UFH Economics students reach semi-final in the 2020 National Budget Speech Competition

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The Economics Department within the Faculty of Management and Commerce has proven, once again, to be a force to be reckoned with. This after three students from the department made it to the semi-finals of the 2020 Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition.

According to Professor Forget Kapingura, Economics Associate Professor and Postgrad Coordinator, this is an opportunity to claim a consecutive victory in this prestigious competition. Last year, Mr Bekithemba Qeqe a 2nd-year Economics Masters student at the time, became the overall winner of the 2019 competition in the postgraduate category. He walked away with a first prize of R150 000.

The trio are among 40 students from SA universities who, after a rigorous adjudication process, made the cut into this round of the competition.

They are:

Mr Dicend Chiseko - 4th year Agricultural Economics

Mr Luyanda Matomane - Honours in Economics

Mr Shiven Moodley - 2nd year Masters in Economics 

Currently in its 48th year, the competition focuses on recognising and highlighting the depth of talent, intellect and insight which exists in Economics and Finance students registered at SA universities. It challenges contenders to write an essay that speaks to the country’s economic and financial landscape.  Students are grouped into undergraduate and postgraduate categories. The semi-finals comprise the top 20 in each category, thereafter 10 are chosen for the finals and ultimately the top three in each category.

Mr Chiseko falls under the undergrad category while Mr Matomane and Mr Moodley are postgrad contenders.

In the Undergraduate category, the essay question was: “Would the Implementation of Land Expropriation Without Compensation Unlock Greater Economic Growth or Damage it Further in South Africa? Illustrate your answer by using international experience.”

Postgraduates were challenged to make A Case for or Against a Change in the Mandate and Ownership of the South African Reserve Bank.

Said Prof Forget Kapingura who also mentors the UFH contestants, “Being selected for such a prestigious competition is testament that our students are able to compete with others from other universities and emerge as winners.”

“This is an intense competition that speaks to the relevance of what we teach to the current problems facing the country”.

Asked about the probability of claiming a consecutive win, Prof Kapingura confidently said the probability was definitely high. “We have had representations in this competition since 2006. So I believe our students can win it again!”

The top 10 will be announced next month. The final selection of the top three winners in each category will take place next year at a gala that follows the Annual Budget Speech delivered by the Minister of Finance.

by Aretha Linden