Cape Town, 10 February 2010: At the finals of a national youth debating competition, winner Charlotte Le Fleur of Worcester Secondary School in the Western Cape expressed strong views that the 2010 Soccer World Cup would ‘not disappoint’ and would benefit the majority of South Africans by creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of rands. Conducted among 266 learners nationally, the State of the Nation Address National Schools Debate competition was organised by Sanlam and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). It aimed to access the youth’s views on issues of national importance and to foster a culture of debate among young South Africans.
The finals were held on 10 February and formed part of this week’s opening of parliament proceedings. Grade 10 and 11 learners from 30 districts took part in 30 events around the country. The theme that guided the discussions throughout the rounds was “Young people can play a key role in reducing poverty and building a better South Africa”.
Three finalists competed in the final round on Wednesday 10 February debating whether the World Cup would benefit the majority of South Africans. In contrast to the winner, runners up Bojosi Morule of Eunice High School in the Free State and Kgaugelo Clement Mokholwane, Steve Tshwete Secondary School, Gauteng argued that the World Cup would only benefit a small minority of South Africans as well as FIFA. Specifically Kgaugelo strongly believed that ‘the rich would only get richer as a result of the event and the poor poorer’ and Bojosi felt there would only be ‘short-term benefits for a few South Africans’.
Nine finalists, representing their respective provinces, travelled to Cape Town to compete in the competition. Their trip included a live radio debate for the top three, a trip to Robben Island and, significantly, a meeting with President Jacob Zuma and discussion about his upcoming state of the nation address.
Johan van Zyl, CEO of Sanlam, said that the corporate was honoured to partner with Government in the youth debating platform. “A culture of rigorous debate is an essential element of any healthy democracy. We were extremely impressed with the contestants in these debates. They offered insightful arguments and razor sharp observations and their passion for their country and for a better future for all was palpable. We look forward to seeing these exceptional young minds take up positions of leadership in our nation in the future.”
Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane commended all debating competitors for their participation, engagement and interest in the competition. He said that the work South Africa needs to do as a nation to build a solid future for all is the cornerstone upon which our democracy is founded and driven. “I hope the leaners’ contributions motivate other young South Africans to become active participants in their communities worldwide, and that they have been inspired to greater heights in whatever careers they choose to pursue.”
Biographies of top three finalists
In the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) National Schools Debate, organised by Sanlam and Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
Bojosi Morule - Eunice High School, Free State
Bojosi Morule is currently in Grade 12 at Eunice High School in Bloemfontein. After school she would like to study a degree in Economics and Political Science at Columbia University in New York. She is fascinated by the power of words and enjoys working with numbers.
She has a passion for debating and public speaking, and is an avid reader. Her hobbies include playing the guitar and piano, singing and spending time with friends.
In response to the debate topic Young people can play a role in reducing poverty and building a better South Africa for all, Bojosi believes to overcome poverty ‘we need to break the cycle of poverty. Education is the first building block as if everyone receives adequate education they will be employable, and if they are able to earn a living they will be able to escape poverty. The youth must take advantage of the educational opportunities presented to them in this country’.
Charlotte Le Fleur - Worcester Secondary School, Western Cape
Charlotte Le Fleur is 17 years of age and is in Grade 12 at Worcester Secondary School. After school she would like to enrol at the University of Stellenbosch and complete a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree.
She is committed to her studies but maintains balance with extra-curricula activities. She is a member of the student council; on the editorial staff of the school newspaper; a school prefect; part of the school choir and on the debating team. Her hobbies include reading and walking, and she enjoys watching cricket and rugby.
In response to the debate topic Young people can play a role in reducing poverty and building a better South Africa for all, Charlotte believes that ‘the contribution which the youth can make is enormous and should not be underestimated’.
Kgaugelo Clement Mokholwane - Steve Tshwete Secondary School, Gauteng
Kgaugelo Mokholwane is 17 years of age and is in Grade 12 at Steve Tshwete Secondary School. After school he would like to pursue a career in biological science, electrical/ electronic engineering or government communications. He excels in various areas such as public speaking, debating, soccer and chess for which he has received numerous awards. He is currently the school president, class representative, debating chairman and school ambassador.
His hobbies include soccer, chess and integrating with people. He describes himself as curious assertive and admittedly loves talking in front of people.
In response to the debate topic Young people can play a role in reducing poverty and building a better South Africa for all, Kgaugelo believes without a doubt ‘that young people can indeed play a key role in reducing poverty and building a better improved South Africa for all, and that education is a very powerful key to success’.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)