision is final and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into.


Lithakazi Lande
Call +27 (0)12 392 9352