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Department of Economics

TUKS finalists in annual Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition

Posted on 22 March 2011

Mr Dirk Scholtz (back right) with the UP finalists.
Mr Dirk Scholtz (back right) with the UP finalists.

Three UP students were finalists in the 2010 Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition. These students, Karlien Ferreira, Loren Koutsouvelis and Francois Stofberg, were among ten undergraduate finalists (chosen from over 200 national undergraduate entries) in this year's competition.

As finalists, they won a trip to Cape Town which, among the highlights, included listening to the Minister of Finance in Parliament delivering his Budget Speech on 23 February 2011 and attending a banquet afterwards. At the banquet, the students had the opportunity to meet and interact with top government officials and several South African business leaders. Two of these UP finalists are presently postgraduate students in the Department of Economics.

The Budget Speech Competition is a combined annual initiative by Nedbank and Old Mutual that sets out to identify and nurture exceptional talent in the next generation of economists, decision-makers and thinkers. Students from all universities across South Africa can enter by submitting an essay on a particular topic through their university convenor. The convenor for all UP entries is the Department of Economics. Generous cash prizes are also awarded to the three top essays in the postgraduate and undergraduate categories. The Minister of Finance launched the 2011 competition at a gala dinner after the Budget Speech. The questions for the 2011 competition are:

Different interest groups in South Africa, from COSATU to the Manufacturing Circle, have identified the strength of the rand exchange rate as an important factor constraining export growth, the development of the manufacturing sector and job creation. Using published theoretical and empirical evidence as well as your own empirical analysis, determine whether weakening the rand exchange rate would raise economic growth sustainably.

At the ANC’’s National General Council (NGC) held in September 2010 the National Executive Committee (NEC) was requested to conduct research into the feasibility of nationalising the country’’s mining sector. Compile a well-researched essay that can form part of the national debate on this important issue, using international experience, theoretical and empirical research.

More information on the competition rules and prizes is available on the competition website:

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