SAASTA school science debates 2018 – The Journey

The first step on the road to the national finals was taken at the provincial workshops in all nine provinces on 28 July 2018, where a mini-debate was held to identify the best performing schools in all nine provinces. Ten schools in each province were chosen to participate in the competition’s provincial tournaments to determine the top school from each province that would advance to the national tournament to compete against other provincial winners.

The topic that was debated at the provincial tournaments in the month of August was based on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology: “Can Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology be an important contributor to solving the energy needs of schools and other organisations with high societal importance?”

SAASTA would like to congratulate all the provincial winners who made it through to the National SAASTA Schools Debates Final.

The National SAASTA Schools Debates final was held on the 2 October 2018 at the Albert Lithuli Auditorium at the National Research Foundation in Pretoria. The venue was abuzz as teams of debaters took turns to step up to the podium to advocate their stance to the panel of adjudicators and the audience who was present on the day.

The topic of the final debate required teams to thoughtfully consider their assigned perspective – applications and benefit, economic, socio-cultural and political perspectives. The topic, “Can the investment of public resources in mega-science projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) prepare South Africa and Africa for the fourth industrial revolution and contribute to the eradication of poverty and sustainable development in the country and continent?”,  produced a lively debate.

The adjudicators found Crawford College in Pretoria to be the most well rounded debaters, presenting well-balanced content and persuasive arguments, and they were crowned the 2018 National SAASTA Schools Debates Champions. The team has won an all-expenses paid trip for a science tour overseas to be taken by the team early next year. Merrifield Preparatory School and College from the Eastern Cape came in second place and Port Shepstone High School from Kwa-Zulu Natal took third position.

SAASTA congratulates these top teams of the 2018 National Schools Debates.

Important dates

Provincial workshops3 August 2019
Provincial tournaments24,31 August, 7 September  2019 ( 3  provinces per weekend)
Final tournament24 September 2019

Venues for the tournament will be communicated to all the schools in due course . 

Provincial tournaments dates

24 AugustEastern CapeWestern CapeNorthern Cape
31 AugustKwa Zulu NatalFree StateMpumalanga
7 SeptemberNorth WestGautengLimpopo
1st place- Crawford College Pretoria (Gauteng)
2nd place- Merrifield Preparatory School and College (Eastern Cape)
3rd place- Port Shepstone High School ( Kwa Zulu Natal)

Table 1: Provincial winners



Eastern Cape

Merrifield Preparatory School and College

Western Cape

Protea Heights Academy


Crawford College Pretoria

North West

Girls High School Potchefstroom

Northern Cape

Wrenchville High school

Free State

St Michael’s Schools For Girls


Port  Shepstone High


Thengwe High School


Mashishing  Secondary School