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Witsies just keep winning

- By Buhle Zuma

Wits students have claimed the top prized spots of a prestigious national economics challenge.

Winners of the Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition were announced on 25 February 2015, the day of the national budget speech, at a banquet attended by the Minister of Finance, who delivered the key note address, and captains of the financial industry.

The competition, open to economics students in institutions of higher learning in South Africa, aims to stimulate and reward the country’s brightest economic young minds. Entrants are required to submit a sound academic essay responding to a set topic relating to economic issues.

In the undergraduate category Tlhalefang Moeletsi walked away with R60 000 for his essay reviewing recent submissions from trade unions, and provided a critical analysis of their proposals. The key question posed to undergraduates is whether the trade union alternatives on the budget support economic growth and economic inclusion.

Yashvir Algu topped the postgraduate category and was awarded R150 000 for his suggestions on how to put South Africa onto a higher economic growth path. 

Head of the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences, Professor Jannie Rossouw, has congratulated the students and the skilled supervision of Janine Dingley who year-on-year challenges the students to tackle the difficult task.

Overall Wits University had a good representation in the 2014 challenge. Six of the 20 short-listed essays were from Wits students maintaining the trend of submitting high quality essays. In the past Witsies have twice won the challenge and many others have featured as finalists. Shaheen Seedat took the postgraduate title in 2010 and Tsepo Machele claimed the undergraduate prize in 2008.

Entries for 2015 are now open, visit

Related articles:

Winning ideas to solve economic challenges, February 2014

Witsies outnumber the rest, September 2013

Future economists impress Gordhan, February 2013

Witsies finalists in budget speech competition, November 2012

Wits students claim their place in the Budget Speech Competition, February 2010